Mail merge

National University gets green light to merge with online graduate college

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Diving Brief:

  • National University, a private, nonprofit institution that caters to working adults, announced on Monday that it was in combination with Northcentral Universityan institution that offers online graduate degrees.
  • The accreditor of both institutions, the WASC Senior College and University Commission, approved the merger at a meeting in June. The combined institution will retain the name National University and be headquartered in San Diego.
  • The merged institution will accommodate more than 45,000 students, according to the announcement. The merger with Northcentral University will also expand the offering for National University graduates.

Overview of the dive:

National University was established in San Diego in 1971 to serve working adults and student-veterans. Over the following decades, it expanded its reach with online programs and new campuses in California.

Today, the National University has about 30,000 students, the majority of whom take most of their courses online, according to the merger announcement. The university is part of the National University System, a network of non-profit institutions.

Northcentral University was founded in 1996 as an online-only institution with a focus on graduate degrees. The national university system acquired Northcentral University in 2019, bringing the institution into its fold as an affiliate and converting it from a for-profit organization to a not-for-profit organization. Northcentral University currently has approximately 10,000 students.

After the merger, the National University will become a fully online university, according to the announcement. It will offer both undergraduate and graduate programs, with an emphasis on micro-degrees and workforce training programs developed with the help of employers.

Leaders of National University and Northcentral University plan to create an academic structure for the combined institution in the coming months. The merger should be formalized at the end of September.

The two institutions collectively have about 160 programs. They don’t have immediate plans to phase out specific programs, but they expect to evolve them to meet workforce and student needs, a National University spokesperson said. in an email.

“Bringing these two institutions together will allow us to deliver in-demand, workforce-relevant programs — almost entirely in an asynchronous online format — to adult learners in all fifty states,” Michael Cunningham, Acting President of the National University and Chancellor of the National University System, said in a statement.

Going forward, the institution will be headed by a single System President and Chancellor. Cunningham will serve as the National University’s interim president while the board searches for the institution’s next leader.

Current Northcentral students will be able to choose the name of the university they would like to have on their degrees – National University or Northcentral University. Students will also be able to access new programs through the merger, the spokesperson said.

Because they are part of the national university system, institutions already have a shared-services model for financial aid, student support and counseling, and instructional design, the spokesperson said in an email. mail. The spokesperson said no employees would be laid off as a direct result of the merger.