Over 320 Medaille grad students transfer to Niagara University

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — 320 Medaille University graduate students displaced by the university’s impending closure have found their new school.

Niagara University announced Monday it has finalized a teach-out agreement with Medaille to enroll students in the shuttered university’s clinical mental health counseling program and the master’s in education program, with more than 320 students expected to continue their studies at Niagara this fall.

“Niagara University has exceptionally strong programs in education and counseling and, for the past two months, we have been working with administration and faculty at Medaille University, alongside the New York State Education Department and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, to support their students in completing their studies in these fields,” Dr. Tim Ireland, Niagara’s provost and vice president for academic affairs, said in a statement.

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Niagara University has also hired eight faculty members from Medaille, four each in the counseling and education programs. It will also hire “a number of adjunct faculty from the Medaille programs to add additional support during the transition,” the release read.

The teach out agreement stems from Medaille’s decision to close operations after Aug. 31 as announced in May following the collapse of an acquisition by Trocaire College. Medaille cited “financial instability, declining enrollment, outstanding liabilities, and other challenges that are impacting institutions of higher education across the region, state and nationally” as its reasons for its closure.

NYSED has approved the teach out agreement, which will see teacher education master’s candidates enter Niagara’s existing programs, with the mental health counseling students completing their program in an “accelerated, online model of instruction that was part of the Medaille program,” Niagara said.

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This summer, Niagara athletics took over Medaille’s women’s bowling team, along with enrolling several players and hiring its two coaches, Jeff Walsh and Peggy Kuhn.

The university said it is also enrolling former Medaille students in its other programs. All Medaille credits will be accepted and most financial aid packages from Medaille will be honored.

Medaille said in May that it reached teach out agreements with multiple other Western New York colleges and universities, including Daemen University, Canisius University and D’Youville University, among others.

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Justin McMullen is a Western New York native who joined the News 4 team in 2023. You can read more of his work here.

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