New St. Ambrose Grad Center caters to working professionals

Marti Clyde, Grad Center executive director, and Paul Koch, vice president for academic and student affairs at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, prepare to cut a ribbon at a ceremony June 10. St. Ambrose will host a new office for the Grad Center in downtown Davenport.

By Anne Marie Amacher

DAVENPORT — The Quad-Cities Graduate Study Center has a new office at St. Ambrose University’s Downtown Edu­cation Center.

A publicly funded academic consortium of 10 colleges and universities in Iowa and Illinois, the Grad Center facilitates more than 100 graduate-degree programs, graduate non-degree courses and continuing professional education comparable to on-campus programs and courses for the Quad-Cities area.

The Grad Center was formed in 1969 and its office has been housed at Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill., since its inception, said Marti Clyde, the Grad Center’s executive director.


When it became possible for the Grad Center to have an office on both the Iowa and Illinois sides of the Mississippi River, “we jumped at the opportunity,” she said. The Illinois office will be housed at Western Illinois University’s campus in Moline this fall.

“Augustana was a neutral college for us and a fantastic partner.” It is considered neutral because it does not offer any graduate programs and is not one of the schools in the consortium.

But when the opportunity for free rent and two sites became available, the Grad Center decided to go for it.

Paul Koch, vice president for academic and student affairs at St. Ambrose University, said extra space was available at its downtown center and university officials felt the Grad Center project was a great collaborative effort. He said the Grad Center has been an asset to the Quad-City community and has linked businesses and the community in an avenue of sharing.

 “We are pleased to offer this support for the Quad Cities Graduate Study Center, an important Quad Cities resource,” says Sister Joan Lescinski, CSJ, president of St. Ambrose. “Our Downtown Education Center will be a convenient location for working professionals who wish to access the Grad Center, and this educational collaboration is in keeping with our institutional mission.”

The Grad Center’s dual locations “illustrate the importance we place on serving the needs of Iowa and Illinois residents who wish to pursue graduate study,” says Rich Polesky, Grad Center board chair. “In addition, our close alliance with the Quad Cities Chamber allows us to enhance services to area employers in need of post-baccalaureate education for their employees.”

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