The collapse of two national for-profit college companies has put students at six campuses in Missouri facing some uncertainty. But those two companies are more the exception than the rule.
Corinthian Colleges, which has campuses in Earth City, Springfield, and Kansas City is closing or selling its 97 campuses nationwide after a federal investigation questioned school enrollment and employment claims. Anthem Education, which has campuses in Maryland Heights, Fenton, and Kansas City has major financial problems and is cutting back.
The state Higher Education Department classifies school such as those as proprietary schools and regulates them. Deputy Commissioner Leroy Wade says some schools are better than others–as regular state and private schools vary in quality. But he says they provide a good fit for some students.
“The programs are structured differently; they’re not necessarily on a semester basis…so often they can complete a degree program or a certificate program in a shorter period of time than they would if they attended a school that offers programs in a more traditional format,” he says.
The schools also vary from those with a few students learning how to shoe horses to those granting doctorates. Wade says the department has the power to suspend licenses, put schools on probation, or even shut them down, although that’s a rare step.
The department website has a series of questions for potential students to ask before they invest in an education at a proprietary school.