The Board of Trustees of the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges (HLC) met on July 11, 2012 to consider the recent action by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) concerning Bridgepoint Education's Ashford University.
On July 12, 2012, Ashford University received a letter from the HLC communicating its Special Monitoring status to confirm compliance with the Commission's Criteria for Accreditation, including the Minimum Expectations. In an effort to ensure that the University continues to satisfy HLC's accreditation requirements, the HLC Board of Trustees is requiring Ashford University to provide a report by August 10, 2012.
Ashford University is also required to host an Advisory Visit within 60 days of the Commission's receipt of its report. Subsequently, at its meeting in February 2013, the HLC Board of Trustees will review the report of the Advisory Visit team and the University's response to those documents.
"We are accredited, and will continue our critical service to our non-traditional students, largely comprised of working adults and underserved populations," said Dr. Elizabeth Tice, president and chief executive officer of Ashford University. "We are fully committed to providing the opportunity for a brighter future to the more than 90,000 students currently attending Ashford University in pursuit of a higher education."
Ashford University believes it is in substantial compliance with the HLC accreditation criteria and intends to cooperate fully with HLC in this matter.
The HLC region includes 19 states from Arizona to West Virginia, including Iowa where Ashford University maintains its residential campus.
About Bridgepoint Education
Bridgepoint Education, Inc. (NYSE:BPI) improves the way individuals learn. By harnessing creativity, knowledge and proprietary technologies, such as Constellation, Thuze and Waypoint Outcomes, Bridgepoint Education has re-engineered the modern student experience with innovative solutions that advance learning. Its accredited institutions – Ashford University and University of the Rockies – embody the contemporary college experience. Ashford University offers associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs while University of the Rockies offers master's and doctoral degree programs. Both provide progressive online platforms, as well as traditional campuses located in Clinton, Iowa (Ashford University), and Colorado Springs, Colorado (University of the Rockies). For more information about Bridgepoint Education, visit www.bridgepointeducation.com or call Shari Rodriguez, associate vice president of Public Relations, at 858.668.2580.
About Ashford University
Ashford University is defining the modern college experience by combining the heritage of a traditional campus with the flexibility and effectiveness of online learning. The University provides a vibrant learning community where high-quality programs and leading-edge technology create a dynamic, immersive and stimulating learning experience. Ashford University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association (www.ncahlc.org). The University offers practical and progressive associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs online, as well as bachelor's degree programs at its Clinton, Iowa, campus. Ashford University – where heritage meets innovation. For more information, please visit www.ashford.edu or call Shari Rodriguez, associate vice president of Public Relations, at 858.513.9240 x2513.
This press release contains forward-looking statements including, without limitation, statements regarding Ashford University's plans in response to (1) WASC's denial of its application for initial accreditation and
(2) HLC's communication regarding the institution's compliance with the commission's jurisdictional requirements. These statements involve risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially from those expressed in or suggested by such statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, without limitation: the inability of Ashford University to successfully appeal the WASC decision to deny accreditation; the inability of Ashford University to successfully reapply for initial accreditation with
WASC; the inability of Ashford University to satisfy timely HLC's jurisdictional requirements, which could lead to a loss of accreditation and eligibility to participate in Title IV programs; and uncertain costs, management distraction and potential business disruption associated with efforts by Ashford University to establish and maintain a substantial presence in the north central region under HLC's jurisdictional requirements.
More information on potential factors that could affect our future results is included from time to time in the "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" sections of our periodic and other reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including, without limitation, our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011, filed with the SEC on March 7, 2012, and our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2012, filed with the SEC on May 1, 2012. See also our Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC this morning which addresses the matters discussed in this press release. These filings are all available on the SEC's website at www.sec.gov.
Forward-looking statements are made on the basis of management's views and assumptions regarding future events and business performance as of the time the statements are made, and the Company assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements or information, which speak as of their respective dates, except as required by law.