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Sanford-Brown Institute to close career school campus in Wilkins

| Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Another for-profit operator of a post-secondary career school in the Pittsburgh region will close a local campus.

Sanford-Brown Institute said on Thursday that it no longer is enrolling students at its career school in Wilkins, and that campus likely will close in May 2014 while a Downtown center remains open.

The school's Penn Center Boulevard location will begin “a gradual process of discontinuing operations — what's called a ‘teach-out', ” said Mark Spencer, spokesman for Sanford-Brown owner Career Education Corp.

The Illinois-based company operates 23 Sanford-Brown schools, which offer several types of medical technology and other programs. Career Education has a total 90 career-oriented schools worldwide with more than 90,000 students.

The company also is in the final stages of closing its Le Cordon Bleu culinary arts school in the Clark Building, Downtown. Spencer said that closing, announced in 2011, is unrelated to the move to phase out the Wilkins school.

Sanford-Brown's move also comes less than two months after the University of Phoenix, another for-profit education services company, announced 115 closings, including a phase-out of its center in Robinson. About 100 current students there will be allowed to finish their degrees.

Spencer would not disclose enrollment numbers for Sanford-Brown's Wilkins or Downtown schools but said the company “made this difficult decision by taking a number of factors into account, including enrollment levels at the campus, financial viability, community need and employment opportunities for graduates within the local market.”

Career Education is “committed to ensuring that (students) are afforded ample opportunity to complete their course of study, including continued career services support,” he said.

The Wilkins location's website lists programs for aspiring dental and medical assistants, emergency medical services/paramedics, medical billing and coding workers, pharmacy technicians and other professionals.

Sanford-Brown expanded its Downtown center in 2010 by leasing two additional floors in a Seventh Avenue building for a total of six floors.

Kim Leonard is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5606 or kleonard@tribweb.com.

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