Press Release (1st Edit)


Ryokan College, a non-profit higher-educational institution established in 1978 and uniquely dedicated to the needs of adult learners, has had to close its doors after graduating almost 1,400 graduates.

Most of our graduates became licensed Marriage Family Therapists or Psychologists in California.  At an average of treating 25 clients a week, our graduates probably provide 1.5 million mental health visits per year.  The average age of the Ryokan Student was 44 years old and 60%  were female who chose Ryokan College because of its practicing clinicians as instructors and 1/4 tuition of most universities.

Unfortunately, in 2015, the legislature, yielding to political and monied pressures, dealt a death blow to the College and like institutions, making it nearly impossible for places such as Ryokan to continue to give adult learners, many of whom are parents or those pursuing a second career, the opportunity to pursue what was clearly a more affordable and qualitatively comparable graduate education, by forcing smaller, less funded institutions to either become accredited or to cease to operate, even though State law had permitted us to to so for decades—without a single serious complaint against us!  As a result, the College’s enrollment and financial viability immediately plummeted.

In 2017, the California Board of Psychology demanded regional accreditation for all institutions whose graduates sought licensure as psychologists. Ryokan College filed suit against the Board, seeking injunctive relief, but these actions were simply not enough to sustain our viability as a school, to pay our bills and our faculty and staff, while carrying a growing and eventually impossible to manage debt. As a consequence of all of the above, and seeing no benefactor or other remedies to resolve our plight, Ryokan College is now forced to close and declare bankruptcy.

The College thanks all those who have come through our doors and, especially, all who have, through their careers, given generously to us to further our cause.

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"I chose Ryokan because it was convenient, flexible and affordable. I still work, have a family, take care of my aged mom, own a home, etc. The online classes work best for my busy lifestyle. Without their flexibility, I would not pursue this."

Bob Kennedy, MS, MFT (current doctoral student)

"I had attended two California State Universities and received a Master’s Degree from each before attending Ryokan College to acquire my doctorate in Clinical psychology. My second Master’s Degree was from California State University at Dominguez Hills—the program was completely online and there was virtually no difference in the quality of education I received from an accredited California state university and Ryokan college."

Dr. Jann Blackstone-Ford

"My experience at Ryokan from the initial interview through graduation was one of encouragement, motivation and compassion. I have referred others to Ryokan without hesitation knowing first hand that the school is always a part of my mind and I will always be grateful to Ryokan for giving me that chance."

Honey Pietruszka, Psy. D. PSY