The present-day College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions (ENHP) traces its roots to education programs offered through Hillyer College prior to the incorporation of the University of Hartford in 1957. In turn, Hillyer College looks back to a time in the late 1800s when courses were offered to young men in the newly built YMCA in downtown Hartford. It wasn't until Hillyer College, the Hartford Art School, and the Hartt School of Music came together to occupy new spaces at 200 Bloomfield Avenue in West Hartford that "education" became its own entity—first as a division within Hillyer College, then as the College of Education under the leadership of Irving S. Starr, its first dean.
Over the years, the name of the college changed along with the composition of its programs. The College of Education became the College of Education and Allied Health, which became the college we know today as the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions. Like the formation of the University of Hartford, present-day ENHP was born of the unification of various disciplines. In 1987, the programs offered through the College of Education and Allied Health combined with nursing and health science programs formerly housed in the College of Arts and Sciences to create the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions.
Starr was instrumental in the formation of the college and its academic programming. President Walter Harrison said that, as dean, Starr played a significant role in the growth and development of the University. "He helped define his college's and the University's commitment to the Hartford community by serving the professional needs of area teachers and developing new teachers to serve our future." Starr held the position of dean from 1957 to his retirement in 1982. Although no dean since has served for 25 years, all ENHP deans have provided leadership in rapidly changing times.
Since its formation as a college, ENHP has continually modified its programs to adapt to the needs of surrounding communities. The college now offers more than 20 nationally accredited programs leading to bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. Throughout the history of ENHP, and evident in the University's archives, is a recurring reference to "preparing professionals in the field of education” and later in human services, allied health, and nursing. Today, the college extends this theme by making explicit its commitment to community engagement and paving the way toward its promising future.