DePaul's Naperville campus to close next summer
DePaul University will close its 20-year-old Naperville campus next summer because of declining enrollment.
At its peak in fall 1999, the Catholic university's satellite location at 150 W. Warrenville Road taught students taking more than 24,600 credit hours. But by last fall, that total had dropped to 700 credit hours.
Provost Marten denBoer said in an email to faculty that DePaul will not renew its lease for shared space along the I-88 corridor and that classes won't be scheduled there after the spring 2017 quarter, which ends in June. The location will officially close in August 2017.
The university opened the 63,000-square-foot Naperville location in October 1997 to make education access easier for working adults in the Western suburbs who want to complete a degree. The campus lists offerings include seven bachelor's degree programs, two master's degree programs, and professional education or certifications in paralegal studies, financial planning, purchasing, project management and business analysis.
DePaul also offers many of those courses online. In fall 2015, students took 28,655 credit hours online, accounting for 10 percent of all credit hours taken that quarter, spokeswoman Carol Hughes said. To reach that level, online enrollment increased 49 percent between 2011 and 2015.
"The increase in our online course and program offerings since 2007 has coincided with steady enrollment declines at our suburban locations," denBoer said in the statement sent to faculty. "In short, one form of making an education easily accessible has supplanted another."
DePaul's other suburban location, the O'Hare center, will remain open.
Across all of its campuses, DePaul has 24,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students.