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Things are buzzing around Harrisburg University of Science and Technology’s pending expansion in Philadelphia.

Not only will Harrisburg University grow the number of programs it offers to students studying in Philadelphia, it will more than quadruple its physical size when it moves into 38,000 square feet of completely renovated space in Center City in about six months.

Come January, HU Philly students will be able to earn Bachelor of Science degrees in Interactive Media, Management and eBusiness – with concentrations in digital marketing and business analytics; Computer and Information Sciences and Cybersecurity at the University’s new location at 1500 Spring Garden Street.

Joy Mackey, Lead for Harrisburg University in the Greater Philadelphia Region, took some time to answer questions about the University’s exciting developments taking place in her native city.

Q:  Could you tell us a bit about yourself, background, and your role at the HU Philadelphia location?

A: I’ve lived in Philadelphia my whole life. And since I was in high school, I have wanted to lead programs that help students reach their full potential. As an entrepreneur and an educational leader, I have received that chance with Harrisburg University. I am currently the Lead for Harrisburg University in the Greater Philadelphia Region. My role is to promote the growth of the University in every way possible including – teaching, student development, organizational leadership, community outreach and creating partnerships.

Q: In addition to the new building, what type of changes are coming that students can look forward to involving the curriculum? Other changes?

A: One of the most exciting things is that we will be in a much larger facility and can host more of our programs. Previously, we could only house first-year students in the Philly program, which required students to move to the main campus in Harrisburg following their freshman year. In our new building, we will be able to offer four-year undergraduate programs in Computer and Information Science, Interactive Media and Management & eBusiness. Plus, graduate programs and certificate programs also will be offered at our new location.

Q: Why would you encourage someone to enroll at HU Philadelphia?

A: I would encourage anybody to enroll at HU Philadelphia because our programs have a finger on the pulse of key industry sectors and trends, and we are able to use our curriculum to position students effectively for excelling in their field of study. I particularly think it is a good idea for students from Philadelphia to enroll at HU Philadelphia, because it’s a great opportunity to get used to the rigors of college without having to learn a new city and new roommates at the same time. That can be a big load off their minds and help students earn a higher GPA during their first year. And lastly, I would encourage students from other cities to enroll at HU Philadelphia, because we have a great tuition structure with a plethora of scholarships and grants available. Not to mention we are a great college town (and destination city) with so many opportunities for internships, historic and cultural attractions, etc.

Q: What resources exist for students who might not be used to a big-city environment, or incoming freshman who will be entering a university environment for the first time?

A: We are known for our small class sizes, which gives students a much greater opportunity to work directly with their professors and other experts. It also allows students to bond more with their peers. Many of the cohorts in Philadelphia become like family, encouraging and supporting one another. In addition, the University offers various group trips and experiences for students to become familiar with the city, and we also have connection leaders that are upperclassmen who engage freshmen frequently and help pave the way.

Q: What type of cultural and entertainment options exists around campus?

A: There is no way to share all that is available in the way of culture and entertainment in Philadelphia. But our Philadelphia location is only a half mile to a mile away from exhibitions, public art, theater, restaurants, and the finest museums such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Barnes Foundation, Mutter Museum and the Franklin Institute, just to name a few.

Q: From your perspective, how will this expansion in Philadelphia benefit Harrisburg University?

A: It’s an opportunity to bring our unique programs to a great city and contribute to industry growth. And it is also a way to continue our commitment to serve diverse populations. Many of us at Harrisburg University are entrepreneurs and just enjoy the experience of new opportunities and the overall growth it can bring to all involved.

Learn more about HU’s Philadelphia campus.