- For-profit career education college Hickey College in St. Louis will be closing its doors due to low enrollment, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports. The school will not be accepting new applications and most of its staff will be laid off.
- The school specializes in two-year degrees, with focuses in veterinary technology, culinary skills, accounting and computer systems management. About a quarter of the school’s population is comprised of minority students, according to President Christopher Gearin, and the school’s graduation rate is about 80%. However, enrollment has declined over last 10 years.
- The institution will stay open 18 more months for current students to complete their education.
Hickey’s closure is a reflection of the dire state of for-profit education in the country; numerous controversies and heightened regulations have imperiled the institutions. However, many suspect that the industry could see a revival under the Trump administration, which recently rolled back the gainful employment provisions established by the Obama administration, which led to the closure of several schools, including for-profit giant ITT Tech.
However, the for-profit model remains strong, even in the midst of questions about the sector's business practices. For working adults, the alternative class scheduling, strong online infrastructure and overall flexibility to complete a program at one's own pace remain attractive — and overall, traditional nonprofit institutions are slow to adapt. The Purdue-Kaplan deal, if confirmed, could possibly set a model moving forward for how both types of institutions can work together, with for-profits bringing the infrastructure needed to serve students who are increasingly becoming the new normal on campus, and the traditional institutions bringing the big, reputable brands to attract students.