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Thu Jan 30, 2014, 02:03 AM


National Labor College to close.

In 1969 AFL-CIO President George Meany founded a labor studies center under the direction of Fred K. Hoehler Jr. to promote education and training opportunities for union leadership and rank-and-file members...

On November 6, 1974, AFL-CIO President George Meany dedicated the George Meany Center for Labor Studies, located on the former campus of Xaverian College. The property was purchased from the Xaverian Brothers by the AFL-CIO for $2.5 million in 1971...

In 1997 under the leadership of AFL-CIO President John J. Sweeney, the center received authorization to grant baccalaureate degrees by the State of Maryland Higher Education Commission and became an independent institution of higher learning and renamed the National Labor College. By 2004, National Labor College had become fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.[6]

In the fall of 2006 the new Lane Kirkland Center opened on the National Labor College campus, to provide upgraded facilities, and to greatly expand the college's hosting capabilities. At the time, the college hoped to promote the Kirkland Center as "America's union hall." However, the center is included in the planned sale of the campus in 2012.[4]

In 2009, the college entered into a partnership with Penn Foster Education, a career college subsidiary of the Princeton Review in order to develop a distance education program. The program was ended by the college in November, 2011, because of the slow growth of the program and the financial difficulties of the Princeton Review.[9] The college intended to use the facilities developed under this program to build its own program of distance education.[9] The losses from the joint program were in part responsible for the 2012 decision to close the college's campus and function in online education only.[4]

On November 12, the National Labor College Board of Trustees directed Peinovich and the college's officers to develop a plan to close the college due to the institution's ongoing financial difficulties.


Princeton Review is a private for-profit test prep company owned by Charlesbank Capital Partners, a private-equity firm.

Penn Foster is a private company specializing in distance education: high school, vocational, and college, purchased in 2009 by Princeton Review.

Ironically, there are labor issues surrounding the closing:

“Our union, comprised of professionals and faculty members, calls on the National Labor College and the AFL-CIO to ensure that the student body has a seamless path to finish out their degrees, and that the college meets its contractual obligations to its union-represented staff. How the closure proceeds will reflect greatly on the labor movement, its values and how it honors its obligations to union members, both as students and employees.

The National Labor College was founded and supported by the AFL-CIO to help working families and union members pursue higher education as the cost of college has become increasingly out-of-reach for many American families. A recent report by the College Board found that for 2013-2014, the median tuition and fees price tag was over $11,000 — not including room and board. Since the college’s founding, the AFL-CIO has always subsidized tuition for union members to make the cost of attendance affordable. The AFL-CIO and the National Labor College should continue to work together to ensure moral and contractual obligations to students and staff are met.”


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