Still facing accreditation problems, Ashford University’s parent company announced Friday the for-profit school is cutting 450 admissions jobs and restructuring 400 other positions at its San Diego and Denver locations.
None of those job cuts will impact employees at the Clinton campus in Iowa, California-based Bridgepoint Education spokeswoman Marianne Perez said.
The changes include moving 200 admission personnel into a new department of student inquiry, which will work with prospective students “to ensure they are sufficiently prepared for the demands of a university education,” Ashford officials stated in a news release.
Another 200 workers have been reassigned to the student services department, with the goal of providing more support to new and existing students.
The company’s heavy recruitment efforts, which outweighed student support staff, were challenged in a recent report denying Ashford’s re-accreditation.
“Ashford University is committed to providing its students with the best opportunity to succeed,” Perez said in an emailed statement, “and, to that end, a reorganization of Ashford’s student-facing staff has been implemented with the goal of improving student retention and academic success.”
The news release quoted Ashford University President Elizabeth Tice as saying “the reorganization allows us to align our services with our continued dedication to student success.”
Ashford recently was denied accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, which is the accrediting group the university had hoped to join. The school, formerly known as Mount St. Clare College, is appealing.
The association, which has jurisdiction over schools in California, Hawaii and the U.S. Pacific Islands, said Ashford’s next steps with that association are to focus on the areas of concern listed in its denial of accreditation, which largely relates to the university’s online division of 90,000 to 100,000 students — and a need to increase its student support resources.
The association’s decision then led the Chicago-based Higher Learning Commission, another accrediting body, to place Ashford on special monitoring status. The commission’s coverage area includes 19 states from Arizona to West Virginia, and includes Iowa, where Ashford’s campus is located.