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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  • mkdenver1

    I’m a former online admissions rep and I just have to laugh any time I see Westwood in the news. Their accreditation and the degrees are worthless. One of the lies they teach to admissions reps is that National Accreditation is better than Regional Accreditation. Only the opposite is true. Westwood was trying to pursue Regional Accreditation and as expected that will not happen if they can barely hang on to their lowly National Accreditation!

    • DenverVet

      This is a story which should never have happened. Can’t believe iit. Who governs these people on start up and checks up on them. We have to wait for students who graduated to complain? Say what? This should have never happened. I am very glad they got caught.

  • ScubaSteve

    I am a Westwood college graduate. What angered me was the fact that Westwood was more than happy to transfer you previous college credits IN, but would not transfer your previous college credits as well as the ones earned at Westwood OUT. What’s up with that?

  • ProfMike

    I teach at Westwood and I also teach and have taught at other public and private schools. Westwood’s curriculum is just as challenging as other schools and the school doesn’t take money from Colorado’s education fund. I can tell you that my colleagues and I are not in it for the money (Which is not as good as the taxpayer-funded state schools in Colorado) and we take our profession seriously. Smear jobs like this are designed to hurt people and that’s all they’ll do. I sign off on student’s grades because I feel they’d make a good employee. It’s as simple as that. Westwood is a serious school and this is all about politics. Every organization has issues and we address ours just like everyone else.

  • ScubaSteve

    ProfMike — These postings are not a smear campaign. It’s just that the truth sometimes hurts. Honesty is the best policy.

  • mkdenver1


    This type of story does not reflect on the instructors. It’s all about the admissions side and how students are treated and what they are told when they enroll. The admissions reps have a say anything do anything approach and it is very sickening.

  • Sue

    ProfMike, I totally disagree with you. Perhaps you are one among fifty who are actually teaching something useful. My son went to school on your Campus; he came in with stellar grades, made stellar grades, and left with a worthless piece of paper. He is in a ‘real’ school now. Westwood should not exist! Lies and more lies are told to the kids; the curriculum is not up to par, and those who manage this school know it. To call it a college is totally misleading. What a sham…

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