Education Corporation of America (ECA) discontinued all academic operations in Maryland on December 7, 2018, as part of a national closure. Three locations in Maryland operating as Brightwood College were impacted. MHEC is working closely with students, ECA headquarters in Alabama, and Maryland institutions of higher education to support Maryland students through this transition. 1,764 students at the three Brightwood campuses in Maryland were impacted, including 634 students in Baltimore, 814 students in Beltsville and 316 students in Towson. Brightwood offered 6 different academic programs in Maryland, including Computer Network Technician, Computer Support Technician, Electrical Sciences, Medical Assistant, Medical Billing and Coding, Pharmacy Technician, and Heating, Ventilation, AC, & Refrigeration (HVAC).
“MHEC is working with our Maryland institutions to participate in teach-out agreements, which allows students to continue their studies and carry their credits to other institutions across the state,” Secretary Fielder said.
Nearly a dozen colleges in Maryland have indicated interest in supporting Brightwood students with teach-out agreements, including Anne Arundel Community College, Baltimore City Community College, Cecil College, Community College of Baltimore County, Fortis College, Lincoln Tech, and Prince George’s Community College.
“Throughout this process, it is a privilege to work with Secretary Kelly Schulz, who has identified some 326 apprenticeship opportunities to place those students ready to enter the workforce,” Fielder added.
“It is important to us that we provide impacted students with opportunities that prepare them for lasting, meaningful careers,” said Secretary Schulz. “Apprenticeship’s ‘earn and learn’ model will build upon their education by providing one-on-one full-time training from a skilled craftsperson and related classroom instruction, all while offering a progressive wage.”
Brightwood students enrolled in skilled trades occupational training for the electrical, or HVAC industry may benefit from registered apprenticeship sponsors with immediate hiring needs. These apprenticeship opportunities couple paid on-the-job training with related instruction. Classes begin as soon as January, and could grant credit for instruction received at Brightwood. Students interested in learning more should contact the Maryland Apprenticeship and Training Program at email@example.com.
In addition to teach-out options and apprenticeship opportunities, impacted students are also encouraged to utilize other state resources, such as EARN Maryland and the Maryland network of American Job Centers. EARN provides funding for free training in a variety of industries, including cybersecurity, information technology, healthcare, and construction. The program operates statewide and has a number of different training programs that students may enroll in. For more information on EARN, including a list of current program partnerships, visit http://www.dllr.maryland.gov/earn/.
Maryland's American Job Centers, conveniently located throughout the state, provide a full range of free assistance to job seekers that includes career exploration, referrals to training programs, placement services, résumé preparation, and workshops to enhance job seeking skills and work readiness. Applicants have access to computers with internet access, printers, photocopiers, fax machines, telephones, and a variety of job search resource materials. Maryland’s 30 American Job Centers are listed at https://www.dllr.state.md.us/county.
MHEC has already obtained educational transcripts for those students that graduated Brightwood after 2005, and is currently working to obtain all student transcripts. MHEC has also announced a dedicated web page, a dedicated email address, and a toll-free phone number that will provide students with information on accessing records and transcripts, transfer options, and information regarding refunds.
To access these dedicated resources, please
About the Maryland Higher Education Commission
MHEC is the State of Maryland's higher education coordinating board responsible for establishing statewide policies for Maryland public and private colleges and universities and for-profit career schools. MHEC also administers state financial aid programs, impacting students on a statewide basis, awarding nearly $110 million dollars in scholarships and grants annually. For updates and information, follow DLLR on Twitter (@MDMHEC) and Facebook (MDMHEC), and visit our website at www.mhec.maryland.gov.
About the Maryland Department of Labor
The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) is committed to safeguarding and protecting Marylanders. We're proud to support the economic stability of the state by providing businesses, the workforce, and the consuming public with high-quality, customer-focused regulatory, employment, and training services. For updates and information, follow DLLR on Twitter (@MD_DLLR) and Facebook (/DLLR.Maryland), and visit our website at www.dllr.maryland.gov.
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