Historic Notre Dame College, Founded by Nuns, Announces Closure

Notre Dame College Secures Opportunities for Students to Continue their Education at Nine Partner Colleges and Universities

In-person instruction will conclude at the end of Spring Semester 2024 South Euclid, OH – February 29, 2024 – The Notre Dame College (NDC) Board of Trustees has announced it has secured agreements with nine partner colleges and universities to help current NDC students in good standing continue their college careers through a Teach-Out program or as a transfer student. With these agreements in place, Notre Dame College will conclude its in-person academic instruction at the end of Spring Semester 2024.

Like many small higher education institutions across the country, NDC has faced long-standing challenges related to declining enrollment, a shrinking pool of college-aged students, rising costs and significant debt. These challenges were the impetus for the Board of Trustees’ decision to create new pathways for students to continue their education at partner institutions.
“Throughout this long process, we evaluated every possible option to continue the mission of Notre Dame College, said Terri Bradford Eason, Chair of the Board of Trustees of Notre Dame College. “Our primary focus has been to ensure our students can successfully continue their education, graduate, and – in the tradition of the Sisters of Notre Dame – live a life of personal, professional and global responsibility.”
The Board of Trustees has worked tirelessly for years on multiple fronts to address long-standing issues. This includes refinancing debt, navigating a down market, strategically using Federal and State COVID-19 relief funds to maintain our mission during the pandemic, launching a Centennial fundraising campaign, pursuing two potential higher education partners for a possible merger or acquisition; and working closely with major donors and other stakeholders to raise additional revenue. These heroic efforts were not enough to close the financial gap in time to satisfy debt obligations and allow the school to continue to operate independently.
“We are all saddened by the need to make this decision, but rest assured that as we move forward, we are doing everything we can to ensure a smooth transition for our students to continue their education,” said Interim President John Smetanka.
Students, Faculty and Staff Will be Supported
NDC has reached agreements with nine colleges and universities to help current NDC students in good standing continue their college careers through a Teach-Out program or as a transfer student. NDC will host a Partner College/University Fair on Wednesday, March 13 from 12:30-5:00 in Keller Gymnasium and work one-on-one with students to help them determine their best path forward. The options available for students depend on their status at NDC. Current students in good standing with at least 60 completed credits will receive guaranteed admission to pursue their degrees uninterrupted at a partner institution, with comparable net tuition and transfer of all credits. They will be able to complete their degree in relatively the same amount of time as they could at NDC. Current students in good standing with less than 60 completed credits may have the opportunity to transfer to a partner institution and receive the same benefits of the Teach-Out Program.
We are pleased to have several Teach-Out Partner Institutions that have agreed to provide outstanding opportunities for our students, including Baldwin Wallace University; Cleveland State University; Hiram College; John Carroll University; Kent State University; Lake Erie College; Ursuline College; Walsh University; and Mercyhurst University (Erie, PA). Additional partners may be announced during the remainder of Spring Semester.
NDC will also offer HR support to all faculty and staff to support them with their career transition. The Board of Trustees is profoundly grateful to Notre Dame College students for their endurance; to school leadership, faculty and staff for their loyal service and commitment; and to the many friends, donors, and partners who have so generously supported this very special institution, allowing the college to fulfill its mission for over 100 years. Notre Dame College’s impact and legacy will live on through the contributions of its more than 5,000 alumni and all members of our college community, past and present.
For more information and ongoing updates, members of the NDC community should go to the college’s website at https://www.notredamecollege.edu/.

Source: https://www.notredamecollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/NDC-Teach-Out-Press-Release-2-29-24.pdf