Excelsior University Unveils New Colleges, Streamlined Student Experience as Part of Ongoing University Growth

Changes Will Expand & Strengthen Academic Options, Broaden Faculty Input, Set the Stage for Future Partnerships, Programs

ALBANY, NY (April 19, 2023) — On the anniversary of its chartering, Excelsior University unveiled two new colleges as part of the institution’s continued adoption of the university designation and ongoing efforts to better serve students as their lifelong learning home.

President David Schejbal, PhD, called the creation of Excelsior’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences a defining moment for the university as it charts a path forward to expanded 21st Century learning opportunities and student services.

“Becoming Excelsior University last year was only the beginning of our transformation to reach more students, better meet their diverse needs, and set ourselves apart as one of the nation’s premier institutions of online higher education,” said David Schejbal, president of Excelsior University.

“Long before other institutions tried to go online, Excelsior was innovating and helping to build the original foundation of online education. We paired distance learning with serving adult students who bring varied levels of professional experience to the table,” the president continued. “Now, we are part of the movement to define academic quality and innovation in the growth sector of online education, so we can better serve our students while continuing to provide opportunities for our faculty and staff.”

Excelsior’s restructuring includes rethinking faculty roles to allow the university’s highly skilled and dedicated educators to better engage with students, provide more input on curriculum, and ultimately improve the student experience. Faculty members will have more time to focus on curricula and connect with students, and also to help students focus on learning and advise them on their degree pathway.

The goal is to grow enrollment of high-caliber students from across the nation and create more meaningful, accessible learning opportunities — including through new partnerships with existing institutions — that set them up for long-term success after graduation.

“Over more than 50 years, Excelsior has been a leader and innovator occupying a unique space in the higher education landscape. As we move forward and continue to gain momentum, we are leveraging new and emerging learning technologies to ensure we are providing an excellent education and the best possible support to meet the constantly changing needs of both students in alignment with their current and future employer’s needs,” said Chris Cassirer, provost and chief academic officer of Excelsior University. “With this new structure, we are poised for 50 more years of growth, not simply as a university, but as an education community at the nexus of innovation, excellence in teaching and learning, and professional preparation for our graduates. As we continue to advance our mission of student success, our graduates can rely on as lifelong learners no matter where they are in their academic and professional journey today and from for where they are going next.”

The restructuring is the result of a year-long planning process. New leadership positions, faculty positions, and staff roles have been created. We are continuing to build out the new structure in 2023. The new colleges officially launched on April 19 with a ribbon cutting at Excelsior. Most importantly, new learning and career opportunities are coming for students, with programs in development and partnerships in the works.

To provide a more holistic approach to supporting students, we have introduced a new model of advising in which academic advisors serve as student success coaches and a central point of contact. Our success coaches will be the central hub for all student needs — from course selection to financial planning to life coaching— making it easier to access support services and allowing students to better focus on learning, planning ahead and staying on track to achieving their academic and professional goals with Excelsior.

Longer term, college and university leaders are pursuing partnerships and other opportunities with institutions across the country that would unlock new online and site-based courses and experiences for students. Building both academic and career pathways for all students including those who are underserved are an essential part of our future success. The University is positioning itself to serve as a higher education network that offers both internally created and partner-driven learning opportunities that leverage new and emerging learning technologies not available at many traditional colleges and universities.

“Throughout our careers in higher education, my colleagues and I have worked to improve student engagement and adapt to meet learning needs and outcomes,” said Christine Thorpe, executive dean of Excelsior’s new College of Nursing and Health Sciences. “I am proud to be part of Excelsior’s transformation to better accomplish exactly that. The new College of Nursing and Health Sciences draws its strength from our history and community, and under this new structure, it will continue to grow and flourish. I am confident that students will have enhanced experiences that will have them ready to hit the ground running from day one in their new careers.”

“The world has changed, and higher education is changing with it. Excelsior values the experience our students bring to the classroom and teaches them the skills and competencies they need for the careers of today and the future,” said Scott Dolan, executive dean of Excelsior’s new College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “Excelsior is rethinking how we meet student needs at exactly the right time. I’m excited to be part of this transformation and to see how our students are going to flourish.”

For more than 50 years, Excelsior has contributed to the development of a diverse, educated and career-ready society by valuing lifelong learning with an emphasis on serving individuals historically underrepresented in higher education. Excelsior College officially became Excelsior University on August 1, 2022, providing a platform to continue to serve adult students in broader ways. Students and alumni benefit from the growing prestige of Excelsior University. This new structure offers yet another opportunity to connect, re-engage and grow the Excelsior community.

Excelsior serves more than 15,000 students nationwide, including 3,300 from New York state.


B-roll from Wednesday’s announcement of the new colleges and celebration of the university’s Charter Day is available for download.

Media Contact Excelsior University:

Erin Coufal, ecoufal@excelsior.edu, 518-608-8498


Excelsior University is an accredited, not-for-profit online institution focused on helping adults complete their degrees and advance their careers. Excelsior contributes to the development of a diverse, educated, and career-ready society by valuing lifelong learning with an emphasis on serving individuals historically underrepresented in higher education. Founded in 1971, Excelsior meets students where they are — academically and geographically — removing obstacles to the educational goals of adults pursuing continuing education and degree completion. Our pillars include innovation, flexibility, academic excellence, and integrity.