Local college expected to close, Iona reacts



Leland Castle, a prominent building on the College of New Rochelle’s campus, reflects the school’s Catholic roots.

Abigail Rapillo, News Editor

Iona announced in a press release on Feb. 25 that it has hired a professor from the College of New Rochelle and is offering support to CNR students who wish to transfer to Iona, after the college made a statement that it will likely close in the summer of 2019.

In an email to its students on Feb. 22, the College of New Rochelle said that it is unlikely to remain open after the summer semester this year. The college discovered in an audit in 2016 that it had outstanding financial obligations which left it nearly $30 million in debt, according to LoHud.com.

Iona has said that in the past they offered loans and assistance to CNR to help it stay afloat. The college is now offering to help qualified undergraduate students who are currently enrolled at CNR transfer to Iona by inviting them to special transfer events and advising sessions to review their transfer credits.

Iona will also provide special scholarships to qualified graduate students who want to transfer to one of Iona’s graduate programs. The scholarships are specifically targeted at graduate students pursuing degrees in Marriage and Family Counseling, Mental Health Counseling, Childhood Education and Communication Sciences and Disorders, according to a press release from Iona.

President of Iona College Dr. Joseph E. Nyre said that it is Iona’s responsibility to work with the students from CNR.

“Iona College and the College of New Rochelle share a rich history, Catholic identity, and common mission of educating young people in the tradition of American Catholic Higher Education,” Nyre said in an email sent to Iona faculty and staff. “As CNR faces the reality of potential closure, it is vital we take steps to support the CNR students experiencing this uncertain transition period.”

Iona has also hired Dr. Debra A. Simons, who is currently the dean of the School of Nursing and Healthcare Professions at CNR, as the director of allied health initiatives at Iona, according to the press release. Simons, who will begin in her new position on March 4, will lead development for nursing and other allied health programs at Iona.

LoHud reported that Mercy College is also working with CNR to give students an opportunity to transfer to the Dobbs Ferry, New York college. LoHud also said that Mercy College was in talks with CNR to acquire and lease parts of the New Rochelle campus as well as some of its satellite campuses.

CNR opened in 1904 to only women, according to LoHud. It went coed in 2016 as an attempt to increase enrollment.