Presentation College, a smallestimates are from 400 – 800 students, but they aren’t from the college -sj Roman Catholic institution in South Dakota, will close at the end of the summer 2023 term.
“After careful evaluation of the sustainability of the college’s academic programs, and a thorough review of alternatives, the Board of Trustees and Presentation Sisters reluctantly decided to close the physical campus and implement teach-out programs as the most responsible way to steward students’ pathways to completing their degrees,” Sister Mary Thomas, president of the Presentation Sisters Corporate Board said. “We understand and share the heartbreak by our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and Aberdeen community, and we will work closely with them to succeed through this transition.”
The Presentation Sisters founded the College in 1951 to fulfill its mission of rural health care and service through nursing education. The college later expanded to include academic programs in health and natural sciences, and social science and humanities. The Presentation Sisters have continuously sponsored the college and retained ownership of the campus land with the college as a separate nonprofit.
Just before the COVID-19 pandemic, the college embarked on a year-long process of examining data and market impacts, and its potential for growing enrollment to achieve sustainability. The college’s rural location, difficult for many out-of-state students to access, was already a known factor, along with a significant dependency on tuition revenue and gifts. The impact of COVID-19 exacerbated the college’s challenges, the college said in an announcement.
For students who are unable to graduate this year, the college has teach-out agreements with the University of Mary (Bismarck, North Dakota) and Olivet College (Olivet, Michigan) and continues to pursue adding agreements.