HAMBURG, N.Y. – The Board of Trustees of Hilbert College, a Catholic Franciscan college based in Hamburg, New York, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Valley College, a career-focused college with campuses in West Virginia and Ohio. This acquisition supports Hilbert’s strategy of extending its Franciscan mission, growing enrollment, and providing greater social mobility for students of all ages. Together, the colleges will serve more than 2,000 students across New York, West Virginia, and Ohio in traditional and online programs.
“This is an important step forward in Hilbert’s strategic plan, strengthening both institutions,” said Laurie Boreanaz Carra ‘81, Chair of the Board of Trustees of Hilbert College. “The breadth of programs, modalities, and locations across Hilbert and Valley College position them both to thrive.”
“We’re excited about what this move means for our students and communities,” Hilbert College President Michael Brophy, PhD added. “The more than 2,000 learners that Hilbert College and Valley College serve will immediately benefit from expanded opportunities.”
Under the auspices of Franciscan Services, a new nonprofit entity, the two colleges will operate independently, contributing to each other’s vitality within their accreditors’ policies as separate colleges. Immediate plans between the two colleges include the establishment of transfer articulations in their respective online degree programs and the sharing of best practices.
In addition, Franciscan Services will begin to review consortium-like efficiencies that the colleges could achieve through shared services agreements.
“Through this strategic acquisition, both Hilbert College and Valley College are leaning into the changes affecting higher education, including declining high school graduation rates, increasing workforce development needs, and regional and national higher education trends,” Valley College President Tony Palmieri said.
“Catholic institutions have to be creative and proactive in a highly competitive market, especially in the northeast,” Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU) President Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, CM, added. “This forward-thinking acquisition strengthens both Hilbert and Valley College in service of their independent but complementary missions.”
Hilbert College is a Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) accredited not-for-profit institution offering two-year, four-year, and graduate degrees in a variety of disciplines. Hilbert is home to 750 students studying in traditional undergraduate programs within a residential, NCAA III setting in Hamburg, New York and 150 additional students in online and graduate programs. Hilbert enjoyed a 20% enrollment increase in 2022, due in large measure to new online and athletic programs. Its largest enrollments are in business, criminal justice, forensic science, cybersecurity, communication, and psychology.
Valley College is an Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) accredited, for-profit institution, offering diplomas and two-year and four-year degree programs in a variety of disciplines. Over half of Valley’s 1,000 students study using an online modality. Valley’s four educational centers (two in West Virginia, two in the Northern Ohio) serve primarily adult students who are often in transitional parts of their lives. Valley has been on a 10-year growth trajectory, raising enrollment from 100 to more than a 1,000 in that time. Its largest enrollments are in the health and allied health areas.
The acquisition is subject to state, federal, and accreditation approvals.
For Valley College students and alumni looking to get more information on the acquisition and learn more about Hilbert College Global, visit us on our Valley College page.