Brightwood College abruptly closed its doors today leaving students in a bind. All Brightwood College campuses are closing, the college’s parent company, Education Corporation of America, announced to students Wednesday.
Students at all campuses, including three in Maryland, will be allowed to finish out the current term which ends on Friday December 7, Education Corporation of America spokeswoman Diane Worthington said. In addition to the three Maryland campuses, there were more than 65 other campuses in 20 states.
“After many years of training students for new careers, it is with a heavy heart that today we announce that Education Corporation of America (ECA) is closing all its career colleges effective with the completion of the current module or term for most of its students,” Worthington said in a statement. “We will work with students to ensure access to their transcripts so they can complete their studies at another school.”
This, despite their website still claiming to be “with you at every step.” Brightwood is one of the largest for-profit college chains in the nation.
As they were with other for-profit colleges and technical schools, the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) is working to make sure that all Maryland student’s efforts are not for naught.
“The Maryland Higher Education Commission received verbal notification that the three Brightwood College campuses in Maryland will close on Friday, December 7, 2018 as part of a national closure,” Maryland Higher Education Secretary Dr. James D. Fielder said in a written statement.
“Student success at our diverse Maryland higher education institutions is our number one priority. In an ongoing effort to increase student success and protect our students, MHEC worked with State legislators during the 2018 General Assembly session to pass a bill that requires certain private career schools and for-profit institutions of higher education operating in our state to furnish a performance bond or other form of financial guarantee that covers certain tuition liability. This law has direct impact on the currently enrolled 2,463 students at the three Brightwood campuses located in Maryland; 932 students in Baltimore, 1,012 students in Beltsville and 519 students in Towson.”
MHEC announced a dedicated web page, a dedicated email address, and an 800 phone number that will be used to provide students with more information. Go to www.MHEC.maryland.gov and click on Brightwood College Student information.
“Concurrently, MHEC is working with our Maryland institutions to participate in teach-out agreements, which allows students to continue their studies and carry their credits to other institutions across the state. MHEC has already obtained the student transcripts from Brightwood for those students that graduated after 2005, and is working to obtain all transcripts. The availability of student transcripts is critical to the success of students continuing their higher education goals.”