San Diego Business Journal

An Accrediting Agency Removes a Sanction on Ashford University

Monday, September 9, 2013

Bridgepoint Education Inc., the San Diego based provider of college courses mainly through online channels, said the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges removed a sanction on Bridgepoint’s subsidiary Ashford University last month.

The company said HLC removed the sanction Aug. 30 because Ashford was successful in obtaining accreditation with the Western Association Accrediting Commission, which governs the western state region.

HLC had placed Ashford on notice in February after the accrediting agency, governing the 19-state Midwestern area of the nation, said the university had not demonstrated it was “substantially present” in the region. Although Ashford is based in Clinton, Iowa, the great majority of its students, faculty and administrative operations are based outside the Midwest region.

Bridgepoint resolved the issue in July when it obtained accreditation from WASC. At the time it obtained accreditation from WASC, the company notified HLC of its intent to resign accreditation voluntarily as soon as the U.S. Department of Education identifies WASC as the primary gatekeeping accrediting agency for federal financial aid purposes, HLC said.

“Until the university voluntarily resigns HLC accreditation, it is still obligated to fulfill HLC requirements,” HLC said in its public disclosure on the removal of the sanction.

— Mike Allen