To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Metropolitan Detroit Program, Siena Heights University is hosting a gala event Oct. 13 at the St. John’s Banquet and Conference Center in Southfield, Mich.
An evening of dining and dancing is by invitation only. However, the anniversary marks a program that was the first of its kind in Michigan. Siena Heights’ Metro Detroit campus was the first in the state to serve nontraditional students using nontraditional course formats. It was designed to serve allied health and technical students through its innovative Bachelor of Applied Science degree. From 1975-77, Siena Heights offered courses at various Detroit corporations and schools, exploring Metro Detroit to determine if there was a viable market for its unique programs.
Siena Heights received a federal grant in July 1977 to start a permanent center, which was located in Tower 14 in Southfield. In 1978, Siena Heights moved to the Magnolia Elementary School, where the center offered classes until the mid-1990s. Siena Heights again changed location, this time moving to the Centrum Office Complex. In August 2006, the campus moved to its present location on 10 Mile Road in Southfield, where students have a state-of-the-art learning environment designed to meet their needs. In its 30 years of existence, the Metro Detroit Center has graduated more than 4,000 students.
Siena Heights also established business partnerships with companies such as Ford and General Dynamics by offering onsite courses. Various programs were added over time to better serve students. In 1994, Siena Heights established the Community Services degree at the Metro Detroit Campus for Department of Social Service employees. It later established the CSV major at other SHU campuses.