American College Dublin, a constituent college of Irish American University, is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and is licensed as an institution of higher education in the Republic of Ireland and the State of Delaware. Located on Merrion Square, in the heart of Ireland’s capital city, American College Dublin offers an outstanding post-secondary education at the bachelor’s and master’s levels in liberal arts, performing arts, creative writing, international business, accounting and finance, hospitality management and event management. Established as a not-for-profit educational trust in 1993 by Lynn University (located in Boca Raton, Florida), the College has grown from a study abroad campus for American students to a global institution with thirty-five nationalities among its student body. ACD has a sister campus in Lewes, Delaware, named American College Delaware, through which it offers shared programmes and transfer opportunities between Ireland and the USA.
American College Dublin takes the time-honoured American tradition of the moderately-sized, not-for-profit liberal arts institution and places it in an international context, with campuses on both sides of the Atlantic rim. The institution seeks to offer the best characteristics of Irish and American higher education in an intimate environment underpinned by the holistic liberal arts model of learning, enabling students to realize their potential and participate successfully in the world. The College provides an education that is rigorous, stimulating and valuable, emphasizing the core values of academic excellence, innovation, ethical integrity and multiculturalism. Class sizes are small (generally no more than twenty students to a class) and the teacher engages the student in an educational experience that is active, participative and challenging. Many of the programmes of study have an internship component, which allows students to apply their classroom learning in relevant industry environments and provides them with practical experience related to their field of study. A high proportion of the College’s students progress to further studies at the postgraduate level.
Above all, American College Dublin strives to instil a passion for education that advances the development of the individual’s talents and a process of lifelong learning.
American College Dublin, accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, was founded as a not-for-profit independent educational trust in May 1993 by Lynn University, a liberal arts institution located in Boca Raton, Florida. The College admitted its first liberal arts and business degree students in September 1993 and graduated its first class in 1996. The first graduation ceremony’s keynote speaker was Jean Kennedy Smith, American ambassador to Ireland and sister of former President John F. Kennedy, beginning a tradition of distinguished keynote speakers at the College commencements that would subsequently include Nobel Peace Prize recipients John Hume and Senator George Mitchell, former Attorney General and Goldman Sachs Chairman Peter Sutherland, former President of the European Parliament Pat Cox, Fianna Fail leader Micheál Martin, former Tánaiste Mary Harney and the sister of the former US Vice President Joe Biden, Valerie Biden Owens. The development of the College’s Dublin campus continued apace through the 1990s; in 2002 the institution expanded its operations with the establishment of a sister campus in Delaware, which became known as American College Delaware.
A constituent college of Irish American University, the institution is approved by the Department of Education of the State of Delaware and is accredited by the regional accrediting agency for the state, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). Responsible for higher education accreditation in the states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington, DC, and Delaware. American College Dublin also offers some programmes accredited by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), including baccalaureate programmes in liberal arts, international business and accounting and finance, and a master’s programme in international business.
In the years since its foundation, American College Dublin has consolidated its position as a high-quality liberal arts institution. Student numbers have increased from a handful to the hundreds, with alumni numbering in the thousands since the first graduation ceremony. Physically, the College has grown from a single house on Merrion Square to one which occupies three adjacent properties, two to either side of the original site. The support facilities have expanded to include an enlarged library, computer laboratories, student dining and recreation facilities. Yet, amid the changes, some things have remained constant. The College retains its commitment to delivering a postsecondary education that adheres to the best traditions of the American liberal arts model; one that is stimulating, challenging, interesting and useful. It remains committed to teaching in small classes (generally no more than thirty students); to teaching which is responsive to the needs of students of varying abilities and backgrounds; and to teaching which actively involves the student in the learning and assessment processes. It continues to encourage and project an international outlook, through its student recruitment (60% of the total student body comes from outside the Republic of Ireland), through the content of many of its courses and its fostering of links with the international community in Ireland. Finally, the College continues to promote its American connection, most obviously through its name, but in substance also: through its grounding in the liberal arts, its accreditation with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, its historical links with Lynn University, its sister campus in Lewes, Delaware, its US study abroad programme and its active recruitment of American students for four-year baccalaureate and master’s programmes of study.
“American College Dublin seeks to offer the best characteristics of Irish and American higher education in an intimate environment underpinned by the holistic liberal arts model of learning, enabling domestic and international students to realize their potential and participate successfully in the world.”
American College Dublin will provide a high-quality undergraduate and postgraduate education: one that is rigorous, stimulating and valuable. The institution will emphasize the core values of academic excellence, innovation, ethical integrity and multiculturalism. The institutional ethos and programmes of study will inculcate and reflect the best of the Irish and American higher education traditions, engaging the student in an educational experience that is active, participative and challenging. American College Dublin will uphold the highest standards of ethical conduct in all its activities, including support for academic freedom, appropriate disclosure of information to the institution’s stakeholders, equality of access and opportunity. The College will aim to instil a passion for education that advances the development of the individual’s talents and a process of lifelong learning.
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