Another college to close: intimations of mortality in higher education

If you haven’t been following Bryan Alexander’s higher ed (and other posts), cruise the “future of education” category to fill in the back story. Brace yourself and don’t skip the “higher education futures” posts either.

Bryan Alexander

Marian Court CollegeSometimes even a queen sacrifice won’t help.  This week Marian Court College, a small, Catholic, liberal arts institution in the Boston area, announced it would close.

What ended Marian Court?  Declining enrollment, primarily.  As a tuition-dependent school with a tiny endowment, fewer students are a body blow.  Enough years of decline, and such an institution can’t stay open.

It’s a very sad story, especially given what students and faculty say about MCC being a close-knit community.

What does this event tell us about higher education as a whole?  Here are some reflections, bearing in mind this story just broke:

To begin with, small size may turn out to be a problem.  That was an issue for Sweet Briar.  Many institutions making queen sacrifices aren’t big.  Marian Court is – was – a very small school, with 266 students this term.   Perhaps small scale renders these campuses especially…

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About @NatM4Equity

The National Mobilization for Equity is a coalition of organizations committed to alleviating the present staffing crisis in higher education: three-quarters of the teaching jobs in American colleges are held by underpaid, precarious and poorly-supported contingent faculty. Our long-term goal is to end contingency as the norm. The current untenable situation not only adversely affects all faculty members, both contingent and tenure-track, it also negatively impacts our profession, our students and the quality of their education.

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