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American Commercial College in Abilene now enrolling students, federal litigation still pending

By Jennifer Kendall, jkendall@ktxs.com
Published On: Feb 13 2013 09:48:55 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 14 2013 08:01:54 AM CST
ABILENE, Texas -

American Commercial College in Abilene is taking applications for enrollment for the first time since the federal government began investigating them over a year ago.

The career college lost its certificate of approval last year, after an investigation allegedly found college staff had falsified financial documents to the state. The staff was told they were prohibited from enrolling new students at that time, but Tuesday that changed.

The Texas Workforce Commission that oversees career colleges in the state decided to grant ACC in Abilene “conditional certificate of approval.” 

Lisa Givens of TWC said the school has worked out a deal with them and agreed to some specific provisions allowing them to begin enrolling students again.

Those provisions included creating an escrow account so they can repay students in case the school is forced to close. They also must notify all applicants that their accreditation is still pending with Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. Lastly, they must resolve any outstanding student complaints and legal action taken by the U.S. Department of Justice.

"While this allows them to enroll students, it doesn't allow them to teach any classes," said Givens.

If accreditation is reinstated to Abilene’s ACC campus by the ACICS then ACC in Abilene will be able to begin teaching students.

"We’re hoping to start in March if everything goes as is planned," said Paige Griggs, director of ACC in Abilene. 

Griggs said the year-long investigation is not something future students should worry about.

"There are going to be complaints in any business. It doesn't matter what it is," Griggs said.

ACC in Abilene is hoping to enroll about 30 students this semester. The school’s staff expect to begin classes March 18th.