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Trustees approve urban studies program at West Hartford campus (Released: 5/10/96)

by Renu Sehgal, Office of University Communications.

STORRS, Conn. -- The University of Connecticut Board of Trustees today (May 10) approved a bachelor's degree program in urban studies at the West Hartford regional campus.

The interdisciplinary program will be the first four-year degree offered at the campus.

The Storrs campus has offered the degree for nearly 15 years, teaching students about the development of American metropolitan areas and their problems. The major prepares students for careers in public administration, urban planning and social work. The West Hartford campus needs to offer the degree to realize its unfulfilled potential, according to Thomas J. Cooke, director of urban studies.

Chancellor Mark Emmert recommended approval.

''It is an ideal degree program for the West Hartford campus because several of the social science faculty on that campus share interests in urban issues, and they can draw effectively on resources from the metropolitan region, both for instruction and for experiential learning,'' Emmert said.

Students majoring in urban studies will interact with the public and private sectors in the Hartford metropolitan area through guest lectures, field trips, internships and community service. Most of the courses will be taught by full-time faculty, but some adjuncts with expertise in certain areas will be used to provide specialized courses. Three students are expected to graduate from the program next year, Cooke said.

''The location of the campus within the Hartford metropolitan area affords easy access to social workers, planners, state and local politicians and community activists,'' he said. ''The Urban Studies Program will efficiently use University resources by integrating the West Hartford campus faculty with an 'on-site' undergraduate degree program.''

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