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Everest College shuts down campuses, fate of students in limbo

Ontario has shut down American-based Everest College, which operates 14 private career schools across the province and offering help to students try to recover some of their tuition payments.

The superintendent of private career colleges suspended all Everest College campus activities, which government officials say will prevent it from declaring bankruptcy, at least in the short term.

February 20, 2015  By Keith Leslie The Canadian Press and Mari-Len De Guzman

The suspension will affect about 2,450 students, including several
dozens enrolled in its massage therapy program, and 450 staff at Everest
College, which announced last summer that it was looking to sell off or
close down all its campuses in Ontario.

Colleges and
Universities Minister Reza Moridi says officials from his office will be
at every Everest campus, including at night classes, to give students
information about what they can do next.

Students will be offered
help to find another career college they can transfer to and complete
their education or apply for a refund from a $3 million fund set up for
that purpose.

However, there are no guarantees anyone will get a full refund of their tuition fees.


Everest has 15 days to seek a hearing before Ontario’s Licence Appeal Tribunal of the superintendent’s decision.

superintendent was no longer satisfied that Everest could be expected
to be financially responsible in the operation of a private career
college and in the offering of its vocational programs,” the ministry
said in a release.

“One of the main priorities during this
process is to ensure that students are provided with training completion
options that will allow them to promptly complete their programs, with
as little disruption as possible.”

Some instructors from Everest
College’s massage therapy program are also trying to help their students
transition to another school.

According to Mary Ellen Logan,
director of academics at the Ontario College of Health and Technology
(OCHT) in Stoney Creek, Ont., at least two instructors – and some
individual students – have already approached her to find out if the
school can help with transitioning the displaced students.

asked them to provide us with the course outlines or the transcripts of
what the students have taken,” Logan said, “because for us to come up
with some kind of a plan for them to transition in, I just want to see
at what point they were in their program, what courses have they taken
and what courses they still have to take.”

Logan added she is
also awaiting directions from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and
Universities about the fate of the affected students. She said the
ministry will ultimately have to put in place a plan for the students –
whether to issue a full or partial refund, or allow them to transition
to other schools to continue their education.

“We really hope we can help,” said Logan. “We’re just waiting for direction from the ministry to give us permission to do so.”

OCHT offers a two-year massage therapy program, with 27 hours a week of class time in each of the five semesters.

said transitioning students and crediting the courses they have already
taken at Everest should not be a huge concern, particularly for massage
therapy students, as Ontario colleges are governed by a standard
curriculum set by the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario.

so, Logan said the students who are potentially transferring from
Everest would still need to be assessed to make sure they meet OCHT’s
curriculum requirements.

The Canadian Everest campuses are owned
by Corinthian Colleges, a California-based company which owns 107
college campuses across North America and also offers degrees online.

of falsifying job placement data used in marketing claims to
prospective students at one of the company’s U.S. campuses triggered an
investigation by the U.S. Education Department, which eventually led to a
severe cash shortage at the company when federal funds were withheld.

a result, Corinthian Colleges agreed to close 12 campuses in 11 states
and place the rest of its campuses up for sale, including those in

Everest operated campuses across Ontario, in Barrie,
Brampton, Hamilton, Kitchener, Mississauga, Newmarket, Ottawa, Toronto,
Sudbury and Windsor.

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