Nova opens student center in Kendall
By Sherri C. Ranta
Nova Southeastern University has opened an off-campus student service center in West Kendall that administrators are calling a symbol of the Broward-based school's commitment to attracting students from southern Miami-Dade County.
About 1,500 students already attend classes at the new location in Kendall Village Center at Kendall Drive and Florida's Turnpike. The university hopes to double that number within five years, a top administrator said.
"The way Miami is growing, I can't see any reason why it couldn't," said Dr. Deo Nellis, executive director for the university's off-campus student service centers.
About 100 faculty teach undergraduate, graduate and doctoral-level classes in education, business and psychology at the Kendall center. About 25 other staffers are assigned there, Dr. Nellis said.
The 60,000-square-foot, four-story building, equipped with video conferencing, voice and Internet connectivity in every classroom, opened May 19. The school has a lease/purchase agreement for the building with Berkowitz Development Group, Dr. Nellis said.
University officials were attracted to the site, he said, because of easy access to major traffic arteries, such as Florida's Turnpike and Kendall Drive, and the security and safety services of a major shopping center.
Kendall Village Center is a 500-000-square-foot complex of retail, office and residential projects that Berkowitz Development built on 38 acres. Construction is under way on the residential portion and many retail outlets are open, including restaurants and Old Navy and Barnes & Noble stores.
"We feel that location is in the heart of Miami-Dade County growth. The future of Dade County seems to be heading in that direction," Mr. Nellis said, citing the area's booming housing development.
Many of Nova's students live south of Miami International Airport, he said, and about 20% of students at the main campus in Davie, west of Fort Lauderdale, come from Miami-Dade.
A private university, Nova also has off-campus student centers in Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, West Palm Beach and Las Vegas. Nova also has a campus in North Miami Beach.
The university is the largest independent institution of higher education in the Southeast and the 14th-largest private school in the US, according to information on its Web site. Dr. Nellis said the school is larger than the University of Miami.