Aberdeen, South Dakota – January 17, 2023 – Presentation College announced today that it will not enroll students for the 2023-24 academic year and will cease educational operations at its Aberdeen campus after the Spring and Summer 2023 sessions. Three Teach-Out Agreements with other higher educational institutions are in place to provide complete credit acceptance and comparable net tuition costs for current students. Employees will be provided staggered end dates and final compensation based upon their responsibilities.
St. Ambrose University (Davenport, Iowa) will continue to offer Presentation’s signature Online BSN program, a pathway for nursing students established through a consortial arrangement that was communicated last week. The Online BSN programs will become the Nano Nagle Online School of Nursing at St. Ambrose University in honor of Nano Nagle who founded the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Aberdeen, South Dakota (Presentation Sisters) in Ireland in 1775.
“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 shared. “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.”
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, to support its mission of development of the whole person, in the Catholic tradition. 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 pandemic, the College, the Board of Trustees, and the Corporate Board of the Presentation Sisters embarked on a year-long process of examining data and market impacts, engaging constituent groups to better understand the financial health of the College and its potential for growing enrollment to achieve sustainability. Its 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 exacerbated the College’s challenges.
“The College explored and brought to the boards numerous partnership options over the last year, resulting in their selection of St. Ambrose University (SAU) for continuing the Online BSN programs,” said Paula Langteau, president of Presentation College. “As previously announced, St. Ambrose University’s state-of-the-art nursing program is a natural fit with Presentation to create the Nano Nagle Online School of Nursing, ensuring the legacies of the College and the Presentation Sisters,” President Paula Langteau said. “SAU also will serve as one of a number of Teach-Out Partners for other majors. It is important to us that every student has multiple, comparable options to complete their chosen degrees on time and without an increased financial investment.”
Presentation also has Teach-Out Agreements in place with the University of Mary (Bismarck, North Dakota) and Olivet College (Olivet, Michigan) and continues to pursue adding agreements with other regional and online institutions. January 30-31, the College is hosting a Teach-Out Fair (in the afternoons) and a Career Fair (in the mornings) to assist students and faculty, respectively, with their transitions to other higher educational institutions. In a unique partnership for college transitions, the College is also bringing independent academic coaches from College Possible to campus to assist students with their individual plans. A Job Fair will be organized for later this Spring to help staff to explore future employment opportunities.