Hodges University

Coordinates: 26°16′33.1″N 81°44′18.3″W / 26.275861°N 81.738417°W / 26.275861; -81.738417
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Hodges University
Logo from 2007 to 2019
MottoStay Near. Go Far.
TypePrivate university
Established1990; 34 years ago (1990)
PresidentCharlene Wendel
ProvostDiana Schultz
Academic staff
101 total: 17 full-time, 84 adjunct faculty (2021)
4501 Colonial Blvd
, , ,

26°16′33.1″N 81°44′18.3″W / 26.275861°N 81.738417°W / 26.275861; -81.738417
Campus10 acres (0.04 km2)
ColoursNavy Blue and Coral Red

Hodges University is a private university in Fort Myers, Florida. Founded in 1990 in Naples as International College, it was renamed Hodges University in 2007 in recognition of a $12 million donation from local residents Earl and Thelma Hodges.[1] In August 2023, citing declining enrollment and ensuing financial challenges, Hodges University announced plans to close permanently by the end of August 2024.[2]


Hodges University was founded in Naples, Florida, in 1990 as International College with 85 students. It focused on providing education and training opportunities for adult learners. It began offering online degree programs in 1995.[2] International College achieved regional accreditation in 1998 and received the authority to offer master's degree programs in 1999.[3] In 2000, International College moved out of its original location, a rented storefront in East Naples, and constructed a new campus at 2655 Northbrooke Drive in Naples.[4] The college was renamed Hodges University on June 1, 2007, in recognition of a $12 million donation from Earl and Thelma Hodges, founders and owners of Hodges Funeral Home in Naples since 1964.[1][5][6]

Long-time Hodges faculty member Charlene Wendel became the university's president on July 6, 2023, after the board of trustees dismissed former president John Meyer.[2] Meyer, a former Florida Southwestern State College dean, had been appointed president on December 15, 2017. Past presidents were Donald Wortham, former vice president for strategic initiatives at the College of St. Scholastica, appointed in February 2016; David Borofsky, former president of Dakota State University, appointed in December 2014; Jeannette Brock, a long-time Hodges academic administrator appointed in July 2013; and Terry McMahan (1990–2013).[7]

Since 1990, Hodges University has conferred more than 14,000 degrees.[8] Enrollment declined from 2,800 students in 2013 to only 410 students in 2023, leading to serious operating deficits. The Naples campus closed in September 2021, with classes and operations consolidated to the Fort Myers campus.[1]

In December 2022, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges placed Hodges University on probation, "the most serious public sanction imposed by the SACSCOC Board of Trustees short of loss of accreditation." Hodges was continued in accreditation during probation.[9][10]

In August 2023, citing low enrollment and ensuing financial challenges as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and Hurricane Ian, Hodges University announced plans to close permanently by the end of August 2024. Hodges ceased accepting new degree-seeking students ahead of the fall 2023 semester. The majority of classes and degree offerings will cease at the end of April 2024. Hodges is working to develop teach-out partnerships and identify a permanent custodian for the university's academic records.[2][10]


As of May 2023, Hodges offers 11 associate degree programs, 14 bachelor's degree programs, 6 master's degree programs, and several certificate programs.[11] The university also facilitates a comprehensive English as a Second Language (ESL) program.[12]

In addition to in-person classes in Fort Myers, Hodges offers many courses online and in an accelerated 4-week format.[13] As of Fall 2021, 41% of undergraduate students and 92% of graduate students are enrolled only in distance education courses.[14]

Hodges University also operates the Frances Pew Hayes Center for Lifelong Learning, the Dr. Peter Thomas Veterans Services Center and Center for Diversity, Inclusion and Cultural Competency.[15]

The university is organized into five colleges with 17 full-time and 84 part-time faculty:[14]

  • Fisher School of Technology
  • Johnson School of Business
  • Nichols School of Professional Studies
  • School of Health Sciences
  • School of General Studies


Hodges University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees.[16] In December 2022, the accreditation agency placed Hodges University on probation, "the most serious public sanction imposed by the SACSCOC Board of Trustees short of loss of accreditation." The university remains accredited during the one-year probation period.[9]

Eight degree programs within the Johnson School of Business are accredited through the International Accreditation Council for Business Education. The Master of Science in clinical mental health counseling degree program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. The Associate in Science in physical therapist assistant (PTA) is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.


The Terry P. McMahan Library serves the Hodges University community. The library participated in the Federal Depository Library Program beginning in 2003 as one of two federal depository libraries in Southwest Florida.[17] As of 2023, Hodges University was no longer listed in the FDLD directory.[18]


Hodges was ranked #103-135 in Regional Universities South, and #133 in Top Performers on Social Mobility, by U.S. News & World Report in 2023.[19]

Hodges is federally recognized as a Hispanic-serving institution,[20] with 34% Hispanic student enrollment as of fall 2021.[14]


  • Enrollment: 551 (432 undergraduate) as of Fall 2021
  • Undergraduate full-time enrollment – 51%; Undergraduate part-time enrollment – 49%
  • Undergraduate student age: 23% 24 and under, 77% 25 and over
  • Gender: Female: 57%; male: 42%
  • Ethnicity: 34% Hispanic, 12% Black, 38% white[14]


  1. ^ a b c Aten, Tim (September 5, 2021). "Mason academy acquires building at Hodges University's Naples campus". Naples Florida Weekly. Retrieved January 30, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d Freeman, Liz (August 26, 2023). "Hodges University shutting down by August 2024; no degree seeking enrollment this fall". Naples Daily News. Archived from the original on August 26, 2023. Retrieved August 26, 2023.
  3. ^ "Hodges University Fact Book 2010-2011" (PDF). Hodges University. 2011. Archived (PDF) from the original on August 28, 2023. Retrieved August 28, 2023.
  4. ^ "Hodges University - what a difference 20 years makes". Naples Daily News. February 3, 2010. Retrieved August 28, 2023.
  5. ^ "Longtime Naples resident, philanthropist Earl Hodges dead at 86". Naples Daily News. October 19, 2013. Retrieved August 26, 2023.
  6. ^ "International College Receives $12 Million Gift, Changes Name". Philanthropy News. May 26, 2007. Retrieved August 28, 2023.
  7. ^ Bland, Thyrie (January 19, 2018). "Hodges University graduate named school's fourth president since 2013". The News-Press. Retrieved August 28, 2023.
  8. ^ 2015-2016 Fact Book.
  9. ^ a b "Disclosure Statement Regarding the Status of Hodges University" (PDF). Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. December 2022. Retrieved June 23, 2023.
  10. ^ a b Lederman, Doug (August 25, 2023). "Another Small College, Hodges University, Will Close". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved August 27, 2023.
  11. ^ "Training You Want - Certificate Programs | Hodges University". www.hodges.edu. Retrieved May 12, 2023.
  12. ^ "Teaching English Classes Online | Fort Myers, FL". www.Hodges.edu.
  13. ^ "Search Our Degrees and Programs » Hodges U". www.hodges.edu. Retrieved May 12, 2023.
  14. ^ a b c d "College Navigator: Hodges University". National Center for Education Statistics. Fall 2021. Retrieved June 23, 2023.
  15. ^ "Center & Institutes".
  16. ^ "About Hodges".
  17. ^ "Terry P. McMahan Library".
  18. ^ "FDLD Directory". U.S. Government Publishing Office. Retrieved July 13, 2023.
  19. ^ "U.S. News & World Report Best College rankings Hodges University". U.S. News & World Report. September 12, 2022. Retrieved August 22, 2023.
  20. ^ "Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs)". National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Archived from the original on August 28, 2023. Retrieved August 28, 2023.

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