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CODA offers information, resources to dental hygiene students affected by Argosy closure

April 17, 2019

By Kimber Solana

In response to the Argosy University-Twin Cities closure in March, the Commission on Dental Accreditation is providing information and resources to programs that could help affected dental hygiene students fulfill their education goals.

“[CODA] will assist any program that is willing to accept the former Argosy students by providing guidance with reporting program changes to CODA for review,” according to a statement CODA released on April 11. “To that end, if another CODA-accredited dental hygiene program is interested in accepting Argosy students, the Commission will review its program report in an expedited manner.”

According to news reports, the for-profit college system closed campuses nationwide on March 8 after it was cut off from federal loan programs, affecting more than 1,000 students. The college system had not distributed about $13 million in federal loans to students nationwide. A federal court-appointed receiver now holds the schools’ assets.

Since it became aware of Argosy’s potential closure earlier this year, the Commission said in a statement it has been in communication with CODA-accredited dental hygiene programs that may be willing to accept Argosy students, the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and the Argosy University receiver, in providing guidance and resources related to reporting program changes in order for a program to accept additional students.

On Feb. 12, the Commission had requested that Argosy University submit a formal teach-out report, which details changes that might affect a program’s ability to meet accreditation standards, after becoming aware of the potential closure of the program. Despite following up with Argosy, CODA has yet to receive a teach-out report, according to the Commission. 

“Further, no CODA-accredited dental hygiene program has requested CODA review of a program change by which it can accept the Argosy students,” the Commission said in its statement. “The [Commission] has no authority to require an education program to accept students.”

According to the Commission, it has been suggested that it waive accreditation standards and/or reduce requirements in order to accommodate Argosy students in other CODA-accredited programs. However, the Commission stated it is obligated to ensure the sustained quality of CODA-accredited programs and cannot waive or reduce requirements.

And while the Commission has provided information and resources to dental hygiene programs that may be interested in accepting the former Argosy University students, it is ultimately the accepting program’s choice to admit students.

 “A program’s decision to admit students may be impacted by institutional policies on admission, program resources, program graduation requirements and other factors that may differ from the program previously offered by Argosy,” the Commission said in a statement.

To view a list of dental hygiene programs currently accredited by CODA, visit ADA.org/coda/find-a-program. In addition, the Minnesota Office of Higher Education has developed resources to communicate between schools, students and accreditors. Visit www.ohe.state.mn.us and click on “Information for Argosy University Students.”