States look to boost oversight of struggling small colleges

POULTNEY, Vt. (AP) — After 185 years of teaching students on its campus of brick buildings on Poultney’s most important road, Green Mountain School introduced last month it might shut after this educational yr, leaving lots of…

POULTNEY, Vt. (AP) — After 185 years of teaching college students on its campus of brick buildings on Poultney’s essential road, Green Mountain School announced final month it will close after this educational yr, leaving lots of of students scrambling to figure out where to go subsequent.

The liberal arts school, which saw enrollment drop forty three % during the last decade, goes the best way of another small faculties that have struggled to remain afloat amid a shift towards more profession-oriented coaching and, notably in school-rich New England, a decline in the quantity of highschool college students.

“I’m undoubtedly simply sad and disillusioned,” stated Lauren Coye, an environmental studies main from Plaistow, New Hampshire. “I imply this group is so great and I fell in love with the campus as quickly as I came here, and the farm and the goats and everybody in town, too.”

She and her buddies thought that they had one other yr and a half collectively, she stated. “Now it’s only 4 months,” she stated.

To help shield college students, state officials within the area have been wanting into growing their oversight of personal, unbiased schools. The plans have met resistance from school leaders, who fear financial woes could possibly be publicized earlier than they’re at critical danger of closing.

In Massachusetts, where at the very least 17 schools have closed or merged over the past six years, state schooling officials are shifting forward with a plan to display schools yearly and gauge their danger of closing. If the state concludes a faculty won’t finish the subsequent educational yr, it will be required to inform college students and prepare a plan to assist them transfer elsewhere.

The state moved to intervene after the abrupt shutdown of Mount Ida School, which introduced last April it will be closing just weeks later. The news blindsided college students.

In Vermont, officials took notice when Burlington School folded in 2016 beneath the load of debt from a real estate deal, leaving scholar data behind. The state Company of Schooling needed to take over the data, which was pricey, stated Rep. Lawrence Cupoli, vice chairman of the House Committee on Schooling. The following yr, the Legislature had the Association of Vermont Unbiased Schools arrange an agreement with its member faculties to deal with scholar data if a faculty went out of business.

Vermont legislators last yr thought-about requiring that a faculty positioned on probation for financial reasons by its accrediting agency inform the state of its status and submit a plan for scholar data, setting money apart if essential. That bill did not move but lawmakers hope to take up comparable language this session.

“With the current news about Green Mountain School and concern about what’s occurring around New…

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