Anthem Institute Files Notice to Shutter Career Training Schools In N.J., Lay Off 160

Career College Central Summary:

  • The financially-troubled career training school Anthem Institute has filed plans to shutter its four New Jersey campuses and lay off 163 adjunct teachers and administrative staffers, part of a companywide restructuring that includes a potentially sale.
  • Its parent company, Anthem Education, provide “career-focused education and training programs” in massage therapy, medical billing and web design among others, according to its website. The for-profit, privately-held company has more than 40 campuses nationwide, along with online offerings.
  • The New Jersey locations are in Cherry Hill, Jersey City, North Brunswick and Parsippany, whose campus opened in 1970. The schools now have 1,200 students enrolled, Anthem spokesman Ryan Toohey said today.
  • Layoffs are effective Sept. 15, according to a required notice posted on the state Department of Labor website. Anthem announced similar closures at nine other schools across the country, including Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Minnesota, Texas and Wisconsin, Toohey said.
  • He cited a challenging regulatory environment, cash flow problems and declining enrollment as reasons for Anthem’s planned campus closures and staff layoffs.
  • A 2010 U.S. Senate investigation of for-profit colleges noted that Anthem’s “high student loan default rates suggest” that students completing the courses were unable to find jobs to repay those loans. Anthem Education — previously the Chubb Institute — was acquired by Education Training Corp. in 2012.
  • “It’s not a definitive ‘we’re closed, school’s over,’” Toohey said. “It’s more like we are contemplating shutting down the school, but we are actively seeking partnerships to allow students to finish their education.”
  • The company could still decide to keep some of the schools that are set to be closed. If they are shuttered, Anthem could also find other schools “to teach out the remainder of these students and grant them degrees,” he said. If that was the case, it was not clear whether Anthem instructors would be retained.

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