How one small college exemplifies higher education’s problems and potential solutions

By: | March 9, 2021

Emmanuel College is a catholic, liberal arts-focused, onetime all-women college that just celebrated its 100th anniversary. However, the college exemplifies the kind of institution increasingly threatened by financial, demographic, competitive and other pressures — and what such schools are doing to remain in business.

Other institutions “are hoping to wait out the shakeout and see some of their competitors close their doors,” said Todd Leach, former chancellor of the University System of New Hampshire and former chair of the New England Board of Higher Education. “But that is not a strategy that works in a market that’s declining as fast as ours is. You have to really make serious structural changes.”

Emmanuel has experience with making those kinds of changes. The college, whose name in Hebrew means “God with us,” has stared down mortality before under the leadership of a long-serving president and treasurer, both of them nuns, who have come up with the sorts of survival strategies that many schools are scrambling to figure out.

Read more from The Hechinger Report.

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