McCann School of Business and Technology has stopped accepting new students at campuses in Wilkes-Barre Township and Hazle Township due to an issue with accreditation.
According to a statement issued by spokesman Chuck Vella, students were informed Aug. 31 that the campus on Highland Park Boulevard in Wilkes-Barre Township and the one on Maplewood Drive in Hazle Township “will not be accepting or enrolling new students effective immediately.”
The schools remain open for students presently enrolled “until their courses have been completed,” Vella wrote. He added: “We will also assist all students in transferring to other schools if they choose to continue their education and training elsewhere.”
Vella said the schools will close after all students complete their coursework, but that no date can be set because some students may opt to go to other schools. There are no plans to re-open the two schools once they close.
McCann made a similar announcement last fall regarding the Dickson City and Carlisle campuses. In those cases, declining enrollment was cited as the cause.
Vella cited problems with accreditation for the changes at the Luzerne County campuses. “This decision is a result of the campus’s accreditor, the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) losing federal recognition,” he wrote in the statement. “However, this decision does not affect other McCann locations in Pennsylvania.”
ACICS ran into trouble in June 2016 when the federal Department of Education raised concerns about the rigor of its accreditation process. In December the same year, the department withdrew recognition of ACICS accreditation. This meant schools accredited by ACICS could not offer federal aid to students.
ACICS contends it has made major progress in reforming the system, but most schools accredited by the agency had to either close their doors or seek accreditation from a different agency. Vella said the accreditation issue does not affect other McCann schools in Pennsylvania.
“This was a difficult but necessary decision,” he wrote. “We are committed to helping our students complete their coursework or transition to complete their certification or degree at other, area schools.
“We have informed students who have enrolled for the first time for any of the college’s upcoming start of classes that we will not be accepting new students and we will refund any deposits they may have made for tuition.”