Virginia College

Virginia College
TypePrivate for-profit college
Active1983 (1983)–2018 (2018)
OwnerEducational Corporation of America
Birmingham (Main Campus)
, ,
United States
Virginia College logo.jpg

Virginia College was a private for-profit college located primarily in the southeastern United States. Virginia College offered classes, certificates, diplomas, and degrees related to specific professions such as health sciences, information technology, business, office management, and criminal justice. Virginia College also offered online degree programs.[1]

After it failed to be accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training,[2] and an appeal being rejected, approximately one-third of Virginia College campuses were expected to close by 2020, the company announced in September 2018.[3] However, by early December of 2018 all Virginia College campuses were closing, the company "citing financial challenges and accreditation issues as the reasons".[4]


The original Virginia College campus was founded in 1983 in Roanoke, Virginia. In 1989, the college was purchased by Education Futures, Inc. In February 1992, Virginia College opened its first branch campus in the Birmingham, Alabama suburb of Homewood. Another branch campus was opened in April 1993 in Huntsville, Alabama.


The company that owns and operates the schools, Education Corporation of America, was a privately held corporation headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. ECA also owned Virginia College Online, which offered distance education academic programs via the Internet; Golf Academy of America; Culinard, the Culinary Institute of Virginia College, offering degrees in the culinary arts; and Ecotech Institute, offering degrees in fields of renewable energy, sustainable design, and energy efficiency.[5]


Brick and mortar campus locations:

Campuses scheduled to close by 2020[6]

Culinard campus and teaching kitchen locations:

Golf Academy of America campuses locations:


Virginia College offered courses in health care, cosmetology, criminal justice, paralegal, and network engineering (Network engineering courses are not ABET-accredited), as well as several trades (professional training) programs such as truck driving.[7] Online classes and degrees were also offered.


Virginia College was accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). When the U.S. Department of Education withdrew recognition from ACICS as a federally-recognized accreditor in September of 2016,[8] Virginia College sought accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET). In March of 2018, Virginia College's proposal for accreditation to ACCET was rejected, as was its subsequent appeal.[2]


In 2012, Virginia College was sued by the Mississippi Center for Justice on behalf of seven students. The lawsuit claims that Virginia College misled students about the value of their degrees, and that it specifically targeted misleading advertising to women and minority students.[9] The case was remanded to arbitration.

See also


  1. ^ College[permanent dead link] website
  2. ^ a b Kreighbaum, Andrew (May 22, 2018). "Another Setback for Programs Overseen by Troubled Accreditor". Inside Higher Ed. Archived from the original on November 21, 2018. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  3. ^ Kreighbaum, Andrew (September 12, 2018). "For-Profit Chain Will Close Dozens of Campuses". Inside Higher Ed. Archived from the original on December 10, 2018. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  4. ^ "Virginia College closing in Montgomery, nationwide". WFSA. December 5, 2018. Archived from the original on December 6, 2018. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  5. ^ "Education Corporation of America". Archived from the original on 2019-10-13. Retrieved 2019-10-20.
  6. ^ "For-profit chain will close dozens of campuses". Archived from the original on 2018-09-14. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  7. ^ "Virginia College | Post-Secondary Career Education Programs". Archived from the original on 2016-12-30. Retrieved 2016-12-29.
  8. ^ "Education Department Establishes Enhanced Federal Aid Participation Requirements for ACICS-accredited Colleges | U.S. Department of Education". United States Department of Education. Archived from the original on December 26, 2016. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
  9. ^ "For-Profit College Is Accused of Bias Against Female and Minority Students". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Archived from the original on 2012-07-30. Retrieved 2012-07-30.

External links