Our History

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Dawn Career Institute is a private post-secondary institution of higher education serving Delaware, south-central Pennsylvania and northern Maryland. The institute offers both campus-based and online career-focused diploma programs, leading to professional certifications and licenses in a variety of healthcare and wellness fields.

DCI was established in 1976 as Dawn Aeronautics by Hollis C. and Mary-Fran Anglin, along with their 3 children, Cheryl Zapata, and Scott and Stuart Anglin. This family-owned and operated full-service aviation center provided aircraft sales, maintenance, charters and international flight training. In 1993 the aviation business was sold, and the school changed its focus to the health and wellness fields. The institute’s name was changed to Dawn Training Institute, and was located at 120 Old Churchman’s Road in New Castle, DE. The first program was Health Insurance Claims Examiner, followed by Medical Billing/Health Claim Specialist and Therapeutic Massage Practitioner in 1997, and Medical Administrative Specialist in 1999.

In 1995 the school moved to 2400 West Fourth Street in Wilmington, DE, where it remained until 2001. At that point the school moved once again to its current location at 3700 Lancaster Pike in Wilmington, DE. This 30,000 square foot facility offers classroom and lab space, a massage clinic, an active and dedicated fitness suite and New Beginnings Spa – a full service student day spa.  

Due to strong market demands, the allied health & wellness curriculum was expanded to include the Medical Assistant program in 2002, followed shortly by the Advanced Esthetician program in 2003 and the Dental Assistant program in 2007. In October 2009, Dawn Training Center became Dawn Career Institute, Inc. and online education was added to the successful campus-based program offerings, providing students with even greater flexibility to achieve their career goals. The distance education Medical Administrative Assistant and Medical Billing & Coding programs were added in in 2009, with a hybrid campus/online Medical Assistant program offered in 2013. The most recent program addition was the Heath Information Technician program which was approved in 2014. The HIT program was renamed as Medical Billing and Coding Specialist in December 2016. The family tradition continued with Cheryl’s two daughters, Jena and Jessica Zapata joining the family business in key leadership roles at DCI after 2012.

On November 4, 2015, Dawn Career Institute, LLC (d/b/a Dawn Career Institute) purchased the assets of Dawn Career Institute, Inc.
Dawn Career Institute, LLC is owned by Education Evolve, LLC.

DCI is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). It is approved by the State of Delaware Department of Education as a Private Business and Trade School and for Veteran’s (VA) training. The Institution is also approved by the U.S. Department of Education to administer Title IV Pell Grants, Direct Student Loans (DSL), and Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS).

DCI has grown significantly from its aviation beginning 40 years ago, and now serves a growing population of students across 6 diploma programs and 2 short-term certification programs. Dawn Career Institute remains committed to providing an environment that enables students to thrive in the pursuit of their personal and career goals, while meeting the employment needs of businesses in the tristate region.