Ald. Coggs not surprised by Everest College closing

Written by admin   // September 14, 2012   // Comments Off

After opening its doors nearly two years ago, Everest College will close its doors to its Milwaukee Campus, putting the education of 300 students (most of whom are African American) in jeopardy and leaving some 30 employees looking for work.

Complied by MCJ Staff

 

Alderman Milele Coggs

Milwaukee Sixth District Alderman Milele Coggs said Monday the closing of Everest College campus at North 6th Street and West McKinley Avenue comes as no surprise to her.“I was truly not surprised by Everest College’s announcement late last week that it is closing it’s campus,” Coggs said in a press statement on the college’s impending closing. “The college and its parent company (Corinthian Colleges Inc.) have a history of promising a quality education and jobs, but the only thing many students received after enrolling is crushing debt from the student loans they took out.” Coggs’ district included the college.

After two years of existence, $11 million in bonds from the city to finance the campus, and a promise not to be another fly-by-night diploma mill, Everest College announced recently it would shut its doors. The announcement puts the education of 300 students (most of whom are African American) in jeopardy and leaves some 30 employees looking for work.

News reports note the city won’t be on the hook for the tax-free bonds it gave the college. A spokesman for the Department of City Development said the bonds are held by a private entity. Thus, no tax resources are exposed.

In her comments on Everest ‘s closing, Coggs noted she and several other community stakeholders had consistently opposed the college opening a campus in the city from the beginning given its negative reputation. Everest College is part of Corinthian Colleges, Inc., which has reportedly been sued in the past by students claiming they were misled about their credits and whether or not they would transfer to other schools. Also questioned was the college’s accreditation status and being able to find work after they graduated. On a number of occasions during the colleges efforts to secure city dollars to open, Coggs has led efforts before the Board of Zoning Appeals and the Common Council against the college.

“My position has always been that the college is not an educational institution but rather an educational business with a goal of profit, not placement, said the alderman. “In my opinion, Everest had not been student-focused and was geared instead simply to make as much money as possible.

“Now, it is assured that no additional students will be taken in by Everest and left in a position of academic uncertainty and racked with debt. I sincerely hope that anyone who has or is attending Everest is able to find viable employment opportunities.”

Coggs said the Everest closure puts in limbo the future of a vacant academic campus facility at the 6th and McKinley location. The alderman has requested the Department of City Development assist the facility’s owners in finding a viable tenant that co-exists well with the existing neighbors and will attract additional quality development in the area.

She added she will continue to represent her district with the best interests of her constituents which, she says, is her number one priority.


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