Statement on Academic Enterprises Inc.’s Closure of Sawyer and Butler Business Schools
January 4, 2013
The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) accredited five campuses owned by Academic Enterprises Inc. including the Sawyer Schools in Hamden and Hartford, Connecticut and Pawtucket and Providence, Rhode Island as well as Butler Business School in Bridgeport, Connecticut. All five campuses closed suddenly and without prior notice on December 30, 2012.
Academic Enterprises’ failure to notify ACICS violates the agency’s Accreditation Criteria that require approved school closure plans to protect students’ interests. Elements of an approved school closure plan include providing students with the opportunity to continue their programs at other accredited institutions at no additional charge, and granting appropriate refunds. ACICS has not received any plan from Academic Enterprises demonstrating how its students can successfully complete their studies.
In response, ACICS has proactively contacted state authorities at the Office of Higher Education in both Connecticut and Rhode Island to support a way for students to complete their studies at comparable schools at no additional cost. ACICS has identified other ACICS-accredited institutions in Connecticut and Rhode Island that offer many of the same programs and credentials as Butler and Sawyer.
Furthermore, ACICS revoked the accreditation of all five schools, effective January 3, 2013. These revocations are final and cannot be appealed. The owners of Academic Enterprises and principals also face debarment by ACICS if students’ education is not provided for according to ACICS’ standards and expectations.
Students with questions or concerns may call the Connecticut Office of Higher Education student hotline at 1-800-842-0229, or ACICS at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From Albert C. Gray, Executive Director and CEO of ACICS:
“As accreditors, we’re committed to helping these students succeed. With their best interests at heart, we’re taking extraordinary measures to resolve this issue as quickly and effectively as possible – and we’re confident we’ll do just that."
Director of External Affairs