One of the country’s largest for-profit college operators on Wednesday announced the closure of all of its campuses and began notifying employees that their positions would be eliminated.
Education Corporation of America owns more than 75 campuses and enrolls at least 20,000 students in mostly certificate-granting professional disciplines such as cosmetology, culinary arts and medical and dental assistant programs. It operates chains including Virginia College and Brightwood College.
The shutdown follows years of declining enrollment for the chain. More recently, the privately held company scrambled to turn around its troubled finances by closing about a third of its campuses and pursuing a corporate overhaul through a court-approved receivership. But ECA continued to be dogged by creditors after falling behind on payments and rent for many campus locations. In October the company filed a lawsuit, which was later dismissed, against the U.S. Department of Education in an attempt to maintain its access to federal student aid.
The company said in a communication to employees that it will complete current course modules, which will finish in the next two weeks. A skeleton crew of employees will remain on campuses to assist students with obtaining documentation on their programs.