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Westwood College answers your questions

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Westwood College's top priority is the success of our students and graduates, and we are dedicated to providing the tools they need to succeed both in the classroom and in their careers. As part of our commitment to direct and honest communications with prospective students, current students and graduates, following are answers to some questions about topics such as financial aid, tuition, job placement services, accreditation, transfer of credits and employment rates.

Why should I attend Westwood College?

How do students rate the school's faculty and programs?

What makes Westwood College's career-based education different from a more traditional education?

What type of accreditation does Westwood College have?

How many Westwood College graduates find jobs in their fields of study?

How much does a Westwood College education cost?

What is the process for applying for financial aid?

Will I be able to transfer credits to another school?

Why do credits typically not transfer from a career-focused college to traditional college?

What kind of academic and career support is provided to students?

What are Westwood College's tuition-free retraining/refresher courses?

Does Westwood College provide employment support for graduates?

What is the Employment Pledge?

What is the status of Westwood College's campuses in Texas?

Can Texas students enroll at Westwood College Online?

What is the background on the case filed by the Illinois Attorney General?

I still have questions/concerns. Where else can I turn?

 

Why should I attend Westwood College?

With many of today's employers focusing on job skills, Westwood College's primary goal is to help students graduate with the skills they need to start a career. Our degree programs in healthcare, technology, business, design, and criminal justice prepare students to be competitive in the workforce upon graduation. Westwood College's faculty has strong academic credentials, as well as experience in their field of study.

Westwood College is accredited by the national accrediting agency ACICS, which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. We have tens of thousands of Westwood graduates who are very satisfied with their degrees, and thousands of employers have hired Westwood College graduates.

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How do students rate the school's faculty and programs?

Higher than most other students rate their own schools.  According to a study by Noel-Levitz, a nationally recognized consulting firm specializing in higher education research, a survey of nearly 2,000 Westwood College students found that they are more satisfied in all areas, including academic advising effectiveness, student centeredness and campus services, than their counterparts attending other private or public four-year colleges. The area of instructional effectiveness - indicating positive impressions about our faculty and our curriculum - ranked a positive 5.9 on a 6-point scale.

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What makes Westwood College's career-based education different from a more traditional education?

The educational experience at Westwood College is different than traditional colleges. Westwood offers hands-on, career-focused classes in high-growth fields such as healthcare and technology to help students meet the needs of a job market that requires specialized training and skills. Unlike many traditional colleges, Westwood provides small class sizes that promote one-on-one interactions and includes real-world coursework and hands-on training, so students develop the skills they will actually use on the job. Westwood's faculty has strong academic credentials, as well as experience in their fields of study.

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What type of accreditation does Westwood College have?

Westwood is one of more than 900 colleges, universities and schools throughout the United States accredited by the over 100-year-old national accreditation organization, the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).

Westwood's accreditation by ACICS is the right choice for our institution. Schools with national accreditation have instruction models and course content vastly different from most traditional degree programs. National accreditation allows nontraditional colleges (trade schools, religious schools, certain online schools), like Westwood, to be measured against similarly designed institutions. Strong student outcomes also are a hallmark of ACICS accreditation, which includes an annual review of student retention and placement rates. Find out more here: ACICS Accreditation

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How many Westwood College graduates find jobs in their fields of study?

Our Graduate Statistics document provides an in-depth overview of how many Westwood graduates are employed in their fields of study or related fields by campus.

Students are considered employed in their fields if their primary job duties closely match the core skills taught in the program. The nature of the work defines the employment status, not the company's industry. For example, an IT graduate working on computers at an advertising agency is considered employed in his field of study, but an IT graduate working as a receptionist at an IT company is not, since she is not using the IT skills and knowledge gained from completing the program.

Hear what some Westwood grads have to say about how their education prepared them to succeed in their chosen fields.

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How much does a Westwood College education cost?

Tuition and fees vary by program and by state. Specific information is readily available in the Financial Aid and Tuition section of the Westwood website. In addition to the website, the total cost of a Westwood education is covered by the admissions representative during the interview process, and the costs are also listed in catalog addenda and the enrollment agreement that all applicants must sign.

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What is the process for applying for financial aid?

Knowing what financing options* are available and whether you qualify makes it easier to figure out how much money you will need to complete your degree. Some financing options include:

  • Scholarships and grants
  • Borrowed money (federal loans, private or bank loans)
  • Your money
  • Institutional financing (APEX financing)

Learn more by watching this video about paying for college.

Westwood College pairs finance specialists with prospective students to help research and outline these options. We firmly believe access to education beyond high school is the right of every individual. Lack of financial resources alone should not be a barrier.

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Will I be able to transfer credits to another school?

Except in limited circumstances, Westwood credits will not transfer to other schools and a degree from Westwood will not be honored for admission to an advanced-degree program.

Decisions concerning the acceptance of Westwood College credits by any institution other than Westwood are made at the sole discretion of the receiving institution.

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Why do credits typically not transfer from a career-focused college to traditional college?

Credit transfers are challenging because of the differences in curriculum and teaching approach between traditional colleges and career-focused colleges such as Westwood. As a career-focused college, Westwood offers a hands-on approach to learning that's different — though, we believe, no less valuable — than approaches students may experience at other colleges and universities. When schools do not offer similar courses, they are unlikely to accept credit transfers from Westwood. As with any type of transfer of credit, the ultimate decision on transfer of credit depends on the policies of the receiving institution.

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What kind of academic and career support is provided to students?

Westwood College offers unparalleled support for students, which includes a team of five advisors called the "Success Team" to help them make the most of their college experience from enrollment through employment. The Success Team – which includes an admissions representative, a student services advisor, a student finance specialist, a program director and a career development advisor – assists students in completing the enrollment process, finding student financing, selecting the right courses, staying motivated and mapping our their career goals. In addition, the career development advisor provides one-on-one career counseling to help students prepare résumés and graduate portfolios, refine interviewing skills with mock interviews and find internships in their fields of study. Westwood College also hosts networking events with employers and coordinates on-campus interviews. These career services are available to current students, graduates and even graduates who are already employed.

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What are Westwood College's tuition-free retraining/refresher courses?

Westwood College offers its graduates tuition-free* retraining (books, tools, lab fees may apply), including auditing a class they have already completed or taking an updated course after graduation with training on new computer equipment and software.

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Does Westwood College provide employment support for graduates?

Westwood College graduates are offered comprehensive career assistance, not just at the time of graduation but for the rest of their lives. The college is committed to its students and graduates and has an interest in helping them to succeed in life and in their careers.

Westwood College offers one-on-one career counseling from the moment students begin classes to help them map out their career goals. Westwood College helps students prepare résumés and graduate portfolios, refine interviewing skills with mock interviews and find internships in their field. Westwood College has business relationships with many top companies, which aids graduates in their job searches.

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What is the Employment Pledge?

Westwood College is so confident that its students will get the right skills to launch their careers that it is pledging to help pay their bills if they haven't found a job within six months of graduation.

If students do not find employment within six months of graduation, Westwood College will stand by them and help pay their bills for up to six months or when they become employed, whichever comes first.

Westwood College will provide qualifying graduates with $500 per month for up to six months (bachelor's and master's degrees) or $250 per month for up to six months (diploma and associate degrees). If they qualify for the program, graduates will be given a monthly check to use as they see fit. Read about what students need to do to qualify for the program and check out all the program details here.

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What is the status of Westwood College's campuses in Texas?

Westwood College has closed its three campuses in Texas. We are committed to provide ongoing graduate services, including career services and alumni retraining to our Texas graduates through our online campus. Learn about ongoing graduate services for our Texas graduates.

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Can Texas students enroll at Westwood College Online?

Yes, Texas students can enroll at Westwood College Online beginning with the January 2012 term. Recently the state of Texas enacted a law allowing online schools headquartered outside of the state to enroll Texas residents without licensure by the Texas Workforce Commission.

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What is the background on the case filed by the Illinois Attorney General?

Westwood reviewed the allegations and believes that the information and disclosures all students receive and the training Westwood provides its students effectively address the claims made by the Attorney General. We have hundreds of graduates working in criminal justice fields throughout Illinois and are proud of our legacy of helping students meet their education and career goals. A sampling of places where you can find our criminal justice graduates working include Cook County Circuit Courts, Schiller Park Police Department, Intel Corporation, DuPage Juvenile Probation Center, Country Club Hills Police Department, Chicago Urban League and the Illinois Department of Corrections.

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I still have questions/concerns. Where else can I turn?

Our goal is to provide an educational experience focused on helping students learn career skills, graduate and get jobs. To that end, we provide current Westwood College students and graduates with a number of tools to help them find answers. One is the Student Resolution Hotline at 888-331-3036. No question, concern, clarification or complaint is too small or too big for the Westwood College staff members who answer this hotline.

1Financial aid available to those who qualify.
2Participating in the Westwood alumni re-training program is tuition-free for qualified graduates. Additional costs such as lab fees, books, and supplies are the responsibility of the student. Retraining is limited to the program or area of emphasis from which the student graduated and is subject to space availability.