Drexel University opens Sacramento campus

Drexel University, a nationally known private university based in Philadelphia, is opening a campus in Sacramento that initially will offer nine graduate degrees in engineering, education, technology, nursing, business and library sciences.

The new offices open Jan. 5 at One Capitol Mall in Old Sacramento. An open house is scheduled Jan. 13.

“We have a unique style of education. Very academic, very smart, very use-inspired,” said Carl Tobey Oxholm, Drexel’s executive vice president and dean of the Sacramento campus. He also noted that the Sacramento campus will make extraordinary use of high technology to aid instruction, high-definition video conferencing, wireless data transfer and retrieval, numerous audio hookups,  online interaction from camera-equipped classrooms.

The instructional program is geared toward students who have jobs or families that place significant demands on their time, and the high-tech facilities enhance that mission, Oxholm said. For example, everything in the classroom, from the instructor’s comments to the students’ responses, is captured electronically and can be accessed later by students.

“Absolutely everything that goes on that room, everything, is captured…“What we have built into our system is the highest technology in the region,” he said. “You can tap in and watch, or you can close it and watch it later, and download it like a podcast.

Drexel chose Sacramento for the new campus after researching the area’s educational landscape, economics, demographics, employment potential and growth, among other factors. Drexel also is considering  the establishment of an undergraduate campus on 1,100 acres in the Sierra foothills near Auburn, although that project is only in the initial planning stages.

Drexel’s undergraduate program, which requires five years instead of four, extols real-world experience, in which students work at jobs for half of the year and take classroom instruction for the remaining half. The goal is to give students work experience, a realistic understanding of the market and enhance their problem solving.

Drexel is the nation’s 16th-largest private university. Founded in 1891, Drexel was named one of the Top Ten Up and Coming Universities by U.S. News. The university has about 20,000 students, more than 8,000 of them graduate students.

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