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What businesses should know about the new school year in Central Pa.

New finance lab at E-town, LVC to offer major in analytical finance, others start new programs

Over the past 15 years, more than 225 business schools nationwide have added “finance labs” to their business programs, Elizabethtown College leaders said, and now their college is ready to join them.

The college has completed work on the new Trostle Finance Laboratory, a new business hub on the first floor of the James B. Hoover Center for Business in the middle of campus.

The lab’s goal is to provide students the skills needed to “give them confidence and the edge needed to compete in today’s job market,” a college description states.

The new lab will be open for classes next Monday, Aug. 29, when Elizabethtown begins its 2016-17 academic year, and it’s just one of the things businesses should know heading into a new year for midstate colleges and universities.

Lebanon Valley College

Lebanon Valley College, noting that “job opportunities for financial professionals exist at banks, investment firms, large corporations, and the federal and state governments,” is adding an analytical finance major to the college’s mathematical sciences department.

The new major will provide students a background in finance, math, accounting, and economics while focusing on developing skills in analysis, modeling and communication, a news release from the school states.

Analytical, computer, data and actuarial science and math majors make up 7 percent of the student body at LVC, as compared to the national average of less than 1 percent, the college said.

LVC also recently announced the creation of a Center for Political History, which the college said is the first of its kind in the U.S.

The center will include guest speakers, an annual national book prize to encourage the writing of political history, and a one-day summer seminar for high school teachers.

James Broussard, professor of history and the author of a biography of Ronald Reagan, will serve as center director. In the middle of a presidential election year, he said in a college news release, “There is no better time to facilitate a discussion regarding our country’s history of political dialogue and discourse.”

Among other steps, he plans to expand the availability of internships and other “high-impact” experiences for students, the news release added.

York College

York College, which has been boosting its outreach in the York area in recent years, is taking another step to “further enhance the relationship between the college and the community.”

With funding from The Arthur J. and Lee R. Glatfelter Foundation, the college has created a public policy institute that will be housed at the new offices of the college’ Center for Community Engagement, at 59 E. Market St. in downtown York.

The institute aims to engage students in the policymaking process while providing research to legislators in city county, and state government, college officials said.

The institute is a joint program of the college’s Department of History and Political Science and the Center for Community Engagement.

York College aims to continue strengthen its relationship with the York community, college President Pamela Gunter-Smith said in a news release.

“Our new buildings must house quality academic programs, offer experiential learning opportunities, and afford pathways for our students to engage with their community,” she said.

Millersville University

Millersville University is renovating one of its central buildings, Gordinier Hall and Conference Center, and is completing the third and final phase of its $150 million student housing project, the largest construction effort in its history.

Gordinier, which was closed for the summer due to construction, will partially open when classes begin, and the full building will open in October, university officials said. When the $13 million expansion project is complete, Gordinier will be 20,000 square feet larger and will have seating capacity of more than 700 students, up from about 350.

Gordinier is the main dining hall on campus as well as the center of catering services.

MU also will open the last of three new residence halls next week.

The new West Village has 601 beds and is a mirror copy of East, which opened last fall. South had opened in fall of 2014. All three halls are on the South Quad of the Millersville campus.

Benchmark Construction Co. Inc. of Ephrata is general contractor for the student housing work. For Gordinier, it’s Lobar Inc. of Dillsburg.

Collectively, the three residence complexes have nearly 2,000 beds, enough to accommodate Millersville’s on-campus population, MU officials noted. The rest of the university’s roughly 7,500 undergraduates live in off-campus housing or commute.

Penn State Harrisburg

Penn State Harrisburg will dedicate its new Student Enrichment Center this Tuesday, Aug. 23, at 11:30 a.m.

The 70,000-square-foot center features student lounges, food service with open seating and a convenience store, a theater/lecture hall, a spiritual center, the bookstore and offices for student counseling and disability services, honors education, international student support services and international study programs.

“Student enrollment at Penn State Harrisburg has grown consistently over the past decade, creating the demand for more spaces dedicated to students,” said Chancellor Mukund Kulkarni.

The $30 million in funding for the center came from a mix of sources, including reserves for capital improvement, an internal loan, operating funds, student facility fees and from housing and food services, school officials said.

Harrisburg University of Science and Technology

Harrisburg University of Science and Technology will welcome the largest class in school history this Friday, Aug. 26. The university is expecting 160 new first-year undergraduates and 30 transfer students, its officials said, plus several hundred graduate students.

Elizabethtown College

Elizabethtown, which is among the growing number of higher educational institutions to add a minor in entrepreneurship, said the new Trostle Finance Lab will help prepare students for the business labor market by creating a Wall Street-like atmosphere through the use of LED tickers, digital displays, video walls, and a variety of investment tools, college officials explained.

The finance lab will include investment tools as Bloomberg, Rothman and Morningstar Direct, giving students a chance to learn and practice investment skills.

“Like a flight simulator, participants learn how to make effective real-time decisions in a complex environment when the future is uncertain,” a college description said.

While the lab is finished and will be open the first day of classes, an official ribbon-cutting is scheduled for Homecoming weekend, Oct. 15-16. The project was funded by donors, and Elizabethtown was able to raise its goal of raising $150,000, college officials said.

David O'Connor
Dave O'Connor covers York County, manufacturing, higher education, nonprofits, and workforce development. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at doconnor@cpbj.com.

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