New England College to shut down Manchester campus, previously an art institute

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New England College to shut down Manchester campus, previously an art institute

Dive Brief:

  • New England College is shutting down its campus in Manchester, NH, which was previously the New Hampshire Institute of Art before it merged with the private nonprofit institution in 2019.
  • The coronavirus pandemic weakened participation in arts education nationally, a trend to which New England College was not immune, its president, Wayne Lesperance, said in a statement Friday, This led it to close to the Manchester campus, which houses what is known as the college’s Institute of Art and Design.
  • The college plans to move students and faculty from the Manchester branch to the main campus in fall 2023. Students’ financial aid awards and scholarships will not change, the institution said,

Dive Insight:

The former New Hampshire art institute sought to merge with New England College, a liberal arts institution, in part because of the shrinking pool of traditional high school students and its own dwindling enrollment.

Prior to merging with New England College, it tried to join Southern New Hampshire University, an online education giant, in 2014. That deal, however, failed.

Colleges commonly cite enrollment troubles and the declining number of high school graduates as reasons for consolidating or closing, This was the fate most recently of Cardinal Stritch Universitya private non-profit college in Wisconsin.

Lesperance said the Manchester students will study at a new “Art Village,” on the main campus, located in Henniker, NH.

The college “will maintain its presence in Manchester with events at its galleries and its premier assembly space at French Hall,” Lesperance said. “It will look to collaborate with educational institutions and other neighbors in maintaining an active presence in the neighbourhood.”

New England College enrolled 3,806 students in fall 2021, about a third of whom were undergraduates, according to the most recently available federal data.

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