University of Atlanta

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University of Atlanta
TypePrivate, for-profit, distance education

The University of Atlanta, formerly known as Barrington University, is a private for-profit distance education institution authorized by the State of Georgia's Nonpublic Post Secondary Education Commission.[1] Until June 30, 2013, the University of Atlanta was accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council.[2]


Operation as Barrington University[edit]

The University of Atlanta was founded as Barrington University (not to be confused with Barrington College) in the early 1990s by Robert and Steven Bettinger.[3] Barrington University, was incorporated, licensed and headquartered in Mobile, Alabama[4] offering $4,450 degrees granting considerable credit for life experiences.[5] Barrington operated as a subsidiary of Boca Raton-based Virtual Academics.[6]


The company's literature claimed that its chairman had a doctorate and a master's degree; an investigation showed that he had neither.[7] Barrington also claimed accreditation by the International Association of Universities and Schools Inc. (IAUS). However, a 2003 investigation by the South Florida Business Journal revealed this was a for-profit corporation set up in Florida (not Switzerland or Washington, D.C., as claimed) by Virtual Academics' chairman, Robert Bettinger, and the owner of another for-profit college in 1998. According to the New York Post, they did this to avoid further problems due to their schools' lack of accreditation.[3][7] The IAUS' charter was subsequently dissolved by the State of Florida for failure to pay annual registration fees.[8] The South Florida Business Journal also reported that Barrington was paying professors and schools in China commissions to sell Barrington degrees to Chinese students; this revelation caused a major drop in Chinese enrollments and a resulting decline in revenues.[7][9]

In 2000, school began having problems with the State of Alabama. The state threatened to revoke its operating license. State investigators determined that Barrington had been operating out of the offices of a secretarial and answering service.[10]

A General Accounting Office investigation found that Barrington was offering degrees based on life experience and online coursework, requiring no classroom experience or proctored exams. By 2008, the State of Alabama was conducting a crackdown on such schools operating in Alabama, requiring that all be accredited or actively seeking accreditation by October.[11]

Establishment and operation as University of Atlanta[edit]

The building in which the University of Atlanta has its office; the sign reads "Iverson Business School"

In 2008, while still operating in Mobile, Barrington changed its name to the University of Atlanta.[11] The university also received accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC).[12]

In early 2012, the University of Atlanta's accreditor, the Distance Education and Training Council DETC, announced that the school had stopped enrolling new students and that University of Atlanta resigned its accreditation on June 30, 2013.[2]

Authorizations and affiliations[edit]

The University of Atlanta is authorized by the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission[1] It is a member of the European Association for Distance Learning,[13] American Council on Education.[14] and The American Academy of Project Management[15] In 2008, it became affiliated with the United States Department of Defense's Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES).[16] As of 2015, It does not appear to be on the DANTES list of participating institutions.[17] The university is accredited with premier status by the Accreditation Service for International Colleges (ASIC) in the United Kingdom.[18]


According to the State of Georgia's Nonpublic Post Secondary Education Commission (GNPEC), the University of Atlanta is authorized to grant Bachelor of Science (BSc), Master of Science (MSc) and Doctor of Science degrees in different fields of study.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "GNPEC » GNPEC School Directory Search". Archived from the original on 2015-12-22. Retrieved 2015-12-13.
  2. ^ a b "Report from the accrediting Commission" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-07-15.
  3. ^ a b Byron, Christopher (2004-06-07). "Fee for Certificate". The New York Post. Retrieved 2009-03-25.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-11-01. Retrieved 2015-12-13.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Harkness, Seth (2003-01-23). "Internet 'colleges' offer no-study diplomas for price". Rutland Herald. Retrieved 2009-03-04.
  6. ^ "Virtual Academics now Cenuco". South Florida Business Journal. 2003-01-02. Retrieved 2009-03-04.
  7. ^ a b c Duggan, Ed (2000-10-13). "Reality check for Virtual". South Florida Business Journal. Retrieved 2009-03-04.
  8. ^ "Virtual whatever". South Florida Business Journal. 2007-10-20. Retrieved 2009-03-04.
  9. ^ "Time to shuffle the deck and pick 2003's turkeys". South Florida Business Journal. 2003-11-21. Retrieved 2009-03-04.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2003-04-22. Retrieved 2015-12-13.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ a b Spencer, Thomas (2008-09-02). "Alabama takes aim at Internet colleges; Chancellor's office says targets 'not real schools'". The Birmingham News. Retrieved 2009-03-04.
  12. ^ Report From the Accrediting Commission, pp. 26-30 in DETC News, Fall 2008, Distance Education and Training Council, accessed 12-12-2009.
  13. ^ European Association for Distance Learning. "List of All Members: United States of America". Archived from the original on 2008-12-01. Retrieved December 24, 2009.
  14. ^ American Council on Education (2009). "Members and Associates Directory: U". Archived from the original on 2009-12-28. Retrieved December 24, 2009.
  15. ^ "Project Management Degrees Program Certification Master Jobs Project Management Courses Software Project Manager Training Institutes Master Project Manager AAFM ™ AAPM American Academy of Project Management". Retrieved 2017-07-15.
  16. ^ Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (December 2008). "DANTES Catalog of Nationally Accredited Distance Learning Program News" (PDF). DANTES Information Bulletin (384): 5. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 22, 2011.
  17. ^ "Participating Institutions". Retrieved 2017-07-15.
  18. ^ "International College Directory". Accreditation Service for International Colleges. Retrieved 18 December 2012.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°55′38.43″N 84°16′17.90″W / 33.9273417°N 84.2716389°W / 33.9273417; -84.2716389