Sage College Shuts Its Doors Due to Accreditation Issue
In a bizarre turn of events, one of the most well-known court reporting schools shut its doors in early January. Sage College, a private for-profit school in Moreno Valley, closed two weeks before the end of the quarter, turning away hundreds of court reporting and paralegal students.
Despite its good reputation, Sage College has been in the midst of a long awaited accreditation issue. School officials said that the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools lost its authority under a U.S. Department of Education decision.
In an email to its students, a college faculty member wrote:
“Effective immediately, it is with great sadness that we announce the closure of Sage College…This situation affects every school that was formerly approved by ACICS. It is not Sage College specific in any way.”
Students who were enrolled at the college are upset and feel betrayed.
“They told us in October that we had 18 months and that they would take care of us,” said Marissa Maginnis, a single mother who was studying to be a court reporter. “We were supposed to have finals next week. A lot of us feel like we’ve just been scammed.”
Maginnis had taken out $23,000 in student loans to pay for her education after hearing that certified court reporters could make close to $80,000 in San Diego. She figured the money would be a good investment. Now, without a plan going forward, she hopes that her loans will be forgiven.
Serenity Rodriguez, a 24-year-old studying to become a court reporter, was just a few months shy of finishing her program.
Students hoping to become court reporters are trained to record deposition videos as well as transcribe spoken word in precise detail. Students spend up to 15 hours a week practicing their transcriptions.
“It feels like a slap in the face,” said Rodriguez.
The ACICS released a statement that said that a hearing has been scheduled for Feb. 1 upon an injunction request. The organization hopes to reverse the Department of Education’s decision and resume classes for the 350 students, as well as rehire the 50 employees that had to be let go.
The organization hopes to “recover [its] historic role as a highly regarded accrediting agency.”