Private college announces Mesa campus will close

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MESA, Ariz. (AP) -- Westminster College has decided to close its Mesa campus at the end of the spring semester.

Officials at the private Missouri-based institution say the decision announced Tuesday is in response to lower-than-expected enrollment and market demand.

The Mesa campus opened last fall. It was the result of a partnership between the city and Westminster that followed a call by the city to attract liberal arts colleges to the growing community.

After studying the market, Westminster joined with three other institutions to offer services for undergraduate students in Mesa.

Westminster President George Forsythe says a number of colleges and universities have entered the Valley in the past three years, making for more competition.

Westminster says it's working with the Higher Learning Commission to develop a plan to help current students continue their education.