Emails Show How Brown Mackie College Is Giving Students & Employees Bad News About School Phase-Outs

Earlier today, we reported that the country’s second largest for-profit educator, Education Management Corporation will stop enrolling students at most of its Brown Mackie locations while “teaching out” the students that remain. Now, we have documents showing how the school is notifying both students and employees of the grim news.

A source close to the matter provided Consumerist with copies of emails sent to students and employees, as well as a transcript employees were directed to read to prospective students.

There are currently 25 Brown Mackie College locations in 15 states. As of 2013, the school enrolled approximately 17,000 students. The school has confirmed to Consumerist that all but a few of its existing locations have ceased enrolling new students.

In an email to students, the schools reveal that the teach-out process — meaning the process by which current students will continue to attend classes but no new students will be brought in — is likely to take two years to complete. However, there is no additional information on where students may be able to transfer to finish their studies.

While these documents are specific to one Brown Mackie College location, the source tells Consumerist that this information has been provided to the other teach-out campuses.

Here’s the full email (see image at left) that Brown Mackie is sending students:

“Dear Student:
I am writing to share the news that, after careful consideration, Brown Mackie College… will stop enrolling new students into its programs today and teach-out current programs.

We recognize that there is an ongoing commitment to students currently enrolled at the affected campuses. Our school is not immediately closing. We will work with you to determine your best path forward, whether you wish to stay and graduate or transfer to another school offering the same programs. We will also work with other educational institutions to put articulation agreements in place so that students have as many choices as possible regarding their education. We anticipate that the process will take approximately two years, depending on the location.

“Our regulators and accrediting bodies have been informed of our decision to cease enrolling new students and we will continue to work with them through this transition. Brown Mackie College… is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. We will continue to work with HLC to ensure compliance with all applicable standards for accreditation.

“I want to be sure that all of your questions about this are answered. We will be holding open meetings by program tomorrow from 9-11 and next week and want to encourage you to attend. In addition, over the course of the next two weeks, we will be meeting with you to review your academic plan. In the interim, I invite you to stop by with any questions you may have.”

Separately, the company has issued a script (see image at right) that employees are to read to potential students inquiring about enrolling in programs.

The script is meant for receptionists, web chatters, and call centers.

“Thank you for calling Brown Mackie College… At this time, the [Brown Mackie] location is no longer enrolling new students into its programs.”

As for employees, workers were informed that the company had made “the difficult decision to no longer accept new enrollments,” noting that it will host a meeting tomorrow to address worker concerns.

Here’s the full transcript of the email (see image at left) to employees:

“Dear Employee,

“A short-time ago, I held an all-employee meeting on campus to discuss some important news about Brown Mackie College… For those of you who were unable to attend, I would like to provide you with an update of what was discussed and ask that you please join us on campus tomorrow to discuss further.

“We have made the difficult decision to no longer accept new enrollments… Our location is not immediately shutting down. We are doing the very best we can for students and employees. We will work with each student individually to determine the best path forward, whether they wish to stay and graduate or transfer to another school offering the same programs. We believe this process may take approximately two years.

“I want to explain the decision, discuss how it impacts you, and answer your questions as soon as possible…

“I also want you to know that this has been a very difficult decision and it in no way reflects the quality of the work that you and your fellow employees do on behalf of our students.”

[This story has been updated to reflect confirmation from Brown Mackie that some locations are continuing to enroll students.]

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