Thomas Aquinas College has received unanimous approval from the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education to open a branch campus in Northfield, Massachusetts. Students who attend the NE campus will be able to receive Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts degrees.
This approval is the result of a rigorous application process, one that TAC has passed with flying colors. The grant of authority is not without stipulations, however — the college will have to submit annual status reports during the first five years of operation, demonstrating statistical evidence that the school remains in compliance with the state’s Board requirements.
“This is a great accomplishment for the college,” said president Michael McLean, “and we are grateful to the Board for its thoughtful review.”
Having received the Board’s approval, the college is now seeking an extension of its accreditation to this second campus from the WASC Senior College and University Commission. “We anticipate a favorable conclusion to the accreditation process in the next few months,” said Dr. McLean, at which point Thomas Aquinas College will be able to formally open its doors to students in New England on a fully accredited branch. He added, “Starting today, while the accreditation process goes forward, our admissions office is accepting applications to the New England campus.”
“At a time when more than a quarter of the country’s liberal arts colleges have either closed, merged, or abandoned their mission, it is a testament to the excellence of Thomas Aquinas College’s unique program of Catholic liberal education and to its good stewardship that the school has received approval to operate a second campus,” said Chairman of the Board of Governors R. Scott Turicchi.
President McLean added, “The college wishes to thank all who have supported and encouraged us in this effort. We are grateful to God for the opportunity to bring Thomas Aquinas College’s unique and highly regarded educational program to a region long known for quality higher education.”
Thomas Aquinas College was founded in 1969. It opened its doors to students on a leased campus in Calabasas, California in the fall of 1971, and relocated to its present campus in Santa Paula in 1978. From its first year of operation, the co-educational Catholic school has attracted students from across the United States and abroad. It achieved full enrollment in 2005, and waiting lists have been growing in the years since.
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