Over the last several years, the Department of Higher Education has overseen the closure of a large number of independent institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth. As a result, the Department has developed a protocol for institutional closure which serves to support institutions to meet the challenges of closing and/or merging while at the same time ensuring that students are protected and provided with opportunities to complete their education via a teach-out plan or through transfer to another institution.
Massachusetts law requires an institution that has decided to close to notify the Board of Higher Education of its intention to close as early as possible and well in advance of closure by contacting the Department of Higher Education. The Department also strongly encourages an institution exploring its options, including the possibility of closure, to reach out to the Department prior to any final decision to discuss the closure process and receive answers to any questions. Please contact Alex Nally at Alex.Nally@dhe.mass.edu with any inquiries regarding institutional closure.
An institution that has decided to close should review the Department’s Notice of Closure Guidelines and must adhere to them throughout the closure process.
An institution should also review the Notice of Closure Submission Template which must be completed by the institution. The development of the Notice of Closure is an iterative process, and a closing institution is encouraged to submit a first draft of the template as early as possible.
Below is a compilation of public notifications related to transitions and closures of Massachusetts institutions of higher education. Please note that institutions identified as at risk of imminent closure through the FARM process are listed here.
High Meadows: On July 28, 2021, President Deborah Hirsch of High Meadows Graduate School of Teaching & Learning announced that the Graduate School is actively seeking a partnership with another institution of higher education to best fulfill its mission and vision. If a partnership with another institution cannot be secured, the School will cease academic operations on December 31, 2021. After that date, any remaining enrolled students will complete their academic program with Boston University’s Wheelock College of Education and Human Development. High Meadows will provide transitional academic instruction and support to all enrolled students through June 30, 2022