Nicaragua’s Ave Maria becomes Keiser University

Keiser University, a U.S. non-profit educational institution serving 18,000 students on 15 Florida campuses, at overseas facilities, and online, will be assuming operational and educational control of Nicaragua’s Ave Maria University as of July 1.

In what university officials are calling a “seamless transition,” Keiser University says it will continue to build upon Ave Maria’s “solid tradition of serving students, maintaining and attracting accomplished faculty from all over the world, and its commitment to leading as an economic driver for the city of San Marcos and the country of Nicaragua,” according to a statement from the chancellor’s office.

Keiser University’s Chancellor, Dr. Arthur Keiser, said the acquisition of Ave Maria is part of his school’s “ongoing mission to serve students and communities internationally, globalize the learning environment, and to continue bringing access to American education beyond our borders.”

The evolution of Ave Maria

He said Keiser University is committed to honoring the programmatic, employment, and educational commitments currently in place with Ave Maria University, which has now changed hands twice in 14 years. The Nicaraguan school, which roots its academic programs and campus life in the “rich tradition of the Catholic faith,” was originally administered by the University of Mobile (Alabama) before becoming a branch campus of Ave Maria University in Florida in 2007.

The most recent administrative change will not affect the current management of the university, Keiser officials say. The San Marcos campus will remain under the direction of Provost Mathew Anderson and its educational programs and services will continue to be provided by the current faculty and staff, according to a statement from the chancellor. The Ft. Lauderdale-based school says it plans to add new degree programs and services at the Nicaraguan campus to respond to the economic needs of the country.

“Ave Maria University is a respected university and we plan to build on that tradition and generate future opportunities for students, faculty, the city and the country, while honoring the educational and spiritual traditions that the community has come to rely upon from this fine campus,” Keiser said.

The university says Keiser students “graduate in high-demand fields including healthcare, business administration, social sciences, and information technology which are vital in providing the talented workforce necessary for Florida to compete globally.”

Both Ave Maria and Keiser are regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), one of six regional accreditation agencies recognized by the U.S. government.

Keiser University’s global education reach includes a cooperative agreement in the Eastern European nation of Moldova, learning and language centers in South Korea and Taiwan, and an off-site branch campus in Shanghai, China. The establishment of an additional Keiser University location in Nicaragua is subject to approval by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

  • martin nelson

    Ave Marie (now Keiser) had a wonderful English Language School in San Marcos. But if students want to transfer credit earned there to other than colleges accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in The U.S. they may find it difficult. I’m told that California, for example, does not acknowledge SACS accreditation.

    • yamileth

      The accreditation is very good is the same one from F.I.U and UM so it shouldn’t be a problem to transfer credits

  • Concerned

    Martin Nelson is flat wrong. SACS is one of 6 regional accrediting agencies in the USA and is the gold standard for any college or university in Texas, Florida, Virginia, or any other southern state in the USA. Regional accreditation is what all non-profit institutions (just about any traditional or normal college or university you can think of) seek and recognize, and oddly enough National accreditation is considered subpar and is largely how for-profit colleges get accreditation (according to wikipedia: “Regionally accredited higher education institutions are predominantly academically oriented, non-profit institutions. Nationally accredited schools are predominantly for-profit and offer vocational, career or technical programs”). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Association_of_Colleges_and_Schools and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regional_accreditation