National Labor College of Silver Spring to close -- Gazette.Net







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The National Labor College in Silver Spring announced that it will be closing because of financial difficulties.

“I am deeply saddened to report,” the closure of the college, President Paula Peinovich wrote in a message on the school’s website. “The Board reluctantly decided to accept the inevitability of our closure,” she wrote.

The private, nonprofit college was founded in 1969 by George Meany “to serve the educational needs of the labor movement,” according to its mission statement, which calls it an “activist institution.”

Classes focus on business, labor studies and unions. Most of the students are working adults and part-time students. The school offers seven degree programs and a number of professional certificates. In the fall of 2012, 618 students were enrolled, according to the college’s website.

A post on the college’s blog on Nov. 15 wrote that the school will be closing slowly “over the coming months,” and administrators are currently working out the details of the plan for closing, which they expect to reveal in mid-December. Writers of the post told students to continue their coursework.

Students will still receive credit and the school plans to have students close to graduation complete their degrees. Those close to graduation are being asked to contact their academic advisers to work out an individual plan.

The college’s financial troubles have mostly come from the cost of building the Kirkland Conference Center in 2006, according to the blog. Fundraising has failed to remedy the heavy debt.

Administrators hoped that selling some land and buildings the college didn’t need would bring in significant funds, however a deal for a sale with Reid Temple and the Montgomery County Housing Opportunities Commission fell through over the summer, according to the blog post.

The 47-acre Silver Spring campus is currently for sale, the blog read. The college also has a campus in the District.

College representatives could not be reached by the time of publication.