On July 27, 2012, Bridgepoint Education’s Ashford University received a letter from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges (HLC) updating and modifying previously announced deadlines related to the University’s compliance with HLC’s jurisdictional requirements, as well as the requirement for the University to provide a report and host a site visit as part of the special monitoring process.
With respect to HLC’s jurisdictional requirements, the letter specified that Ashford University will be required to provide HLC with an implementation plan on or before December 1, 2012 that demonstrates how the University will comply with HLC’s policy on substantial presence in the event that a migration to the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) either will not occur or is significantly delayed.
The HLC Board of Trustees will review the implementation plan at its February 2013 meeting to determine whether it is acceptable. If Ashford University is required to exercise the implementation plan, it must accomplish the move of its core operations to the 19-state north central region immediately after the anticipated June 2013 WASC decision.
Separately, in order to ensure that Ashford University has sufficient time to prepare for the HLC Advisory Visit while, simultaneously, providing timely information to the visiting team, the letter states that the University will be permitted to provide its report demonstrating compliance with HLC’s Criteria for Accreditation and Core Components in two phases. Rather than the original August 10, 2012 deadline, at which time the full report would be due, the first phase of the University report will now be due by August 31, 2012, with the second phase due by September 21, 2012. Additionally, the Advisory Visit will be postponed to the week of October 22, 2012, with the caveat that the visit date may need to be adjusted due to the availability of the Advisory Visit team members.
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. Bothprovide 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 HLC's letters regarding the University’s compliance with HLC’s jurisdictional requirements and the placement of the University on special monitoring status, as well as related procedures and deadlines. 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: further modifications to announced compliance deadlines; and the inability of Ashford University to provide an acceptable implementation plan for satisfying HLC’s jurisdictional requirements timely, or otherwise failing to satisfy such requirements, which could lead to a loss of accreditation and eligibility to participate in Title IV programs.
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 on July 31, 2012, 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.