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Arcadia University


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Founded in 1853, Arcadia University is Philadelphia's global university and a pioneer in international education. It is a top-ranked private university offering bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. In addition to six colleges and schools in the United States, we have ten centers and offices worldwide. Every year, our faculty and staff enrich our 4,000 current students, 3,000 studies abroad participants, and more than 26,000 alumni. Arcadia University provides a distinctively global, integrative, and personal learning experience for intellectually curious undergraduate and graduate students in preparation for a life of scholarship, service, and professional contribution.
Building upon its legacy of distinction in global education, Arcadia University will be a vibrant and supportive community of diverse scholars and learners renowned for its high-quality faculty, staff, and students. They are acclaimed for its student-centered focus and valued for making a difference in the lives of its graduates. Every Arcadia student gets numerous opportunities to integrate classroom learning with real-world issues. Connecting liberal arts learning and theory with professional skills and abilities prepares Arcadia graduates to contribute and prosper in a diverse and dynamic world. Artists produce paintings, sculptures, and designs to exhibit in the Gallery. Communications students get internships at local papers and in foreign countries. Business majors compete with simulated corporations. Psychology majors learn about evidence-based research. Education students practice new techniques during student teaching.
Generation after generation of Arcadia alumni tell the same story—the personal attention they received from a professor or staff member who inspired them helped them guide them. It is the hallmark of an Arcadia education. Faculty and staff get to know students and work with them to achieve their educational goals. Students benefit from strong mentorships that foster advanced learning and development. Involvement in campus life broadens each student's circle of experiences. Dozens of clubs, an array of cultural and arts events, a multicultural menu of social, cultural, and religious activities, residence hall activities, and intercollegiate and intramural sports provide opportunities for involvement and leadership.
Global engagement at Arcadia University prepares students for the lives of informed contributions in a rapidly changing global society. Through strategic institutional partnerships and innovative academic, experiential, and co-curricular programming expressed in diverse and challenging global contexts, students learn to think critically, observe skillfully, reflect thoughtfully, and participate meaningfully.
Whether a field study course or a semester study abroad, Arcadia is renowned for our quality academic programs. Each year, we provide opportunities for thousands of U.S. students, faculty, and staff to gain a global perspective. Every semester we welcome international scholars, faculty, staff, alumni, and students to integrate a global awareness throughout our academic curriculum and research and contribute to local and international community-based learning. Experiential. Personalized. Global. These are the cornerstones of Arcadia University's promise and approach to liberal arts education. At the heart of everything we do is a commitment to preparing Arcadia graduates to contribute and prosper in a diverse and dynamic world.
Two centuries ago, little else traveled through the wilderness of westernmost Pennsylvania except for Ohio and the Beaver Rivers. At their confluence, the French established a trading post. Here members of Delaware, the Shawnee, and the Iroquois tribes would gather to barter and exchange goods with the European traders.
The rivers were essential for travel, for sustenance, and military defense. During the American Revolutionary War, General McIntosh of Washington's Colonial Army built a fort at this place where the Beaver River flowed into Ohio. However, as the war ended, time passed, and the population expanded, McIntosh's fort became a town: Beaver, Pa. The land was bountiful, but the citizens still hungered for knowledge. In 1853, an intellectual outpost was born—a school to teach such liberal arts as ancient history, rhetoric, logic, analogy.
This school on the Beaver and Ohio Rivers attained collegiate status in 1872 and was named Beaver College. Nonetheless, times change, towns change, even colleges change. In 1925 Beaver College moved east to Jenkintown, Pa., where it attracted more students.
This location afforded more extensive facilities, an adequate campus, and more significant development opportunities. The change resulted in such an increase in enrollment that the Board of Trustees found it desirable to impose limitations on the annual enrollment to maintain the advantages of a small college.
It soon became apparent that additional property would be needed to provide for the expansion of the College. In the autumn of 1928, the Trustees were fortunate in securing a nearby estate located in Glenside, Pa., and known as Grey Towers. With its spacious grounds and stone buildings, it provides a campus of great dignity and beauty. The College operated both the Jenkintown and Glenside campuses into the mid-1960s, when it consolidated all activities onto the Grey Towers property, in Glenside, a suburb of metropolitan Philadelphia.
Initially, under the auspices of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Arcadia University once maintained a historical relationship with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) but is independently controlled and ecumenical in spirit. In the summer of the year 2000, the Board of Trustees approved a historic decision to change the school's name and status to Arcadia University.
Arcadia University has grown significantly from a small undergraduate, liberal arts college serving a traditional-age student body, to a comprehensive university serving more than 4,000 students in bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs. The university also operates one of the most extensive study abroad programs in the United States.

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