Philadelphia University celebrates official opening of the Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce

Philadelphia University is celebrating the official opening of its new focal point – the Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce (DEC).

The College, which completed its first full academic year in 2011-12, features a cross-discipline curriculum with a series of core courses selected to teach teamwork and collaboration to students.

Provost Randy Swearer says the program started last year and it’s already becoming a big selling point for applicants.

“We have students coming here already this year, who have said they’re coming because of the college,” he said.

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Swearer says programs like this are primarily seen on graduate levels. 

“This program is kind of revolutionary… especially given the fact it’s being done at [this] scale, for an undergraduate population,” he added, “We’ve scaled it so the university will become primarily about this.”

The school was established through a donation made by Maurice Kanbar, an alumnus, and the $20 million DEC Center was built with other donations.

Representatives of the university say the 38,500 square-foot reconfigurable building is a perfect home for the “innovative” curriculum. 

1,600 students, about half of the student population, are enrolled in courses offered at Kanbar.

Students majoring in disciplines unrelated to DEC can also take courses there, if there is an opening.

Swearer says the model may soon spread to the entire university, since other schools on campus are showing interest in the curriculum.

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