Located in Franklin, Mass, just a 45 minute drive up the road from historic Boston, Dean College is like a piece of our founder’s past set down as a student friendly college. Though mostly for those seeking two year Associate degree programs before moving on to four year schools, their high standards and dedication have resulted in a transfer rate that hovers near 99%.
Founded in 1865 by Dr Oliver Dean, this picturesque little school had a first class that met in the local church (as Dean Hall would not be completed until two years later). From that 44, the school now has over 900 full time students and another 400+part time students currently enrolled. Over the years, the college has expanded (and had to rebuild Dean Hall due to a fire just five years after its erection), but it’s core teaching and values remains unchanged. Utilizing the Dean Method of teaching, the school “focuses on creating a customized, extremely supportive experience that guides students through every step of the college experience as they strive to achieve their academic and personal goals”. More succinctly, Dean allows for greater access to faculty and counselors, thereby allowing for greater understanding and success in course work, thereby allowing for greater preparation when students graduate to four year universities (or go on to the work force).
Maybe due to their stress on face-to-face interaction with students, Dean does not offer any distance learning programs currently, though the college has expanded from “preparing students with a strong academic background to transfer to four year schools” to offering their own Bachelor’s degrees in several areas. In addition to the over 15 two year degrees, they now offer Bachelor’s programs in Business, Arts&Entertainment Management, Liberal Arts, Dance, and Theater. In fact, one of their points of pride is their theater and arts programs, drawing students from all over the country and more than a dozen places beyond to this almost 150 year old institution in the backyard of where our country was founded.
Recently, Dean College has also joined with sister college Suffolk University to begin offering even more baccalaureate degrees. Students taking classes at Dean (and enjoying all the perks of going to that school) work to earn degrees at Suffolk, a full four year university in nearby Boston (which also does not offer distance learning degrees, as they also desire more face-to-face, on campus interaction with students).
With a wonderful faculty that takes hands on interests with students futures, helping to prepare them academically for the next step, be it further college or the work force, and giving them the core they need to succeed at either, Dean College is the perfect in between step for those who may not be ready for a four year program quite yet. With the changes they’ve made over the years (as well as those to technology) and their desire to work with students, the distance learning programs may not be far away.