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Behind the List with Mike Bruckner of Muhlenberg College

'Passionate teaching, active learning'

The Greater Lehigh Valley is blessed with many colleges and universities that help students prepare for careers across all industries.

From arts to engineering to management and beyond, the options for earning a valuable education seemingly are endless.

Here to answer this week’s “Behind the List” questions is Mike Bruckner, vice president of public relations for Muhlenberg College in Allentown.

Lehigh Valley Business: How long has Muhlenberg College been operating in the region and what are its primary services?

Mike Bruckner: Founded in 1848, Muhlenberg is a highly selective, private, four-year college located in the picturesque west end of Allentown. It is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.

Muhlenberg offers programs in the liberal arts and sciences, along with selected pre-professional studies and a number of interdisciplinary majors. It is consistently among the top 10 theater programs in the country, and it has a national reputation in the sciences and health professions.

Muhlenberg’s hallmarks have been a caring student environment, passionate teaching and active learning and a college that has generated powerful outcomes among its students and alumni.

LVB: What have been some of the biggest hardships and opportunities that Muhlenberg has encountered throughout its years?

Bruckner: Financial aid and access to high-quality, high-cost liberal arts education is the No. 1 hardship. More than 85 percent of our students currently receive some form of financial aid, and that number is growing every day.

Providing the resources for students to be able to attend Muhlenberg is absolutely our most difficult task. Significant investments in technology and the ever-changing costs of health care have been contributors to the high cost of education.

We are also seeing a greater number of students with physical disabilities and learning differences. Some of these are diagnosed, others are not. But, we must provide for these differences, and these can be a major commitment of financial and personnel resources.

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