Ontario Education Officials Close 14 Everest Campuses Amid Corinthian Colleges’ Downfall

everestIf you thought the issues plaguing beleaguered for-profit college operator Corinthian Colleges Inc. didn’t extend beyond the borders of the United States, then you were wrong. Some 2,400 students in Canada are now left to pick up the pieces after the Ministry of Education in Ontario announced it would shut down CCI-operated Everest College campuses in the province.

The Toronto Star reports that all 14 Everest campuses will close immediately following a decision by an independent superintendent appointed under the country’s Private Career Colleges Act.

“I understand that the independent superintendent . . . made this difficult decision with the best interests of students in mind,” Training, Colleges and Universities Minister Reza Moridi tells the Star. “The interest of the students and of course the staff is of prime importance for us.”

Ministry officials have been dispatched to all 14 campus to ensure that the nearly 2,400 students enrolled at the college are taken care of.

The Star reports that under the Private Career Colleges Act of 2005 a $3 million liability fund has been set up to pay for training completion or refunds for Everest students enrolled in approved vocational programs.

“Taking action now will give students the choice to either access transitional funding to complete their training at another location, or apply for a refund,” Moridi said.

California-based CCI – which also operates Heald College and WyoTech – has been facing a prolonged downfall since agreeing last summer to sell or close a majority of its campuses in a deal with the U.S. Department of Education.

Just this week, the company was delisted from Nasdaq and the California Student Aid Commission announced it would halt grants to CCI students. Both moves came after the company failed to submit required financial statements to both the Securities and Exchange Commission and the student aid commission.

The company, which is at the center of numerous federal and state investigations and lawsuits regarding allegations of bogus job-placement statistics, grade manipulation, questionable marketing practices, recently completed a $24 million sale of 56 campuses to Education Credit Management Corporation.

All 14 Everest Colleges in Ontario shut down [The Toronto Star]

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