Rachael Keating/Clinton Herald

Ashford University remains in Clinton at its 19th Avenue Northwest location. 

CLINTON — Bridgepoint Education announced today that it would separate from its academic institutions Ashford University and the University of the Rockies. 

Bridgepoint will become an Online Program Management company. 

Ashford University's main campus closed in Clinton in 2016, but the university still remains in Clinton at its west-end campus at 1310 19th Ave. Northwest.  

In addition, Ashford University has submitted an application to the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) to merge with University of the Rockies, its sister institution, and to return to an independent, non-profit university. Pending these and other necessary approvals, the merged institution of Ashford University and University of the Rockies intends to negotiate a services agreement to become Bridgepoint Education's first client as an OPM.

"This transformation marks the next phase in the missions of both Bridgepoint and Ashford University and is a strategic decision that leadership has been considering and thoughtfully evaluating for quite some time," said Andrew Clark, CEO and president of Bridgepoint Education.

As an OPM, Bridgepoint Education will seek to help colleges and universities adapt to technological innovations, shifts in student demographics, and changing expectations regarding the role of higher education in supporting workforce development.

As part of this change, University of the Rockies will also merge with Ashford University, its sister institution. The doctoral programs offered by University of the Rockies will become a new doctoral college within Ashford University. University of the Rockies master's programs will be integrated into Ashford's existing colleges. The addition of University of the Rockies' graduate-level social and behavioral sciences programs will enable Ashford University to reach a wider array of students and help close the skills gap faced by employers.

The completion of Ashford University's return to non-profit status, and University of the Rockies merging with Ashford University, are subject to customary closing conditions and the approval by the WASC Senior College and University Commission, the U.S. Department of Education, the Internal Revenue Service, and state regulatory bodies.