SALEM — Plummeting enrollment and a move toward providing more online programs prompted Mount Washington College to announce it will close its campus on Manor Parkway.
The school, formerly known as Hesser College, also will shutter its Nashua campus, spokesman Stephen White said yesterday.
Fifty employees at the two campuses are being laid off and some programs will be discontinued, he said.
The 50 employees represent cuts made across the board, from administrative staff to instructors, he said. The school employs approximately 300 people.
The move affects 200 students at the Salem campus and 340 at the Nashua campus — half of Mount Washington’s total enrollment, White said. The school began notifying them Wednesday, he said.
“All students will be taking their classes at the main campus in Manchester as of Sept. 9,” White said.
Sept. 9 is the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year. He said approximately 70 percent of the students should be able to complete their studies by the end of the year.
“Most students should be able to finish what they started in the next couple of weeks or months,” he said.
Mount Washington has operated its Salem campus since 2004. The school offers a wide variety of associate and bachelor degree programs.
The closures come nearly a year after Mount Washington announced it would close its Portsmouth and Concord campuses in December 2013.
Forty-five employees lost their jobs then. It came only a month after Hesser, founded in 1900, announced it would be changing its name to appeal to a broader spectrum of students.
But with the latest announcement, what were once five campuses have been reduced to one. The school has been calling students and sending letters to inform them of the news, White said.
“We are doing everything we can to notify the students and to work with them,” he said.
A 30 percent drop in enrollment in the last few years and the growing popularity of people taking courses online led to the decision, White said.