Hilbert College is a Western New York University located in Hamburg, about 20 minutes south of Buffalo. Founded in 1957, it was originally established to train teachers when the Franciscans began it, but it has since evolved beyond its Catholic roots to become a small, but diverse liberal arts university for undergrads.
By 1969, Hilbert had grown to offer more than teacher training and had officially become Hilbert College (named for Mother Colette Hilbert, one of the Franciscan sisters of old). They continued to expand and by 1992 they had begun offering four year degree programs to students.
Today, major studies number 13, with applicable concentrations for each and a choice of about 30 different minors. Though the large majority of students at Hilbert are in Forensics or Criminal Justice programs (they established an Institute for Law & Justice in 2000), there are also fine programs in Accounting and Business Administration (though no education major programs anymore). The school offers a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science degree, as well as Associate degrees in Applied Sciences and the Arts.
Though there are no online degree programs for distance learners, they do offer a selection of online classes every semester (usually hybrid/blended course that will require on campus time). In addition, they offer evening classes for adult learners with busy schedules (complete with tutoring and academic support, the same as traditional learners would receive) and even have a partnership with nearby St Bonaventure college for those looking to work towards their M.B.A. with a five year cooperative program. Internships are also heavily stressed at Hilbert, with a Career Services program that encourages students from freshman year.
Hilbert utilizes small classes, allowing their 1,100 or so student body the chance for a more personalized experience and the chance to really connect and learn from teachers. The student teacher ratio is 14:1, allowing for more personal learning relationships to develop, and most faculty hold the highest degree attainable in their fields.
The Catholic/Franciscan heritage still survives at Hilbert, influencing and shaping the curricula and teaching methods to this day. Hilbert students are trained to be leaders from day one, with a freshman Foundations Seminar that teaches global awareness and successful learning habits and a Junior Symposium that stresses diversity, both culturally and globally. Entwining Franciscan values of respect, integrity, and vision into all their courses, it is part of the school’s mission to take “students from diverse backgrounds” and train them to “become informed citizens committed to serving and strengthening their communities” (which seems in congruence with their amount of Criminal Justice majors). They look to produce leaders who also know how to serve, students who are capable of teaching.
With a cozy little 50 acre campus, a dedicated learning environment, and a library that holds almost 37,000 books, another 49,000 electronic titles (accessible on line), and the largest Law library available to the general public in Western New York, Hilbert still remains as a student-centered school dedicated to training competent and compassionate leaders of tomorrow.