“We saw the writing on the wall,” one regulator said of the coordinated attempt to get ahead of the for-profit operator’s eventual shutdown.
On the evening of Dec. 4, Lane Goodwin, a program manager with the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, saw an email from Education Corporation of America’s (ECA) primary accreditor. The email notified the for-profit operator and affected state officials that most of ECA’s colleges had their accreditation suspended.
“I saw it and thought, ‘Tomorrow is not going to be a good day,'” Goodwin said.
It wasn’t. On Dec. 5, after the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) pulled ECA’s accreditation, the company announced it would close nearly all of its campuses, including the Virginia College, Brightwood Career Institute and Golf Academy of America chains.