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The North Coast College joins growing list of Northeast Ohio schools going out of business

The North Coast College in Lakewood
Stephanie Czekalinski
Ideastream Public Media
The North Coast College in Lakewood. The private college, which has programs focused on fashion design, fashion marketing and graphic and interior design, says it's closing at the end of August after 58 years. It got its start as The Virginia Marti College Art and Design.

The North Coast College, a small private, for-profit college based in Lakewood formerly known as the Virginia Marti College of Fashion and Art, announced March 29 it would be closing its doors, joining a handful of other colleges across the region.

The college will be closing on Aug. 30, citing “shifts in educational landscapes and evolving community needs,” President Milan Milasinovic said in a message on the college's website.

"To our esteemed faculty, whose passion for teaching has inspired countless minds, and to our dedicated staff, who have tirelessly supported the day-to-day operations, I extend our heartfelt appreciation. Your commitment to nurturing a vibrant learning environment has been the cornerstone of our institution," he wrote. "To our students and alumni, we thank you for choosing The North Coast College as your academic home. Your contributions, achievements, and diverse perspectives have enriched our campus and community. We are immensely proud of the successes you have achieved during your time with us."

The college, started in 1966 by Cleveland-born fashion designer Virginia Marti, has programs in fashion design and fashion marketing, graphic design and interior design. The site in Lakewood is its third location. The college says on its website that its average enrollment is 150 to 200 students, but it only had 47 students enrolled as of fall 2021, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Milasinovic didn't respond to emailed questions about the number of students or staff affected by the move to close.

Colleges across the country are contending with continuing enrollment declines and rising costs, and smaller colleges especially, with thinner profit margins, are closing or considering merging with others.

Notre Dame College in South Euclid announced earlier this year it will be closing its doors. Meanwhile, Eastern Gateway Community College, with locations in Steubenville and Youngstown, is set to close by the end of May if it can’t find a last-minute solution to its financial troubles.

Updated: April 16, 2024 at 2:40 PM EDT
Conor Morris is the education reporter for Ideastream Public Media.