- California Group Schools Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley introduced Monday that the 116-college system has canceled a switch settlement with a for-profit group after the deal drew criticism from state lawmakers and advocacy organizations.
- Oakley ended a memorandum of understanding introduced in October between California Group Schools and American Public College System, a West Virginia-based for-profit group that runs American Public College and American Army College. The settlement enabled graduates of the neighborhood faculty system’s switch diploma program to enroll as juniors, with out dropping credit, within the for-profits’ bachelor’s packages.
- Lawmakers and coverage organizations urged the system to terminate the deal as a result of the for-profit group is not topic to California regulation governing personal schools and likewise has been beforehand accused of deceptive college students.
Oakley nixed the deal at a time when for-profit establishments have been more and more underneath the microscope. The Biden administration has pledged to crack down on the sector. And the U.S. Division of Training is crafting a number of rules that would closely affect for-profit schools, together with how they recruit college students and which of their packages are eligible for federal funding.
American Public College System confirmed the switch settlement had ended.
“Whereas APUS was in full compliance with the MOU, we respect the Chancellor’s choice. Although disappointing, cancellation of the MOU won’t have an effect on CCC college students who’ve transferred to APUS, and we’ll proceed to serve them and all of our college students,” it stated in a press release.
Between 300 and 400 California Group School college students switch every year to American Public College System, stated neighborhood faculty system spokesperson Paul Feist. It was the one for-profit faculty that had a memorandum of understanding with the neighborhood faculty system, although particular person schools could have native agreements with for-profits, Feist stated.
The deal induced angst amongst lawmakers and advocacy teams. 9 Democratic California state legislators wrote the neighborhood faculty system’s governing board in January, urging it to terminate its settlement with the for-profit group.
They identified that American Public College System has not been authorized by California’s Bureau for Personal Postsecondary Training, a state company that displays and regulates personal schools.
Because of this, the lawmakers stated, American Public College System just isn’t required to comply with a lot of California’s legal guidelines governing personal schools within the state. “These legal guidelines set up safeguards round college closures and shield California residents from false promoting and inappropriate recruiting practices, amongst different issues,” they wrote.
American Public College System has a historical past of poor pupil outcomes. Of some 53,000 college students who transferred into the online-only faculty, solely 22% graduated after eight years, based on federal information. Thirty-five p.c withdrew, and an equal share transferred. The remaining 8 p.c had been nonetheless enrolled.
Different teams pointed to previous allegations that American Public College System misled college students. In 2018, Massachusetts’ legal professional common reached a settlement with the for-profit group over allegations that it violated state regulation by not disclosing its job placement, mortgage compensation and commencement charges to potential college students earlier than they enrolled.
The legal professional common additionally alleged the system had used high-pressure enrollment techniques, similar to excessively calling potential admits, and that American Army College used branding suggesting it’s affiliated with the U.S. army regardless that it’s not.
13 coverage, veterans’ and client teams cited that settlement in a January letter to Oakley urging him to terminate the switch settlement.
“We’re happy the Chancellor was aware of our letter,” Carrie Wofford, president of Veterans Training Success, stated in a press release Monday. “We want that extra public universities would look at their relationships with for-profit schools that defraud pupil veterans.”
California Group Schools is contemplating modifications to the way it approaches switch agreements. A proposed modification would require the system’s chancellor to contemplate a number of metrics earlier than getting into switch agreements, together with an establishment’s tax standing, complaints and sanctions, and pupil outcomes. It will additionally require board approval for switch agreements with for-profit establishments and restrict these offers to 3 years.
Feist stated the board will think about the proposal at its subsequent assembly in March.