Brown Mackie College, the latest for-profit college to arrive in Greenville, is hoping a downtown location will give it a leg up on other schools competing for the working adult student.
“No one else is in the heart of the city,” said Karen Burgess, president of Brown Mackie’s new Greenville operation.
She expects the branch to have about 100 students when it begins classes Oct. 5 in the Two Liberty Square office tower. Currently, Brown Mackie is outfitting the basement and first two floors of the tower for classrooms, offices, medical and computer labs, a library and a bookstore.
The college will offer bachelor’s and associate degrees and certificates in various disciplines, including criminal justice, medical assisting and accounting. Most of the training will cost $260 per credit hour, Burgess said.
“Eventually, we’d like to be offering a nursing program,” she said.
The Greenville branch will be Brown Mackie’s 22nd location nationwide and its first in South Carolina. The college is one of four schools operated by Education Management Holdings LLC of Pittsburgh.
Brown Mackie is the fifth for-profit college licensed to do business in Greenville, said Renea Eshleman, manager of licensing for non-public institutions at the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education. The others are ITT Technical Institute, Strayer University, Virginia College and ECPI College of Technology.
A sixth for-profit college, Phoenix University, has been approved to do business in Greenville but hasn’t opened a location yet, Eshleman said. Two other schools with Greenville branches, Webster University and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, are nonprofit, she said.
The number of local students enrolled with Virginia College has grown from just under 300 to about 750 since the Birmingham-based school began offering classes in the Global Trade Park off Fairforest Way in the fall of 2008, said Dominick DeLorenzo, president. That’s 28 percent ahead of plan, he said.
The most popular fields of study are medical assisting, medical billing and coding, surgical technician, pharmacy technician, cosmetology and therapeutic massage, DeLorenzo said.