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Private University Pulls In-Person Classes From Mesa, Says Online Enrollment Grows

Private school Wilkes University has decided to pull its in-person offerings from Mesa’s Center for Higher Education.

“When we came to Mesa, it was not with the idea of trying to create a 4-year traditional campus experience,” said university spokeswoman Vicki Mayk. “We came with the idea that we wanted to provide education in the way that would best serve the community.”

She said the school’s online offerings have been the most popular and will continue. The school will have one full-time faculty member in Mesa.

Almost half of the school’s 77 students are enrolled in all online classes, Mayk said. 

Mesa spokesperson Steven Wright said Wilkes University has not terminated its lease at the downtown education center, but that if it did the rooms wouldn’t be vacant for long.  

“We are confident that that space will be used for the original intent and that’s for higher education and business development,” Wright said.

Wright said even though other universities have left the city since the push for education started in 2012, others such as Benedictine University, are thriving.

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Mariana Dale rustles up stories as a senior field correspondent based out of KJZZ’s East Valley Bureau in Tempe. She’s followed a microphone onto cattle ranches, to the Dominican Republic and many places in between. Dale believes in a story’s strength to introduce us to diverse perspectives, inspire curiosity and hold public leaders accountable for their actions. She started at KJZZ on the digital team in 2016 and still spends a lot of time thinking about how to engage with our community online. Dale has learned from stints at Arizona Public Media, The Arizona Daily Star, The Arizona Republic and as an intern at NPR’s Morning Edition in Culver City. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Dale is grateful for the mentoring of the New York Times Student Journalism Institute, the Chips Quinn Scholars program and AIR’s New Voices Scholars. A desert native, she loves spending time outside hiking, tending to her cactus and reading.