Tiffin University online section to close

Ivy Bridge charity associate class programs

Joan Coressel of Port Clinton complicated during Ivy Bridge College, an online propagandize compared with Tiffin University. Ivy Bridge suddenly announced this week that it will tighten Oct. 20. Ms. Coressel will be 6 credits brief of graduating.


At age 51, Joan Coressel suspicion she had college and career skeleton figured out. The Port Clinton lady who bartended while lifting her children was prepared for a new start.

Ivy Bridge College enrolled some-more than 2,000 of Tiffin University’s 6,900 students final year.


In August, 2011, she enrolled during Ivy Bridge College, Tiffin University’s online associate’s class division.

Two years later, she had finished 55 of her indispensable 61 credits with a 3.69 class indicate normal during a cost of $20,000. She designed to finish in February.

On Thursday she found disconcerting news on Facebook: Ivy Bridge College is shutting Oct. 20.

“I was formulation on relocating after we finished my degree. Well, now I’m in limbo,” she said. “I have no thought what we am going to be doing.”

Ivy Bridge told students this week around Facebook and email that Tiffin University was discontinuing a class programs by Ivy Bridge.

The closure is sudden, nonetheless Ivy Bridge has been a theme of inspection for months. But in response to inquiries from The Blade that began some-more than a month ago about Ivy Bridge, university officials never indicated it could close.

Until recently, Tiffin University leaders looked to unpack Ivy Bridge, that began enrolling students in 2008. Current and former university officials pronounced a devise all along was to benefit eccentric accreditation for a school. That would be interesting to investors, since Ivy Bridge could emanate a possess degrees, once certified by a state. Once independent, a propagandize could afterwards be sole and presumably run as a for-profit college.

Tiffin University President Paul Marion pronounced a accreditation offer was cold after it became apparent it would not be upheld by a Higher Learning Commission of a North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The elect is one of 6 informal accrediting bodies famous by a U.S. Department of Education that gives a grave stamp of capitulation to aloft preparation institutions; it accredits Tiffin University’s programs.

Ivy Bridge’s closure comes amid heightened inspection of for-profit colleges and a Higher Learning Commission, that had accredited many of those schools.

“[The Higher Learning Commission] has prolonged been a home bottom for vast for-profits, since of embankment and a faith that a elect had a comparatively welcoming perspective of a sector,” a 2013 Inside Higher Ed story said.

The regulatory sourroundings shifted several years after Ivy Bridge started. For-profit colleges faced inspection over their vast share of Pell Grant use compared to their marketplace share; many students who attend for-profit schools are low-income and validate for a sovereign grant. In 2009 and 2010, a sovereign supervision expelled reports that criticized some for-profit schools for false enrollment practices and probable tyro assist fraud.

Criticism of for-profits has continued, with a two-year Senate cabinet examination that bloody a attention for, among other things, assertive recruitment, bad graduation rates, high tuition, and extreme amounts spent on marketing.

The Higher Learning Commission also faced sovereign scrutiny, including a 2010 U.S. Department of Education research that dynamic a elect did not have credit hour definitions or smallest module length requirements, that a research pronounced could outcome in arrogant credit hours and over-awarding of sovereign funds.

Original plan

What finished in Ivy Bridge’s disaster started as a novel investment idea.

Ivy Bridge shaped out of conversations in early 2007 between Cam Cruickshank, afterwards TU’s clamp boss for enrollment, and Paul Freedman, afterwards an worker of a module association a university used as a vendor. Mr. Freedman had an thought to start an online send college, Mr. Cruickshank said, and designed to buy a struggling Cleveland-area college.

The squeeze of budget-strapped nonprofit colleges — and their cherished accreditations — by companies to spin into for-profit institutions was in practice during a time.

Mr. Cruickshank pronounced he suggested instead of purchasing a college, Mr. Freedman and he could combine on a partnership with Tiffin University. Mr. Freedman shaped a association called Altius Education, that would hoop a selling and enrollment for a school. Tiffin would yield a academics.

While many of Ivy Bridge looks typical, some of a operations mount out.

Tiffin University is, like many U.S. aloft preparation institutions, nonprofit. Ivy Bridge operates academically as an arm of TU, though it is tranquil by a singular guilt company, Altius University, that is purebred in Delaware.

Concerns raised

The Blade began seeking TU officials about Ivy Bridge after concerns were lifted to a paper about how transcripts were released by a propagandize and a attribute to a university. During steady inquiries, TU leaders downplayed a effects of a disaster to get eccentric accreditation and never hinted Ivy Bridge could close.

Mr. Marion pronounced college officials perceived a Jul 25 minute from a Higher Learning Commission that he pronounced commanded a closure.

Mr. Freedman pronounced a emanate was stirred by elect manners that altered after Ivy Bridge’s founding. He pronounced a elect supposing a certain examination of Ivy Bridge in 2010, though in 2012, TU “reminded” a elect of a skeleton to find eccentric accreditation for a program.

After training a elect was not expected to support that move, Mr. Freedman pronounced Ivy Bridge was peaceful to dump it.

But he pronounced a elect had concerns a LLC was not scrupulously certified per their change in manners in 2011.

“Tiffin was told underneath no capricious terms that they would face despotic sanctions if they did not approve with a directives,” Mr. Freedman said.

When asked weeks ago, a elect orator would not criticism on any specific decisions about Ivy Bridge. But in a created matter released Friday, a elect pronounced it instituted a examination of Ivy Bridge in 2012.

The elect pronounced a review’s rough commentary lifted concerns about march quality, educational rigor, tyro retention, and miss of appearance by TU in financial decision-making.

The elect pronounced it gave Tiffin University a choice: Resubmit Ivy Bridge for capitulation or mangle ties with Altius.

In a Thursday announcement, Altius Education claimed a elect pronounced TU contingency pause charity degrees by Ivy Bridge. Mr. Marion pronounced a disproportion in a dual sides’ reason is “a small bit of semantics, we suppose.”

Revenue generation

Tuition income generated from Ivy Bridge students is deposited in a LLC’s account, afterwards separate between Tiffin and Altius, according to a TU spokesman. Full-time fee for Ivy Bridge is $4,463 per division this fall, some-more than twice what an Ohio proprietor holding 12 credits during Owens Community College would pay.

Both Mr. Marion and Mr. Cruickshank creatively cited a confidentiality agreement that precluded them from deliberating a financial relapse of Altius University.

But after a closure announcement, Mr. Marion pronounced Ivy Bridge was a break-even craving for Tiffin.

According to taxation filings found on GuideStar.org, Tiffin University’s income rose from about $35.6 million in 2008 to about $58.8 million in 2011, a many new year available. But Mr. Marion pronounced that boost is since of fit operations and a expansion of a university’s master’s and bachelor’s programs.

Mr. Marion’s sum remuneration rose from $320,734 in 2009 to $392,656 in 2011. A university orator pronounced that figure is sum compensation, not only salary.

In 2008, Tiffin had about 2,700 students. Last year, a propagandize had some-more than 6,900, according to university figures, with some-more than 2,000 of those Ivy Bridge students.

Mr. Freedman pronounced Altius lifted about $34 million, a “substantial portion” of that upheld Ivy Bridge College. He pronounced Ivy Bridge was essential final year, though that a income was used to compensate behind investors. Mr. Freedman and his investors supposing start-up supports for Ivy Bridge that Tiffin didn’t have.

“This leaves a vast hole in a hearts and also substantially [our] wallets,” he said.

Tiffin University progressing this year laid off 35 full-time employees and dual part-time tutors who worked during Ivy Bridge’s South Toledo domicile after unwell to get eccentric accreditation for Ivy Bridge, according to a spokesman. Mr. Marion formerly pronounced disaster to achieve eccentric accreditation would not impact Ivy Bridge’s operations.

Officials pronounced they don’t nonetheless know how many some-more jobs might be mislaid since of Ivy Bridge’s closure.

Meanwhile, inspection of Ivy Bridge continues from a Ohio Board of Regents. Shane DeGarmo, comparison executive of module growth and approval, pronounced a house perceived a censure from another aloft preparation establishment progressing this year about Ivy Bridge’s operations and how transcripts were issued.

The censure pronounced an establishment perceived transcripts from students that were released by Ivy Bridge College of Tiffin University. Ivy Bridge, however, isn’t certified to emanate a possess transcripts.

The house of regents is, by chance, conducting a customary reauthorization examination of TU, and Mr. DeGarmo pronounced partial of that examination now includes inquiries relating to a censure over Ivy Bridge.

Mr. DeGarmo pronounced he doesn’t consider a examination stirred Ivy Bridge’s closure.

Officials pronounced Ivy Bridge students have options to finish their degree. Among them: Some might be authorised to send to Tiffin University’s bachelor’s class program. Others might send to another college. Ivy Bridge also is operative to find one or some-more institutions to take over a module so students can finish.

Contact Nolan Rosenkrans at: nrosenkrans@theblade.com or 419-724-6086, or on Twitter @NolanRosenkrans.

Article source: http://www.toledoblade.com/Education/2013/08/03/Tiffin-University-online-unit-announces-abrupt-closure.html

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