Dive Quick:

  • Lewis University, a Catholic establishment in Illinois, will get over St. Augustine School, yet another non-public nonprofit establishment in the point out, the faculties declared Tuesday.
  • The institutions’ respective governing boards unanimously accredited the offer, which is continue to subject matter to condition, federal and accreditor approvals. St. Augustine officials reported they hope the merger to formally wrap up by the finish of this year and that the two institutions will run underneath the Lewis title by spring 2024.
  • Each colleges claimed students must see no disruption while they wait for the regulatory inexperienced mild.

Dive Insight:

The colleges solid the merger as a way for Lewis — which at 6,500 pupils is the eighth premier personal nonprofit college in Illinois — to access far more bilingual learners and Hispanic college students in the increased Chicago region, the place St. Augustine is based mostly. 

St. Augustine, started in 1980, was the to start with bilingual bigger instruction establishment in the Midwest. 

On the other hand, like several compact non-public nonprofits in modern decades, it has experienced continual enrollment declines, dropping from additional than 1,500 learners in tumble 2010 to about 730 in tumble 2021, according to the newest offered federal info. 

Various other tiny colleges declared in the previous pair of months they will possibly shut or merge, often citing problems recruiting college students and handling pandemic-induced monetary worry. 

As opposed to St. Augustine, Lewis is a larger sized institution. It was founded in 1932 as Holy Name Technical Faculty, an solely male institution that opened with 15 students.

Not till the 1960s did Lewis get started shifting into the Lasallian tradition. Lasallian establishments are affiliated with the De La Salle Brothers, a Roman Catholic religious educating purchase.

Lewis also expert swift growth, achieving 2,000 learners by 1970. Around this time, the university thought of a merger with what was then the College or university of St. Francis, a further Illinois establishment now acknowledged as the University of St. Francis.

Now Lewis is the a single increasing with its acquisition of the St. Augustine campus. Lewis has three other campuses, together with one particular in New Mexico.

“Our two establishments are effectively-matched in mission and values,” David Livingston, Lewis University’s president, claimed in a assertion. “We fill a exceptional niche in just greater instruction, serving pupils from all walks of lifetime with economical systems that supply a liberal arts core and an emphasis on vocation and workforce preparation.”

In their statements on the merger, both establishments drew attention to Chicago’s quickly-growing Hispanic and Latino inhabitants. Latino persons will comprise extra than 30% of the region’s populace by 2040, according to the Chicago federal government.

“And nonetheless only about 30 percent of Hispanic grown ups in Illinois have a college credential,” St. Augustine officials mentioned. “By equipping our college students for success in today’s marketplace, we can be important in setting up an equitable, economically thriving Chicagoland.”