November 14, 2017
Grace University, a Christian university that has operated in Omaha since 1943, is closing in May due to financial and enrollment pressures. Not all of its 459 students will be able to graduate by then, and will be looking for a new academic home. Doane officials are working with Grace administrators on an agreement that would provide a smooth transition for some of those students. The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) that accredits both Doane and Grace requires a teach-out agreement between the schools, similar to an articulation agreement with a community college, according to Vice President for Academic Affairs Paul Savory. Both Grace and Doane will turn in a proposed teach-out agreement to the HLC to make sure there is an appropriate path to graduation for the students. Once such agreements are in place, each student can then apply for admission to Doane or to another university. Savory said normal transfer fees will be waived under the teach-out agreement.
Savory has reached out to the vice president of academic affairs at Grace, and College of Education Dean Lyn Forester has contacted her counterpart to lay the groundwork to help students. Savory sees the fit for Grace students at Doane as a good one.
“The key is that Doane, like Grace, is a small private college with very low faculty-to- student ratios; a place where professors know your name and want you to be successful in your career after college,” said Savory. Savory sees options for a good fit for the Grace transfer students both on the Crete campus and through the College of Professional Studies programs in Omaha, Lincoln and Grand Island.
“This agreement really has potential for Doane to tie into the community, conveying a strong message that we are looking out for our neighbor,” said Savory.