Western Oklahoma State College Is Put on Probation Over Quick-Credit Courses

Western Oklahoma State College, the small, rural institution that drew national attention last fall for its 10-day accelerated courses that enabled thousands of college athletes to remain eligible to compete, was put on probation on Thursday by its regional accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

According to The Oklahoman, the accreditor found the quick-credit courses did not meet standards for quality and rigor, and the college is now forbidden to offer them.

Students currently enrolled in the courses must be permitted to complete them in eight- or 16-week formats, the newspaper reported, citing a notice released by the commission. The college must also conduct a self-study stemming from the commission’s concerns, submit to a site visit from an accrediting team, and undergo an examination of all of its courses by the commission.

The college’s accelerated courses came under fire after The Chronicle published an investigation in November describing how thousands of college athletes had used the 10-day classes to help maintain their eligibility to play NCAA sports.

Western Oklahoma initially defended the quality and rigor of the 10-day courses, but in January, after the courses drew the scrutiny of the regional accreditor and of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, the college discontinued them.

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