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PHOENIX -- Two Indiana-based schools are planning to open campuses in the West Valley.

Trine and Huntington universities will open next year in Peoria. Trine plans to start offering 12 undergraduate and three graduate degrees starting in January. Huntington said it will open in 2014 but is awaiting approval of the Peoria City Council.

Peoria City spokesman Bo Larsen said the council could vote next month.

Huntington issued a press release that described the school as a Christian liberal-arts college that offers "graduate and undergraduate degree programs in more than 70 academic concentrations."

Trine is set to hold classes in an office park at Thunderbird Road and 83rd Avenue.

Several universities have started offering classes in Mesa over the past few years, but Larsen insisted that Peoria isn't trying to "keep up with the Joneses."

He said when schools open anywhere in the Valley, it's a win-win situation for everyone.

"We were already going the same direction ourselves," said Larsen. "We've been in negotiations with the universities for a long time, but we've been very selective in making sure that the schools that do come to Peoria kind of meet where our goals are going."

Larsen said those goals include bringing "high-end, higher-paying jobs" to the city.

Bob McClay, Reporter

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