Following a crackdown by the American government on its U.S.-based parent company, Corinthian Colleges, Everest College's Sudbury campus is up for sale, along with the company's 13 other Ontario locations.
The local campus — located in the Rainbow Centre Mall — has 200 students and 35 staff members, and offers 12 different courses, including personal support worker, massage therapy and law enforcement foundations, to name a few.
Corinthian is also selling 85 of its schools across the U.S., and another 12 will close for good, as the company doesn't believe it can sell them.
Over the last year, the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and attorneys general in more than a dozen states have been investigating whether Corinthian falsified job placement rates and student attendance records, according to the LA Times.
Corinthian spokesperson Kent Jenkins Jr., however, told Northern Life there's been “no formal allegations of wrongdoing” related to the company.
In January, the U.S. Department of Education launched an inquiry, asking Corinthian to produce documents related to attendance, grades and job placement rates for 175,000 graduates, said Jenkins.
Although much of the information had been handed over by June, that wasn't good enough for the Department of Education, which had originally wanted the information in just 30 days, he said.
Government officials took the “unprecedented” step of putting a 21-day hold on Corinthian's access to federal student loan and grant money, jeopardizing the company's finances, Jenkins said.
Corinthian and the Department of Education has since worked out an agreement involving Corinthian selling or closing its schools, and the government providing $35 million in student aid funding.
Despite these issues, there's been no disruption to classes, Jenkins said.
“Things have gone along as normal,” he said. “Students have been in class. Faculty and staff are at work as normal.”
A number of organizations have already expressed interest in purchasing campuses, he said.
“We're providing interested parties with information,” Jenkins said. “After they're able to see information on the campuses, we'll take bids and go from there.”
When asked what will happen if nobody purchases one or more campuses, he said that's not a question he can answer right now.
“At minimum in this process we're going to revisit it at the three-month and six-month mark with the department of education,” Jenkins said. “So I think that the basic answer is we'll evaluate where we are and make that decision then.”
The Ontario Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities told the Toronto Star that if Everest can't find buyers at some locations, it will be legally required to either fully refund students' fees or arrange an alternative training completion option.