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The history of the Heald College (California)

Heald College once used to be a for-profit university in California, which once even obtained regional accreditation. It was a business-oriented college that boasted a number of campuses in the state, as well as one campus in both Oregon and Hawaii. The courses that were offered at the school were in healthcare, business, law, and technology. 2012 was the last year when the school gave students an opportunity to complete full online degrees. Heald College used to be owned by Corinthian Colleges (its parent company), which is an education company that is famous for its other career-college brands, such as WyoTech and Everest College.

How was the college founded?

Heald College was founded in 1863 by Edward Payson. The college was in San Francisco, California, and was the first business college to be opened in western United States. The main focus of Heald was on an educational that made practical learning a priority. A hands-on approach was seen as the best teaching method. Fast-track programs with a strong emphasis on future careers were important to the college, as were flexible timetables for the students. Many of them had the opportunity to learn during the day, in the evening, or even at the weekend if they wanted to.

There were a number of internships and externships on offer for enrolled students, meaning that many people benefited from hands-on experience while still at university. Graduates were given assistance when it came to finding employment and the college was praised for its emphasis on using the best technology and equipment from day one. Small class sizes were prioritized by the founder, as this made the practical method easier to work with. High-caliber experts with both academic and real-world experience led the faculty, whose members highlighted the importance of learning skills that would be practical and relevant in the future. The main goal was for the college to provide supportive learning in an environment that was safe and comfortable for its students. Heald's stated mission was to develop its graduates in a way that would make them well-rounded and extremely motivated in terms of their future success.

Heald College never offered housing, so most students had access to free and plentiful parking on campus. The original site in San Francisco was created to hold a 60,000-square-foot campus which contained modern computers and laboratories. To receive a certification, students had to complete their program in 6-12 months, whereas diplomas and associate degrees could be obtained in 12-24 months. Students received many employment opportunities from Heald College's Career Services department, such as: a Federal Work Study program, career fairs, internships and externships, interviews held on campus, career training, and help with job placements for graduates.

Accreditation from WASC

One of the highlights during the time that Heald College was open, was when it received accreditation from WASC. From 1983 until it closed, Heald College was in possession of regional accreditation from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges(WASC). The following options were offered: Associate in Applied Sciences degrees and Associate of Arts degrees, diplomas and certificates. Another accreditation received by Heald was from the Western Associate of Schools and Colleges accrediting commission for Senior Colleges and Universities (WASC Sr.) in July 2012.

The final days of college

In 2001, the name of the university was changed from Heald Colleges to Heald College. Then, in 2007, the non-profit institution was taken over by a private investor group, meaning that it subsequently became a for-profit college. In November 2009 Heald College's parent company was bought by Corinthian Colleges, Inc. for the sum of $395 million. At the same time, it was announced that plans had been made to start offering online-only courses in 2011. These would lead to degree programs that differed in that they were completely based on online coursework. In spite of this, Corinthian planned to hold on to Heald’s name, and the faculty and staff that were already working there.

Lots of students were shocked when they discovered that all 28 campuses nationwide were going to close, especially because 10 of those campuses were in California. Heald's parent company confirmed that it had completely collapsed due to a shortage of cases. Many people couldn’t believe the news after being previously reassured that the college was financially stable.

Online programs in the present day

The only programs that are now offered by Heald are associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates in an online format. Students can no longer apply to study on-campus degrees or courses, meaning that many people either lost fees that they had paid or had to fight hard to be refunded for what they had already spent on their degree. There are currently no plans to reintroduce any other types of study programs at the university.

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