As the Providence School in Rhode Island, it was founded in 1911 as an institution for the career education of young women. A few years later, the institution expanded with satellite campuses in Boston and New York and was renamed for its founder. It specialized in education in industries such as design, business administration, computer technology, criminal justice, and health care.
The college was nationally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. It did not have regional accreditation; thus, most regionally accredited or traditional universities and colleges were reluctant to accept its credits for transfer and many did not recognize its undergraduate degrees for entry into graduate programs.
In 1997, The Career Education Corporation (CEC) acquired the Gibbs Group. In 2009, it began shutting down most of the campuses after a failed effort to sell the Gibbs franchise.
Gibbs College locations:
Katharine Gibbs School locations:
In January 2007, the New York State Education Department reported deficiencies at the Katharine Gibbs New York campus. The problems related to faculty qualifications and remedial course offerings. New enrollment was limited and the Education Department stated it would close the college if improvements were not made.
In the fall of 2006, Career Education Corporation announced that the entire Gibbs College division was being put up for sale. Over the next year, no buyer could be found, so on Thursday, February 14, 2008, Career Education Corporation announced that it would convert two of the nine campuses in the Gibbs division (Virginia and Melville, New York) to its Sanford-Brown College brand and "teach out" the remaining seven schools in the division. Those seven campuses were scheduled to close in December 2009. Students are still being admitted into the Melville, New York campus which has been reflagged as "SBI Campus, an affiliate of Sanford Brown". The Virginia operation is being shut down.
- Gibbs website
- Demanding Credit, Inside Higher Education website, dated Oct. 19, 2005 by Scott Jaschik
- Tussling Over Transfer of Credit, Inside Higher Education website, February 26, 2007 by Doug Lederman
- What is the Difference Between Regional and National Accreditation, Yahoo! Education website
- Types of Accreditation, Education USA website
- State Finds Serious Problems at Gibbs School in Manhattan, January 31, 2007, New York Times, Karen W. Arenson
- Gibbs College to close Northeast campuses, The Associated Press, February 15, 2008
- SBI Campus-Melville website
- Webpage on Sanford Brown website; accessed December 1, 2013
- Doherty, Rose A., Katharine Gibbs: Beyond White Gloves, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, May 2014. ISBN 978-1495389917