SAN DIEGO -- Coleman University -- a private college that's operated in San Diego since 1963 -- is closing at the end of the current term, school leadership announced Thursday.
"To all our very fine students, staff, and faculty, I am personally sorry that we have to close Coleman University," President & CEO Norbert J. Kubilus said.
In a letter to students, faculty and staff obtained by FOX 5, Kubilus said that Coleman learned in late June that they had lost a bid for accreditation from the Western Association of Colleges and Universities Senior College and University Commission, putting the school in a financial bind.
"We are proud that we have graduated and changed the lives of nearly 10,000 students over our long history," Kubilus said.
"However, declining enrollment over the last five years has taken its toll. Many factors outside of the University's control contributed to this decline, such as de-recognition of our national accreditor by the Secretary of Education, tightened controls over international students coming to the United States to study, and historically low unemployment in our region."
After "exhausting all feasible resources," Kubilus continued, "the decision to discontinue operations at the end of the current term had to be made."
The university's president said the school is exploring both "teach-out" and transfer opportunities for its current 204 students: "We will provide that information as it is available to help our students to continue their education without interruption at excellent regionally accredited institutions."
The US Department of Education and the California Office of Student Assistance and Relief will work with the school to help students with the transition. A team from OSAR will be on campus starting next week to work with students, Kubilus said.
"No. 1 priority is to try to have a soft landing for the students, to help them find schools where they can complete their degrees," Kubilus told FOX 5.
"It gets very emotional for everybody, including the teachers," Blake Brim, a veteran and current student, told FOX 5. He says this is the second time his education has been shut down by the accreditation rules.
Coleman University operates out of a location on Balboa Avenue in Kearny Mesa. The school specializes in "non-traditional students" pursuing "technology-focused" careers.
The university will close its doors on August 5.