California University Popular With Indian Students Receives Accreditor Warning

Northwestern Polytechnic University (NPU) in Fremont, Calif., has been asked by its accrediting agency to furnish demographic information about its students and the student and employer satisfaction surveys.


A California University with exceptionally large number of foreign students receiving U.S. work permits has been given a warning by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS ), according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Northwestern Polytechnic University (NPU) in Fremont, founded in 1984, has been asked by the accrediting agency to furnish demographic information about its students and the student and employer satisfaction surveys.

The compliance warning that Northwestern Polytechnic received is typically one of the lowest-level negative actions taken by the ACICS, Ben Miller, senior director for post-secondary education at the Center for American Progress, said, according to the report.

“The agency would continue to take action, as appropriate, if NPU fails to address concerns by the deadline next month,” ACICS president and CEO Michelle Edwards was quoted in the report.

ACICS has given NPU time until June 29 for furnishing details on student demographics. It has also asked for information regarding the satisfaction levels among students and the employers who hire students.

“We believe an answer directly from NPU is not as important as the approvals by numerous agencies that authorize NPU to fully operate. Since the start of negative media about NPU in 2016, NPU has undergone the scrutiny of a number of outside agencies. In all instances, NPU has received appropriate approvals that allow the institution to continue its mission,” the university said in a statement in response to reports over NPU being called a visa mill by critics, the report added.

According to a report by the Pew Research Center released earlier in May, NPU stood out with 11,700 foreign graduates who went on to participate in the Optional Practical Training program (OPT). This is more than double the second highest number recorded by Silicon Valley University, with 4,500 foreign graduates participating in OPT.

Chuck Grassley, the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, had called such universities, including the NPU, as visa mills. He had written a letter to Kirstjen Nielsen, the secretary of U.S. Department of Homeland Security, saying that these “visa mills” profit from the foreign student tuition and face little governmental supervision when issuing work visas under the program, which is not available to American students.

“Given all of these financial incentives – for students, schools and employers – it’s unsurprising that foreign student enrollment has exploded, while recent American grads are un- or under-employed,” Grassley said in the letter.

The article has been corrected and updated to show that the ACICS warning related to providing data on student demographics and student and employer satisfaction surveys.

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