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Delaware Valley College receives approval to become a university

Dec 05, 2014

university status

Credit: Delaware Valley College. From left: DelVal Student Government Board President Rebecca Jones '16, Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Cynthia Keler, Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley, Susan Ward, M.D., '80, chair of DelVal's Board of Trustees and DelVal President Dr. Joseph Brosnan at the meeting where DelVal announced it has received approval to become a university April 8.

Delaware Valley College is proud to announce that it will officially become Delaware Valley University on April 8, 2015. On Dec. 5, DelVal announced that The Pennsylvania Department of Education has approved its application to become a university. There will be a news conference on campus Wednesday, April 8 to introduce Delaware Valley University, where the school will be unveiling new signage, a new website, a new logo and the vision for its future. There will also be celebrations on campus and in the local community throughout the month of April to recognize this milestone.

University status ushers in a new era for the institution and reflects DelVal’s expanded academic offerings, improved facilities and progress. It will also make the institution much more attractive to graduate and international students.

“We have been working for years to move DelVal forward to this point and this approval is recognition of how far this institution has come,” said College President Dr. Joseph Brosnan. “We intend to build on our rich history and what DelVal is already known for--118 years of teaching science with practice, a commitment to bettering the world through education, and a small, personal community where we know our students by name. We’re taking everything that makes DelVal such a strong institution and raising it to a higher level with expanded graduate programs. Delaware Valley University is going to be an exemplary, small, independent university focused on teaching.”

To be classified as a university in Pennsylvania, an institution must offer a minimum of five professional master’s degrees and a doctorate. The institution must demonstrate a commitment to and evidence of scholarship that enriches the teaching and learning. Through the implementation of its strategic plan, in the past three years, DelVal has launched three new master’s degrees and the inaugural doctoral program.

“The name change reflects the development of DelVal,” said Susan B. Ward, M.D., ’80, chair of the board of trustees. “We started as an agricultural school, but today that’s one part of who we are. We now offer three undergraduate schools, which include a total of 27 academic programs such as business, counseling psychology, education, food science, criminal justice, media and communication, biology and chemistry. We also offer excellent graduate programs in education, counseling psychology, policy studies and business.”

Students from all majors gain real world experience in their fields through the Experience360 Program, which is designed to help students develop skills like leadership and communication that employers want. As a university, DelVal plans to have one of the nation’s most well-known and respected experiential learning programs, which will prepare students to make a difference right away in their fields.

“When engaged minds come together, great things happen,” said Dr. Bashar Hanna, vice president for academic affairs. “Delaware Valley University will be known as the destination of choice for students who want to make the world better, healthier, more livable. It will be an ideal environment for students to gain both knowledge and experience so that they leave campus with the tools to lead.”

University status will enhance opportunities for students to collaborate with faculty.

“At DelVal, faculty cherish the opportunity to provide the type of personal mentorship that helps students reach their full potential,” said Dr. Jack Schmidt, chair of the liberal arts department. “While this close collaboration between faculty and students can be more an exception than the rule at many universities around the country, at DelVal, it’s part of our DNA. Though faculty research and scholarship activities will no doubt increase as we move to university status, we remain first and foremost a teaching-centered institution.”

Madison Moore ’15 is proud to be a member of the University’s first graduating class.

“I think students should be proud of this new university status,” said Moore, a media and communication student. “It shows how much we’ve changed, but in a good way. We have so much to offer as a college. As a university, we will be able to offer so much more. I would want university on my diploma. It’s a higher level and you can still keep that small, personal touch with this new status.”