August 28, 2019 – New Western Illinois University Provost and acting President Martin Abraham recently relocated from Youngstown, Ohio and is in the process of addressing the school’s number one challenge of improving enrollment. Since 2014, new freshman enrollment has been declining from 3,400 to 2,000 students currently. He looks forward to making more contacts within the Quad Cities area as he begins working toward stronger partnerships within the region.
Business Partnerships. A key component to build WIU enrollment will be establishing stronger community business partnerships and growing online learning and services for 24/7 access. WIU is looking to grow the Quad Cities campus and blend offerings that are traditional to the Macomb campus with opportunities at the Quad Cities campus. Business oriented learning opportunities include offerings related to advanced manufacturing; GIS mapping; parks and recreation; and health professions, such as counselors and athletic trainers. New certification and credential programs would target adult audiences with curriculum programs that can be condensed and offered at times to allow full-time employment.
Community College Partnerships. Dr. Abraham said that WIU is going to be working with local community colleges to provide complimentary educational experiences for students looking at a 2-year college transition to a 4-year college, or niches where colleges would serve areas of focus. Davenport Mayor Frank Klipsch noted that there are other four-year universities in the region to include in collaborations, St. Ambrose and Augustana colleges. The partnerships noted will strengthen the educational opportunities within the region and support workforce and quality of life goals.