Independence University is closing

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Stephen Molchan, Aug 4, 2021.

  1. Stephen Molchan

    Stephen Molchan New Member

    Hi Everyone,

    I used to adjunct at Independence University and received notification they are laying off their employees and closing their doors due to accreditation issues. I found it interesting that they posted jobs on their LinkedIn page hiring adjuncts in the UK. When I taught at the school it was a mess.

    Their website does not indicate their closing but they sent an email out to employees and adjuncts laying them off and their are several news outlets reporting on this.
  2. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Wow, I wonder what that might mean for other schools in the same ownership group, like Stevens–Henager College.

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    I used to see their ads are all over social media, but I don't see it anymore. It seems Independence University shares the same building with Western Governors University. I am wondering if WGU are going to take IU's students to continue their studies.
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  4. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    If so that would be a very happy outcome for those students!
    Vonnegut likes this.
  5. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    You know why most restaurants fail? Because their founders like to cook food. But it's a lousy reason to go into the restaurant business. Probably 80% or more of your responsibilities will have nothing to do with cooking food. And if you don't take care of those things--running the business--it will fail.

    Same with education. Educators are not always the best administrators, and they're almost never the best business people.

    Look at the most successful for-profit schools in the US. How many were founded by business people? UoP, Capella, Trident, Grand Canyon (taken over by a businessperson), Northcentral, National. (Actually, National is not-for-profit, but it runs like a business.) I'm sure there are many more.
  6. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Like many ACCSC schools, they're far too expensive for what they offer. If I remember correctly, they used to have more of a focus on associate's programs, which put them in competition with much cheaper community colleges. ACCSC has a concern over student outcomes, which is to be expected from an ACCSC-accredited school that has veered away from primarily offering vocational programs. Informed students are not going to want an expensive bachelor's or master's degree with limited utility because of accreditation. That's why over 90% of Independence University students were low-income.

    Their graduation rates aren't horribly bad in comparison to similar schools, but graduates are not making enough to pay back their student loans.
  7. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Interesting. That makes me wonder what Art Keiser did before he and his mom started Keiser University. But that was in 1977 and he's still in charge there even now, so he must have been too young to have done much either way.

    There's a study to be done there.
    Rich Douglas likes this.
  8. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Carl Barney is a millionaire businessman and former scientologist. Ironically, he's a Libertarian who has criticized regulations of for-profit colleges, but he was found guilty of defrauding students and was fined $3 million. Obviously, he needs to be regulated.

    The CEO, Eric Juhlin, is also a businessman who has been running for-profit colleges since 1989. CEHE and Independence University are non-profit, though.
  9. Tireman 44444

    Tireman 44444 Well-Known Member

    Yep, they are closing...

    Independence University has had to make the very difficult decision to close its doors.

    Our deepest appreciation goes out to our externships sites, our business partners, and the education community that supported us over the years. We could not have accomplished our goal of improving lives through education without you.

    To our faculty, staff and CEHE family – thank you for your loyalty and your commitment to putting student success above all else.

    And to our thousands of students and graduates – you are the beacon of light that will change the world. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for letting us be part of your life’s journey. We wish you the best of luck in all you do.

    Independence University - An Accredited Online University
  10. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    When the best thing you can say about your school is that it is accredited/non-profit/online then I fail to see how you can compete in the current market.
    Dustin likes this.
  11. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    Wait.. are you sure National should be included in that list...
  12. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    Well if they didn't have regulations, he could have gone after more money... probably would have gotten away with it to, if it wasn't for those pesky kids....

  13. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Absolutely. Why not? I noted that they are not-for-profit, but otherwise they fit the example I gave. Founded by a manager at General Dynamics, run like a business, and it remains the second largest private university in California. (Which might change if the NU Consortium grows.)
  14. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    The only school I recognize on the Transfer list is Colorado Technical University (CTU).

    No teach out opportunities yet:

    South University - RA (SACS)
    Miami International University of Art & Design - RA (SACS)
    Atlantis University - NA (ACCSC)
    National American University - RA (HLC)
    Hilbert College - RA (MSCHE)
    Colorado Technical University, RA (HLC)
    Pima Medical Institute - something called the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES), NA I assume. They're on the CHEA list.
    Vista College - similar to Pima, their accreditor is the Council on Occupational Education
  15. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    Was thinking of a different institution, the one you’re referring to certainly belongs on that list.
  16. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    I don't know. How many? UoP was founded by a former tenured professor, and I believe Capella had a former university admin as a co-founder. Trident is the result of Touro College expansion extravaganza. Northcentral's founder was an entrepreneur, yes, but one who did teach at postsecondary level. Which leaves National, which is at least on paper a nonprofit.
    I see your point, kind of, and do not disagree, but this argument does not work as presented.
  17. Courcelles

    Courcelles Member

    Wait, so a NA school with accreditation issues closes, and students can transfer them to RA schools and continue. They might end up better off than the people that actually graduated from Independence.
    Vonnegut likes this.
  18. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    UoP was founded first as a business, providing coursework for a masters at San Jose State. When WASC gave SJSU a hard time about it, Sperling took his business to Arizona and created UoP.

    Capella was founded by Steve Shank--former CEO of Tonka. Yes, he hired academics. You're thinking of Bruce Francis, who certainly was the academic engine of the effort. But Bruce was not a "co-founder."

    Having experience teaching at the post-secondary level isn't the same as "not being a businessperson." I'm an example of that.

    I've already explained why I included National. The point wasn't for-profit vs. not-for-profit. The point was that many nontraditional universities who were successful were created by businesspeople, not academics.

    That goes for Trident, too. Touro rode along, allowing it to happen, but it was hardly a creation of Touro College. That was obviously so when the founders of Touro University International split off the school and made it Trident. (Touro did it again with a new TUI, unrelated to the first.)

    You have many of your facts wrong. I hope I've cleared it up.
  19. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    From Wikipedia (yes, I know (lol), but it's sourced):

    In 2020, Carl Barney was fined $3 million by the State of Colorado for defrauding students at CEHE schools.[6] Following the judgement, the U.S. Department of Education suspended CEHE President Eric Juhlin from "participating in contracts or other programs of the federal government." Shortly thereafter, IU's accreditor, the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, began the process of withdrawing the university accreditation. Pending any appeals or court orders to the contrary, the accreditor will withdraw its accreditation.[2] In July 2021, Independence University management announced that the school had been placed on Heightened Cash Monitoring2 and had not received any cash from the US Department of Education since May 2020. Management also told workers that most of them would be laid off in the next few months.

    Ah, so now it all makes sense.
  20. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    The regulations are there because the whole system is underpinned by Pell grants and federally guaranteed student loans. It's no surprise that sort of largesse would attract unsavory characters like this.

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