After Shooting, Future of Oikos University's Schooling Uncertain

Oikos University's future as a school is far from certain.

Classes will go on, leaders of Oikos University have pledged in the week since six students and a staff member died in the April 3 mass shooting in Oakland. But assurances are few, and questions are many.

Moments after promising current students and staff that classes will go on, school president Jongin Kim told the Oakland Tribune that he needs "help, lots of help" in order to continue offering religion, nursing, and music classes to about 100 students, mostly Christian immigrants from South Korea.

"Bad publicity is not good," Kim told the newspaper, which noted that most of the school's income comes from tuition. And without student interest, there is no tuition.

Unknown before disgruntled former student One L. Goh allegedly fatally shot seven people over a tuition dispute, Oikos University also lacks accreditation, according to the newspaper.

Only 41 percent of its nursing school graduates passed the statewide examination to become a nurse, well below the minimum mark needed to qualify a school for accrediation, the newspaper reported.

The music and theology departments are unaccredited, and any accreditation is as much as a year and a half away. And the school shares its campus-- one low-slung building in a quiet East Oakland industrial park -- with a massage parlor where cops have conducted stings. Its next-door neighbor is the Alameda County Food Bank.

Oikos's fringe status is part of a trend where religious-themed schools draw immigrants who get questionable payback or benefits in return.

"There is no accountability," a professor from a Korean Christian school in Michigan told the newspaper. "That's why sometimes these schools tend to become ghettoized."

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