Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. David Lemberg

Second Advisor

Dr. Jordan Yin

Third Advisor

Dr. Benjamin Ofori-Amoah

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


My research will start with investigations into what an American college town is, what are the uses of Smart Growth and Mixed-Used Development in college towns, and the real estate development practices of universities in The United States and one Canadian university. The four case studies in the thesis are The Ohio State University, The University of Norte Dame, The University of Connecticut, Victoria University at The University of Toronto. Other data was collected from survey respondents of close to 200 hundred students at Western Michigan University. The purpose of the survey was to determine what amenities and housing styles students wanted to see on or near campus.

The next part of the thesis was to establish what alternative would be best suited to help curtail the declining enrollment at Western Michigan University and help to increase the enrollment in the future by making the school more attractive to perspective students. The alternatives were to do nothing, remodel existing dorms, build new dorms, build new apartment buildings, or to build a mixed-use development. They were judged using a weighted scoring average based on how effective the alternatives were on five key attributes. They were cost, attraction of parents and students, potential for revenue, sense of community, and benefit to entire campus. The mixed-use development would do the best to stabilize and then increase enrollment through student attraction.