Newport International University, a non accredited college headquartered in Laramie, Wyoming, has ceased operation in that state. This closure follows the failure of Newport to win a lawsuit against the state of Wyoming related to distance learning accreditation and the regulation of degree mills in Wyoming.
In 2006, in an effort to crack down on the number of unaccredited online schools and degree mills that had set up shop in Wyoming, the Wyoming legislature passed a law requiring all private colleges to seek and hold accreditation from a recognized agency or close. Institutions were given five years to gain accreditation from a recognized agency or leave Wyoming.
Newport immediately sued the state of Wyoming claiming the law violated its right to operate by delegating oversight to private accreditors. The Wyoming court decided this spring to unilaterally uphold the state’s right to require accreditation for online colleges.
While Newport International University has been closed in Wyoming, it has advised applicants that it will continue operation through Newport University of California. Newport University of Newport Beach, California, is a non accredited college.
Warren National University (once known as Kennedy National University) ceased operation in Wyoming earlier this year after failing to gain regional accreditation. That online school has appealed the Department of Education’s ruling that it must close.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jim McBride told the Associated Press that the education department approved of the state’s progress to date in closing unaccredited online schools. ”The Department of Education and the Wyoming legislature have worked towards this goal for the past three years,” McBride said. ”We will continue these efforts until all private degree-granting institutions are accredited.”
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