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Vatterott College was an accredited for-profit career training institute with programs at 16 campuses across the Midwest of the United States and online. It was operated by Vatterott Educational Centers, Inc., owned by the private equity firm TA Associates. The college also offered distance-learning programs, called eCompanion Courses, which allow students to earn credits, diplomas and degrees through online classes. The same resources were available to distance education students as on-campus students.
Vatterott College was founded in 1969 in St. Louis, Missouri by John C. Vatterott Sr. The original name was Urban Technical Centers, Inc., and subsequent changes included Vatterott & Sullivan Educational Center and Vatterott Educational Centers.
The institution changed its name to Vatterott College in 1989 when associate degree (specialized) granting authority was issued by the Accrediting Commission of National Association of Trade and Technical Schools (NATTS), which was called the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
In January 1985, the institution opened a facility in St. Ann, Missouri.
The college expanded to Springfield, Joplin, and Independence, Missouri in April 1991 as a result of a teach-out of students attending Draughon Business College. In August 1991, Vatterott College was authorized to establish branch campuses at these locations. In May 1995, Vatterott College expanded to Quincy, Illinois, as a result of the acquisition of the former Quincy Technical Schools.
In June 1996, the Business and Banking Institutes with locations in Omaha, Nebraska, and Des Moines, Iowa, were acquired. Programs were added and the institutions were relocated under the Vatterott brand. In the same year, an additional location of the St. Ann campus opened in Sunset Hills, Missouri. Vatterott College expanded into the following cities as a result of various teach-out agreements: St. Joseph, Missouri, in March 1995; Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1997; Memphis, Tennessee, in 1999; Wichita, Kansas, in 1999; and Cleveland, Ohio in 2001. In 1997, a location was opened in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
In December 1999, Vatterott College expanded in Omaha, Nebraska by acquiring the former Universal Technology Institute. In January 2000, a campus was established in O’Fallon, Missouri. In September 2001, Vatterott College purchased the former Omaha College of Health Careers in Omaha, Nebraska, and established a campus.
L’Ecole Culinaire, a culinary school located in St. Louis, was opened in 2004. Vatterott College operations expanded into Texas in 2004, acquiring Court Reporting Institute of Dallas and the Court Reporting Institute of Houston. These two campuses were permanently closed in 2015.
In January 2007, Vatterott Education Center located in Dallas, Texas was approved as a branch campus of the Quincy main institution and has been closed since 2014. The Vatterott Career College, Appling Farms (Memphis, TN) location was opened in April 2008. In November 2008, L’École Culinaire, Cordova, Tennessee, was opened. Vatterott College was established in Fairview Heights, Illinois in August 2009 with seven diploma programs.
In September 2009, TA Associates acquired Vatterott Educational Centers, Inc. from WellSpring Capital Partners. The O’Fallon, Missouri, location relocated in the fall of 2010 to a renovated building in St. Charles, Missouri. The Court Reporting Institute opened a campus in Arlington, Virginia, in December 2011 and was closed within one year after opening.
In 2017, forty programs at Vatterot failed the first test of the Obama Administration's gainful employment rule. The following year, in November 2018, the Quincy, Des Moines, Wichita, Cleveland, and Oklahoma City campuses were permanently closed. One month later the college lost its accreditation by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.
Lawsuits, investigations, and criticismEdit
In 2009, three executives of the Vatterott were convicted of conspiring to obtain federal student grants and loans for students who were not eligible by providing false information and documents.
In 2014, the college was sued by a student who claimed that she was misled that her credits from the college would be transferable toward a nursing certificate. The plaintiff was awarded $27,676 in actual damages and about $2 million in punitive damages, because the state of Missouri law caps these awards.
In January 2017, Brian Carroll, president of the college's Kansas City campus for the previous five years, was fired by the school because he allowed a homeless student to sleep in the library on a night where temperatures fell to -4 degrees Fahrenheit.
Effective December 17, 2018, Vatterott College has closed its remaining campus.
Vatterott College closed all campuses on December 17, 2018.
- Vatterott Educational Centers, Inc.
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- Nelly's Ex'Treme Institute now open to students, KSDK-TV. http://www.ksdk.com/news/article/288651/3/Nellys-music-school-now-open-to-students
- Nelly to Open Production School in St. Louis, BET.com, Nov. 27, 2011. http://www.bet.com/news/music/2011/11/27/nelly-to-open-production-school-in-st-louis.html
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- Vatterott Educational Centers to Close, December 19, 2018