Although they've experienced years of growth both in Oklahoma City and nationwide, for-profit colleges such as the University of Phoenix are beginning to see signs of decline.
The Apollo Group, the parent company of the University of Phoenix, announced plans to close 115 campuses and satellite locations nationwide, including two learning centers in Oklahoma.
That announcement followed news that the for-profit education sector began shrinking last year, after more than a decade of explosive growth.
Federal figures released last month show college enrollment lagged across the board in fall 2011, particularly at for-profit colleges. The overall decline was just 0.2 percent, but it was driven by a 2.9 percent drop in the for-profit sector, which offset an increase at four-year nonprofit colleges.
Among the University of Phoenix locations slated for closure are the university's West Oklahoma City Learning Center on SW 3 St. in Oklahoma City and another center in Owasso. The university's main Oklahoma City campus will remain open.
Students currently enrolled at the affected campuses will be able to continue taking classes at those locations or another location nearby until they graduate, said Ryan Rauzon, a spokesman for the University of Phoenix. Those campuses won't accept any new students, he said.