State Puts Westwood College On Probation

DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado has put Westwood College on probation. It was the focus of a CBS4 news investigation.

All the students will soon to be notified of the action taken against a campus of the college — a national chain based in Denver.

The action was taken Tuesday by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education. It voted 7-2 to place a campus of Westwood College on probation after the school’s accrediting body did the same for a variety of issues.

The action applies to all Westwood facilities in Colorado.

“If you are a student nothing is going to change; day to day operations, your courses are still going to be offered. Westwood still needs to answer questions with its authorizing body,” Chad Marturano with the Colorado Department of Higher Education said.

The state action comes after the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges put Westwood on probation last week. Among the issues are student graduation and employment rates, student recruitment, and advertising and promotion.

Last year CBS4 detailed numerous complaints by former students and employees about Westwood — about the value of their degree, loans and recruiting.

“There was a lot of lying going on,” former Westwood employee Joshua Pryn told CBS4 investigator Rick Sallinger in November of 2009.

Pryn, a former Westwood recruiter, testified earlier this year at U.S. Senate committee hearing on for-profit colleges, including Westwood. It came after a Government Accountability Office (GOA) undercover investigation on Westwood and other for-profit colleges.

“Westwood needs to work with their accrediting body to walk through and prove to them that they are essentially a good actor and acting good in all those specific areas,” Marturano said.

Westwood issued a statement reading, “We are continuing to work with our accreditation agencies to ensure compliance with all standards and clear up any confusion or questions that may exist.”

Westwood announced numerous changes in its operations when CBS4 did the report last year and again when the GOA did its investigation. It hasn’t lost its accreditation for the North Campus, but if that happens the state could take further action.

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