Delaware College of Art and Design announces it’s closing

Jarek RutzEducation, Headlines


The Delaware College of Art and Design, located on Market Street in downtown Wilmington, is closing. Photo from DCAD.

The Delaware College of Art and Design is closing, it announced today on Facebook and in a letter from its president.

It plans to help students transfer to PCA&D – Pennsylvania College of Art & Design and Moore College of Art & Design.

The move comes as a group of downtown leaders are trying to finalize funding to turn a former MBNA bank building into an education hub called The Bridge with law and nursing students, saying it will help create a “college corridor” from Rodney Square to the Riverfront, including the art school.

Jean Dahlgren, president of the school, sent a letter to community members saying the entire team is very proud the college’s 27-year history, and the news comes with a heavy heart.

“We are working together through this challenging but necessary transition to uphold our legacy and to do what is best for our students,” he said.

Some of the challenges the art school was facing, like many other independent art and design schools, include declining enrollment, a shrinking pool of college-age students, rising costs and unexpected issues with the rollout of the new Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

“We did not make the decision lightly and sought every possible avenue to avoid it,” the letter read. “Our declining enrollment numbers over the last several years and for the upcoming school year have prevented us from adequately supporting our educational purposes and programs.”

The Board of Trustees has worked diligently to find other funding solutions, Dahlgren said, but none allow the school to overcome the longer-term problem of too few students.

The college’s board of trustees along with Dahlgren are are working with the Middle States Commission for Higher Education and the Delaware Department of Education to ensure that the wind-down and eventual closure cause as little disruption as possible for students, alumni and staff.


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