University Of Phoenix Pledges To Keep Campuses Open For Current Students

The University of Phoenix is not setting a timeline for the closure of four Ohio campuses and 21 others nationwide and says it will maintain some physical presence in those markets until all enrolled students complete their studies – even if it takes years.

Phoenix-based parent Apollo Group Inc. said this month it would save $300 million annually by fiscal 2014 by closing 25 campuses and 90 smaller satellite operations. The physical locations represented about 4 percent of total enrollment of about 328,000 nationwide. A total of 800 jobs will be eliminated, not including faculty.

Campuses in the Polaris area, West Chester near Cincinnati and the Cleveland suburbs of Westlake and Independence are no longer accepting new enrollments, and 22 enrollment staff in the state are losing their jobs, spokesman Alex Clark said. He could not provide a jobs breakdown by campus.

An additional 30 Ohio-based staff members, such as course counselors and financial aid specialists, could be offered telecommuting jobs as the campuses wind down, he said. All faculty are part-timers and not included in job totals.

The Columbus campus has enrollment of about 150, he said. Westlake was down to 20 students. The university’s largest Ohio center, Beachwood Learning Center near Cleveland, enrolls 300 students. It will stay open and probably grow, Clark said.

Westlake and Independence students have the option to transfer there, Clark said, but the university will keep open a classroom for students who don’t want to commute or switch to online instruction.

In some cities, the school may break leases for large offices and rent smaller classroom space, he said. In the school’s one-class-at-a-time format for working adults, a bachelor’s degree can take six years to complete.

“Even if it’s one student, we’ve made a commitment (to in-person instruction) and we’re going to honor it,” Clark said. “The overwhelming majority of students for us are choosing online over campus-based instruction.”

Apollo reported income of $423 million on $4.3 billion revenue in the year ended Aug. 31.


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