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, Massachusetts, New York City and Livingston, New Jersey, 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.
Crowell Collier and Macmillan acquired Katharine Gibbs School in 1968. In 1989, Macmillan sold the schools to Phillips Colleges. K-III Communications acquired the school from Phillips in 1994. 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, the Illinois-based 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 three of the nine campuses in the Gibbs division (Boston, Massachusetts, Virginia, and Melville, New York) to its Sanford-Brown College brand and "teach out" the remaining 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 Archived December 5, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
- Types of Accreditation, Education USA website Archived April 24, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- PUBLISHER IN BID FOR GIBBS SCHOOL; Crowell Collier in Accord With Secretarial Institution
- Jones, Kathryn. "COMPANY NEWS; Katharine Gibbs Schools Are Sold". Retrieved 2018-03-24.
- 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