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Troy University to open Federal Way branch
Troy University is planning to open a location next year in Federal Way.
The Alabama-based university has partnered with U.S. military bases around the country since 1950, and already has a presence in the region at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Pierce County.
Troy helps both military personnel and regular civilians earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees in dozens of fields — from business administration to criminal justice to education to science.
In Federal Way, Troy will establish an administrative office by March 2012, with a goal of teaching classes by late summer or early fall.
The Federal Way location is expected to initially serve around 200 students of all ages and backgrounds, said Louis Fletcher, regional director. Inaugural degrees at the Federal Way site will include international relations, public administration and sports and fitness management. More degrees will eventually be offered as the university determines the local population’s needs.
Federal Way’s location and demographics played a role in being selected as a site for the non-profit public university. Many of Troy’s students are likely to work full-time jobs while completing coursework.
“Federal Way is a place where people from our study will come from as far away as Olympia, and have no problem coming from metro Seattle,” Fletcher said. He added that the study revealed Federal Way area students are less likely to commute up to Seattle for classes. “It’s for people who want the opportunity, but are far from opportunity.”
Fletcher said a potential partnership between Troy and local community colleges such as Highline, for example, will allow students to complete their undergraduate degrees at a more affordable university.
Students will be able to attend classes both online and in traditional classrooms. Students at the Federal Way location will also have access to the same scholarship and financial aid opportunities as the entire Troy University system.
As a medical technologist and laboratory manager in the Franciscan Health System, Federal Way resident Karen Lea recently earned a master’s in science and management through Troy.
For about 18 months, she attended weekend classes held at Tacoma General Hospital, mostly for career enrichment. She previously earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry from Carroll College in Helena, Mont. Lea’s tuition at Troy was reimbursed by her employer.
“It would have been nice to have something like this in Federal Way,” said Lea, 50, who completed those additional studies in 2007. After working at St. Francis Hospital in Federal Way, she is now a regulatory compliance manager at St. Joseph Hospital in Tacoma. Lea said Troy’s courses fit within her busy work schedule. Fellow students included nurses and other professionals in the hospital system.
Troy University is based in Troy, Ala., with nearly 30,000 students at locations worldwide. Several of those locations include U.S. military bases, both domestic and abroad. Visit www.troy.edu.