top of page

Schissler College of Business

Norristown, Pennsylvania

1888-1917 (?)


I obtained the 1900-1901 school catalog through Ebay, providing information on the curriculum.  Nancy Sullivan of the Historical Society of Montgomery County has an online history of the school with photographs.  Schissler advertised widely, so numerous ads—including the one from  Brandywine Archive (right)—are available.


In 1891 Aloysius J. Schissler moved his business school to Norristown.According to the catalog, the aim of the school was “to provide that thorough training of young men and women so necessary for a life work in the various lines of industry and business.” The catalog shows three courses of study.The commercial or bookkeeping course was for the training of accountants.But it included classes in arithmetic, spelling, commercial law, and business practices in various fields.The shorthand course of studies was for private secretaries, but included typing, correspondence, spelling, punctuation, grammar, letter writing, and penmanship.The combination course of studies included elements of both the other courses to prepare students for placement or advancement in jobs that required, for instance, a stenographer who also understood the company’s banking issues.

Schissler ad_edited.jpg

Schissler College of Business was one of the great success stories of the time.  From six students in 1888, enrollment reached 608 in 1899.  The 1900 graduation list reached 128.Enrollment success was attributed to four factors. First, the school boasted of a 90% placement rate for graduates.  Lists of placements appeared regularly in the 191 newspapers in which the school advertised.  Third, after the school incorporated in 1895, its board of directors and trustees included prominent community leaders from around the state, who referred students to Schissler.  By 1900, Schissler claimed 6,000 alumni.  An alumni association, formed in 1896, also helped guide students to Schissler.

Finally, early on Schissler adopted an Actual Business model of instruction, a model which dispensed with lectures and textbooks in favor of hands-on experiences with the operations of a business.


Except for its relationship with the Norristown YMCA, Schissler College provided no extracurricular activities for its students.


The 1916 Boyd’s City Directory for Norristown lists Schissler’s College of Business; that of 1918 does not.

bottom of page