Lincoln University President Robert R. Jennings has announced that the institution plans to open a campus in Coatesville, Pa. The news was announced June 6 at a Coatesville Development Opportunities Forum, sponsored by the Chester County Economic Development Council.

The plan calls for Lincoln University to occupy the Gordon Education Center, which currently houses the Coatesville Area School District’s alternative education program. The company that operates the alternative education program will vacate the building in July of 2013. However, Lincoln University anticipates opening offices and offering select courses to area businesses in January of 2013, before taking complete control of the building at mid-year.

“We’re excited about it. It’s going to be a win-win for all of us,” said Jennings, who received a standing ovation upon announcing the plans. “It’s going to be a full-fledged campus. It’s going to have everything that the main campus has.”

Jennings says the Coatesville campus of Lincoln University will initially house three programs: a nursing program, the business and entrepreneurship program, and a hotel, restaurant, and tourism management program. Lincoln University also plans to offer continuing education courses at the Coatesville campus.

“I’m blown away,” said Coatesville Acting City Manager Kirby Hudson, who has been working on getting a university to open a campus in Coatesville for some five years. “When we approached Lincoln University about opening a campus, they immediately embraced the idea. In fact, they told us that they had been thinking about Coatesville as a possible site for a campus. It’s like a match made in heaven.”

Hudson said that he believes Lincoln University’s Coatesville campus will not only be major stimulus in revitalizing the downtown area, it will also be a good example for the children of his community.

“It will show them that there is life after high school,” said Hudson. “It will show them that they don’t have to be afraid about moving on to higher education because there will be people just like them, with iPods and backpacks.”

This is the second expansion announcement made by Lincoln University in as many months. In May, Jennings announced plans to open a Lincoln University campus in Cape Town, South Africa.