NOTRE DAME COLLEGE is a Catholic liberal arts institution founded in Cleveland by the SISTERS OF NOTRE DAME in 1922. Originally established to educate women, it now serves a diverse student body, offering bachelor’s, master’s, and associate’s degrees, as well as license and certificate programs.

The College first held classes on 18 September 1922, at Notre Dame Academy on Ansel Road, Cleveland, overlooking The Cultural Gardens. State requirements, as well as rapid growth, necessitated a new location for the College. Throughout 1923 and 1924, the Sisters of Notre Dame acquired more than 40 acres in SOUTH EUCLID, and in 1925 hired Thomas D. Mclaughlin & Associates to design the campus. Construction of the first building began in late 1926 and in the fall of 1928, classes were held in the new Administration Building, which housed classrooms, labs, offices, chapel, dormitory, dining hall, theatre, and gymnasium.

As enrollment grew and educational needs changed, the College added residence halls, a library, an athletic center (pool and gymnasium), and sports fields. When neighboring Regina High School closed in 2011, Notre Dame incorporated that building into the campus. Today the campus consists of ten buildings: Administration Building (1928), Clara Fritzsche Library (1971), Connelly Center (1968), Harks Hall (1955), Keller Center (1987), North Hall (2009), Petersen Hall (1968), Providence Hall (1962), and South Hall (2009). Regina Hall (formerly Regina High School, 1953) was acquired in 2011. Normandy Field and Mueller Field were added in 2013.

From the beginning, strong academic programs in education, business, and the sciences prepared women for meaningful careers. Since men were admitted as full-time students in 2001, additional programs have been added in fields such as nursing, criminal justice, intelligence studies, graphic design, sports management, and health care administration.

Performing arts and athletics are integral to the unified academic and student life experience to educate for "personal, professional and global responsibility." Students participate in theater, vocal, and instrumental music, as well as 19 NCAA Division II sports and four varsity athletic teams.

With a student/faculty ratio of 12:1, Notre Dame College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, offering bachelor's degrees in 36 areas; associate of arts degrees in Liberal Studies and in Business Management; master’s degrees in Education, National Security and Intelligence Studies, Nursing Education, and Business Administration, as well as several licensure and certificate programs. Courses are taught on campus and online.

The College’s Center for Professional Development, established in 1994, provides resources for teachers on cooperative learning and teaching. In 2005 the Academic Support Center for Students with Learning Differences was established, renamed the Thrive Learning Center in 2021, to emphasize its student-centered purpose. From 1978 through 2010, the Weekend College offered four-year degrees to adult women; since 2010 The Finn Center for Online, Graduate & Professional Programs supports, coaches, and assists non-traditional-age students to pursue degree programs.

In 2021, Notre College had a total enrollment of 1,530 (1,350 undergraduate, 146 graduate and 68 in the Teacher Education Evening Licensure program) with 54 full-time faculty.

Updated by Joe Glass, Eileen Quinlan, and Patricia Harding
Last updated: 7/30/2022

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