Drexel University Sacramento in California

    02 January, 2013

    From VOA Learning English, this is the Education Report in Special English.

    Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is more than 120 years old. In 2009, the university opened Drexel University Sacramento in California. 11 international students were part of the first class of students at Drexel University Sacramento. Today, 32 international students are at the school all from China.

    The Master's degree in Finance program is almost entirely populated by the Chinese students. Most of the students are from Shanghai, and there are some from Beijing.

    Sandra Kirschenmann is executive director and associate vice provost of Drexel University Sacramento. VOA's Ira Mellman asked her why she thinks the program is popular with Chinese students. She says a master's degree in finance is itself very attractive and a top degree in terms of return on investment.

    "Most people who gain a master's degree in finance end up with very well-paying jobs, and so students know that. And if they have the natural attraction to mathematics, to analysis, to really financial instruments and the usefulness of business investment around the world, it is an absolutely great degree."

    Drexel University started its master's degree in finance program in Philadelphia. The program became popular with students from Shanghai and Beijing, says Ms Kirschenmann, and they told their friends.

    "Their friends told their friends, we end up with kind of an enrollment projection that got pretty big, pretty quick."

    The Philadelphia campus has finance students from other countries as well as China. Ms Kirschenmann says the Sacramento program may appeal more to Chinese students because the west coast is closer and a gateway to the Pacific Rim. She says Drexel University Sacramento does work with recruiting agents in China, but in the current class, she recalls only one use of a paid agent.

    The courses are taught in English. She says students must do well on the TOEFL, or Test of English as a Foreign Language, to be admitted to the university.

    "This incoming class is remarkable in their English proficiency."

    The 18 months program cost 55,000 dollars, international students pay full tuition. Miss Kirschenmann says this helped the non-profit university balance its budget, and offer financial help to American students.

    Drexel Sacramento location currently accepts only graduate students, but an undergraduate business program will start this fall. The program will be for students who have already completed at least two years of undergraduate education.

    And that is the VOA Special English Education Report. I'm Steve Ember.