Mt Sierra College

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Mt Sierra College
MottoWhere technology meets creativity
TypePrivate University
PresidentBrian Chilstrom[1]
Location, ,

Mt Sierra College (MSC) was a private for-profit university in Monrovia, California. The college was established in 1990, offering majors in Media Arts and Design, Information Technology, and Business. It was owned by Chinese businessman George Jie Zhao's investment company Wellsland LLC.[4]


In January 1990, Mt Sierra College was established in Monrovia, California. Originally named "Computer Technology Institute", it offered short computer software application courses. In 1992, the college became a Novell Education Academic Partner and was authorized to offer Novell courses. In 1993, the college began a partnership with Microsoft and was authorized to offer Microsoft certification preparation courses.[5] In April 1996, the college received accreditation by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)[6][citation needed] and started offering degree courses in Telecommunications Technology, Multimedia Design Technology and Computer Information Technology. In fall 2002, Mt Sierra launched its first business degree program.

In 2014, the school was acquired by the investment firm Wellsland LLC, owned by Chinese businessman George Jie Zhao.[4]

Washington Monthly ranked Mt. Sierra College as #8 on its 2014 list of America's Worst Colleges based upon high costs and student debt versus low graduation rates.[7] During the mid 2010s, the college suffered from high attrition as students left the college; this information was not shared with the college's owners.[8]

In 2018, the college was placed "on warning"[9][10] by its accreditor, ACCSC, because of its below-benchmark graduation rates in three of its four accredited degree programs, and in June 2019, this was escalated to "probation".[11][10]

On June 24, 2019, college President Brian Chilstrom notified faculty, staff, and students by email that the college was to close the next day, stating that they had "severe financial problems" and "cannot continue to hold classes". According to the college, students due to graduate on June 27 would receive their diplomas, though the ceremony was cancelled because of security concerns.

Students and campus[edit]

Photo of the campus entrance
Mt Sierra College New Campus Entrance

Mt Sierra College had 200-500 students.[2][3] 86% of the classes had from 2 to 9 students.[12] In 2015, the college relocated to a new campus less than a mile away from the previous campus, still in Monrovia.[13]


  1. ^ "About Us". Mt Sierra College. June 25, 2019. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Mt. Sierra College Overview". CollegeData. 1st Financial Bank USA. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Mt. Sierra College - MSC". Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Tomkins, Courtney (March 29, 2016). "Why Mt. Sierra College moved its Monrovia campus". Pasadena Star-News. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  5. ^ "2014–2015 Academic Catalog" (PDF). Mt Sierra College. August 25, 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 24, 2015. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  6. ^ "Directory". ACCSC. Archived from the original on June 28, 2019. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  7. ^ Miller, Ben. "America's Worst Colleges". Washington Monthly (September/October 2014).
  8. ^ Evains, Tyler Shaun (June 26, 2019). "Drowning in debt, Monrovia's Mt Sierra College closes for good". San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  9. ^ "Schools on Warning". ACCSC. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  10. ^ a b Eichhorst, Holly (June 6, 2019). "(letter)" (PDF). ACCSC. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  11. ^ "Accredited Schools on Probation". ACCSC. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  12. ^ "Mt. Sierra College Academics". CollegeData. 1st Financial Bank USA. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  13. ^ "Alumni Connection Newsletter – September 2015" (PDF). September 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 12, 2015.

External links[edit]