Marygrove College in Detroit is now officially open only to graduate students.
The college announced in August it would focus on Masters and professional development programs going forward. It said undergraduate enrollment had been too low for too long.
Elizabeth Burns is the president of Marygrove. She says the focus on its stronger masters programs is an opportunity to regroup and focus on the future.
Marygrove offers masters programs in education, human resources and social justice
“I don’t know that any other liberal arts college is doing that,” Burns said. “Most of them have just closed.”
Burns said Marygrove has had “rolling” layoffs of faculty. There were 47 faculty members in July. That number is down to 12.
All classes and operations have been moved to the college’s Liberal Arts building.
The final class of Bachelors students graduated in December. Undergraduate students who have not completed their studies have been transferred to other institutions. The school held a special ceremony in December for graduating students.
Burns was born in Detroit. Her mom was a Marygrove graduate, and her grandparents lived in the University District not far from the school. She said for her the success of the college is tied to the success of the nieghborhood and the city.
“I’m one of those returning people who are trying to really create something new and supportive for the city,” Burns said. “I have great hope.”
But Burns said the school will have to see results from its new approach pretty soon.
“The timeline is really pretty much this year – 2018,” Burns said.
She said the college will look to its accreditation body, the Higher Learning Commission, for information and, of course, to enrollment. There were 420 graduate students enrolled in the Fall semester.