Saint Joseph's College is back in business

Saint Joseph's College is back in business due to a new partnership.

Posted: Oct. 11, 2018 1:43 AM
Updated: Oct. 12, 2018 9:15 AM

RENSSELAER, Ind. (WLFI) — Saint Joseph's College is back in business due to a new partnership.

Marian University partnered with Saint Joe's to help create the new Saint Joseph's College of Marian University Indianapolis.

It is set to open in the fall of 2019.

Wednesday afternoon various administrators between the schools held a press conference at St. Joe's to discuss the goals of the college.

There were a couple of alumni who even offered a gift to the new college. 

"This was her idea to do this now," said Dr. John Nichols about his wife. "People have been waiting and waiting and asking when is something going to happen. Well now something is happening."

That something to alums Connie and John Nichols was a donation of $50,000 to be awarded to incoming students. The couple have lived in Rensselaer for more than 50 years and say they hope to to see new found success from their alma mater.

"We've become close with the leadership of Marian University," said Father Jeffrey Kirch. "Many meetings. and many hours spent talking about our shared mission."

The mission between Saint Joe's and Marian promises to turn students into life long learners and graduates.

"What we do together is so much more profound and magnificent than what we do alone," said the president of Marian University Daniel Elsener.

Saint Joe's closed in May of 2017 due to millions of dollars of debt and its accreditation was on the line.

Students were forced to transfer schools or give up on their education.

"We've noticed that too many young people aren't going to college or they're not finding it relevant when they get there," said Elsener.

When students get to Saint Joseph's College of Marian University Indianapolis they can pursue associate's degrees in liberal arts, information technology and business.

The school will eventually expand how many degrees are offered. 

"Together we think we can make a bigger difference in two-year college education starting in Indianapolis,"said Elsener.

The goal for the new college is to enroll 75 to 125 students in the first year.

But Saint Joe's in Rensselaer has bigger plans.

"Eventually, hopefully we will be able to, after a feasibility study to begin a two-year-college here if things get off the ground and working well in Indianapolis first," said Father Barry Fischer. "We have to prepare our footprint of to make things ready for the moment."

The new college will offer flexible class schedules allowing students to work if they choose.

"Our thing will be earn and learn twelve months a year half time in school and half time employed," said Elsener.

Saint Joseph's College pledged $1.5 million for its new school.

That money will be paid over 10 years to help fund scholarships for deserving students.

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