Career-training college to open in Omni
By Tom Harlan
A college focusing on career training is to open Jan. 10 in the Omni, a former retail mall at Biscayne Boulevard and 15th Street.
Brown Mackie College - Miami, will be one of 19 locations in a nationwide system of business-related schools. It will share space with Miami International University of Art and Design on the second floor.
Education Management Corp., Pittsburgh parent company of the college and university, made plans to open a branch based on market research that determined a need for training programs in high-demand fields, company officials said.
The college is to fill an important educational niche by helping students achieve their professional goals while providing a skilled workforce to support the economic vitality of the region, John R. McKernan Jr., the corporation's CEO, said Tuesday.
Brown Mackie College provides associate's degrees, diplomas and certificates in the business, health sciences, legal studies, information technology and electronic fields to more than 7,000 students in eight states.
The Miami college is designing a flexible curriculum that allows students to take classes in fields such as law, business, technology and medicine at convenient times in smaller classrooms, said Julia Denniston, the college's incoming campus president, who will transfer here from Kansas City, KA.
Degrees in accounting technology, business management, computer software, criminal justice, paralegal and medical assisting are to include a combination of general education and career training courses, Ms. Denniston said.
Students take industry-related courses and complete an externship of 120 hours, she said, adding that the medical fields require 160 hours.
"It's a nice blend that's a little different than your community college," she said.
In addition, the college is to offer four 12-month diploma programs in accounting, criminal justice, medical and paralegal fields.
Ms. Denniston said students take one class in their subject per month so they are able to graduate on time and maintain full-time status for financial aid purposes. In addition, class-sizes are designed to be small for personalized instruction, she said.
In 2002, Miami International University of Art & Design opened a 60,000-square-foot campus on the building's ground floor after parent Education Management Corp. leased 100,000 square feet in the Omni.
In October 2004, the university opened a library and classrooms in about half of the remaining 40,000 square feet on the second floor of the building. The remaining space is used for storage and office space, Mr. Giannattasio said.
In addition to space, the college and the university are to share services, such as the campus bookstore, Ms. Denniston said.
Ms. Denniston declined to estimate the number of students who will attend the college, which was accredited in November. College officials are working to attract students through print and TV ads for the spring semester, which begins on Jan. 10, 2005.
"We're excited about Miami," she said. "We look forward to bringing a business environment into a creative environment."