Delaware Valley College is an independent, comprehensive, four-year residential institution in New Britain, PA. It enrolls approximately 2000 full-time undergraduates studying 25 majors. The campus sits on 574 acres in Bucks County, PA, between Philadelphia and New York. The entire campus has been designated an arboretum because of its landscaping and wide variety of plant types.
In 2011, the college dedicated its new 398-acre Gemmill Campus in Jamison, PA, after a gift from the Gemmill family of land and money in order to further the college's strategic plan, which involves moving to become a university in 2014. Structural changes, such as dividing the college into four distinct schools, are in preparation for this change. Besides the school of Agriculture and Environmental Science, the college has the School of Life and Physical Science, the School of Business and Humanities, and the School of Graduate, Continuing, and Entrepreneurial studies. Within Business and Humanities may be found a variety of majors, including Business, Secondary Education, Counseling Psychology, Criminal Justice, and English/Media.
Besides graduate programs in Educational Leadership and the MBA, DelVal has recently approved masters' programs in Counseling Psychology and Policy Studies (to begin over the next year or so).
Roughly 98 percent of full-time undergraduates receive financial aid from an annual pool of $20 million.
DelVal, as it is commonly called, had a for-credit employment program that required students to work 500 hours in an area of their major; however, this program is now evolving into a more comprehensive Experiential Learning Program (ExPL). The program is part of the college’s legacy of linking theoretical learning with practical training. At DelVal, students learn by doing. Each department at the college is incorporating ExPL into its curriculum.
Many graduates of Delaware Valley College take positions with the pharmaceutical and food industries, work in government or business, go on to become veterinarians or start their own companies.
In 1896, Dr. Joseph Krauskopf, an activist rabbi who was a tireless advocate for social justice, purchased a 100-acre farm in Doylestown, Pa., arranged for the construction of a small classroom building, employed a faculty of two and enrolled six students. With this modest start, the National Farm School came into being and provided a three-year program combining academics and work experience.
The impetus for the National Farm School’s founding came from Russia. Two years earlier, Krauskopf traveled there in hopes of a personal appeal to the Czar to allow Jews the right to own land and the opportunity to pursue agriculture, the calling of their ancestors. The Czar would not see him; instead Krauskopf spent time with Leo Tolstoy who advised him to return to America and “lead the tens of thousands from your congested cities to your idle, fertile lands…”
In 1948, after approval from the State Council of Education, the College name was changed to the National Agricultural College; and in 1960, to reflect the additions of new programs it became Delaware Valley College of Science and Agriculture. In 1969, the College became co-ed.
Although the school was founded primarily with the needs of young Jewish men in mind, Krauskopf insisted the school be open to boys of all faiths and backgrounds. Academics were combined with work experience, and the students helped run the farm and grow their own food. Krauskopf’s motto was “science with practice.” This marriage of the theoretical and the practical survives today at DelVal in the form of internships, study abroad, and other experiential learning opportunities.
In 1945, the school was reorganized to strengthen its academic programs. It went through a series of name changes as it grew in stature and sophistication. Beginning in the post-war years, Dr. James Work ’13, guided the school and added new programs, including food industry, biology, chemistry, and business administration. In 1948, after approval from the State Council of Education, the College name was changed to the National Agricultural College; and in 1960, to reflect the additions of new programs it became Delaware Valley College of Science and Agriculture. In 1969, the College became co-ed.
The College has continued to enhance its program offerings, with additions including a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English, and the Bachelor of Science degrees in criminal justice administration and secondary education. In 1989, the Board of Trustees approved an abbreviation of the College’s name to Delaware Valley College.
The school currently enrolls about 1700 full-time undergraduates and more than 300 part-time students in the college's evening college, weekend college, and graduate programs.
There are over 60 clubs and organizations at the college. Over half of the campus participates in at least one. Among the choices are a literary magazine, the campus newspaper, a jazz band, student government, an equestrian team and fraternities or sororities. Many clubs are related to academic majors. There is the Food Industry Club, the Future Environmental Designers Club and the Horticulture Society and a chapter of SIFE – Students In Free Enterprise, a global, non-profit organization that develops leadership, teamwork and communication skills through inter-collegiate competition.
The college has a Rescue University, a group that helps homeless animals and the shelters that serve them. There also is Project EARTH, an environmental awareness club; and Students for Diversity, a club that promotes acceptance, understanding and acknowledgement of diversity.
A three-day event planned and run entirely by students called A-Day, (Originally "Agricultural Day"), is run in the spring. It is a sanctioned state fair that includes booths, exhibits, food, rides, music and educational displays. People attend from the surrounding communities. It was originally used as a method for students to display their academic achievements to parents, relatives, potential employers and prospective students.
Over 40 percent of our undergraduates participate in sports and bring a lively, competitive spirit to campus.
The College fields 17 men and women’s teams in Division III of the NCAA. DelVal is affiliated with the Eastern College Athletic Conference and competes in the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC). Student-athletes compete in Division III and have the option of competing in more than one sport.
DelVal has a year-round program of intramural sports including oflag football, basketball and softball, one-day tournaments, a 100-miles run club, horseshoes and dodge ball.
The school is a member of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA), where members can compete in both Hunt Seat and Western shows. In addition, dressage riders can compete in Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) shows. The school is also home to a vaulting team.