After enduring months of grueling construction traffic along Thomas Drive, not to mention the large amounts of dust that accumulated there, CCGPS, an acronym for the Campolo College of Graduate and Professional Studies, is now open and in full use. The official ribbon-cutting ceremony was on January 17.
The building, for now, is called the Eagle Learning Center until it bears the name of a donor, much like other resident buildings on campus. It is being financed now by what Eastern was paying as rent at Valley Forge.
With ten beautifully furnished classrooms, counseling and psychology rooms and a comfortable lounge within the front entrance, the new building now houses all of the CCGPS offices and classrooms that had been at Valley Forge.
A significant characteristic of the building that has improved the facility is the nursing lab, which for the last several years had been in the basement of Fowler Hall.
“Before, we were able to put four beds,” said David King, executive dean of CCGPS. “Now there’s room for eight beds and a room for a classroom kind of arrangement, and I know our nursing department is really giddy about that.”
“The new nursing room is open, plenty of room, so you’re not falling all over each other, and equipment is new,” said BSN student Steven Leonetti. “For anyone coming here new, I think it’s phenomenal … really a good step forward for the school.”
Dean of Finance and Operations Polly Berol shared responsibilities with Office Manager Heather Sykes in making sure construction went smoothly in the building. “From the time the architects provided us the design of the building, our job was to make sure everything got built the way we needed it to be built,” Berol said.
When asked about the move to the St. Davids campus, King said, “Although a lot of things we do within the Campolo College is kind of self-contained, there are also a lot of ways we do intersect within, depend upon, rely on, work with and integrate into the university at large, which is hard to do when you’re six miles away.”
Dr. King also mentioned how the proximity of the main campus with the college of arts and sciences and other parts of the university would be very beneficial. “It’s a treat, I can tell you, to simply walk across the driveway to some meetings as opposed to driving ten minutes to get to a meeting and hustling back and forth.”
Polly Berol shared similar sentiments to being on the St. Davids campus. “Everyone is very excited and I know I am personally because I was a graduate student at Eastern, and I worked on the Eastern campus for almost ten years, and then at Valley Forge and so to just be here again is very exciting.”
Among the many outcomes of the new building are more student interactions with faculty. “Just having students in the same building that we work in adds a tremendous amount to the atmosphere … it feels different,” King said.
Leonetti said, “It feels much nicer … more collegiate. You feel like you’re participating because at Valley Forge it felt more separate.”
Rose Oh, a BSN 2 nursing student, said, “It’s different in that we see a lot more students than workers, so it’s kind of nice.”
King added how he hoped because of the proximity to the undergraduate program, as well as their presence, that it would create awareness among undergraduate students that Eastern does have a graduate college. “I hope students will really look at this as perhaps part of their next step as they think about what they might do beyond their undergraduate experience here, looking more closely at the breadth of graduate programs Eastern offers.”
Within the college there are programs that go all the way from two year associates degrees to Ph.D., and then there is the breadth of masters programs which would appeal to an Eastern undergraduate program. In the last year, the college has begun a Ph.D. program that has tracks in education, business and non-profit management, which Dr. King called “another step ahead.”