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Amid outcry, California Community Colleges system ends transfer deal with for-profit group

Amid outcry, California Community Colleges system ends transfer deal with for-profit group

Higher Ed Dive

Natalie Schwartz
January 25, 2022
Dive Brief: 
  • California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley announced Monday that the 116-college system has canceled a transfer agreement with a for-profit group after the deal drew criticism from state lawmakers and advocacy organizations.
  • Oakley ended a memorandum of understanding announced in October between California Community Colleges and American Public University System, a West Virginia-based for-profit group that runs American Public University and American Military University. The agreement enabled graduates of the community college system’s transfer degree program to enroll as juniors, without losing credits, in the for-profits’ bachelor’s programs.
  • Lawmakers and policy organizations urged the system to terminate the deal because the for-profit group isn’t subject to California law governing private colleges and also has been previously accused of misleading students.
Dive Insight: 
Oakley nixed the deal at a time when for-profit institutions have been increasingly under the microscope. The Biden administration has pledged to crack down on the sector. And the U.S. Department of Education is crafting several regulations that could heavily impact for-profit colleges, including how they recruit students and which of their programs are eligible for federal funding.
American Public University System confirmed the transfer agreement had ended.
“While APUS was in full compliance with the MOU, we respect the Chancellor’s decision. Though disappointing, cancellation of the MOU will not affect CCC students who have transferred to APUS, and we will continue to serve them and all of our students,” it said in a statement.
Between 300 and 400 California Community College students transfer each year to American Public University System, said community college system spokesperson Paul Feist. It was the only for-profit college that had a memorandum of understanding with the community college system, though individual colleges may have local agreements with for-profits, Feist said.
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