More than 100 former students and faculty members from ITT Technical Institute’s Madison location have been scrambling since the announcement that the school will not be enrolling students for the September quarter.
On Tuesday, the for-profit college giant suspended its operations on 130 campuses across the country. ITT Tech only ran one campus in the state, but many students are left wondering what options they have.
Several community colleges in the state are planning how they will assess each student from ITT Tech that applies for standing in the programs they offer.
“We are looking at any opportunity that we have to advance those students in their degree to continue on the path they have chosen in a program at ITT Tech,” said Amy Whittington, district director for career technical education at Holmes Community College. “Looking at the list we found on the website for ITT Tech, much of what they had there, we mirror here.”
Students who attended one of ITT Tech’s locations when it announced its closure or any who withdrew from an ITT Tech location no more than 120 days prior to Sept. 6 can either transfer their credits to another institution to continue in a comparable program or apply for a closed school loan discharge.
Whittington said Holmes will be using prior learning assessments, credit by examination, credit for credentials, and CLEP exams to retain some of the credits students earned before ITT Tech’s closing.
“For instance, maybe a student already had taken a (computer-aided drawing) class, and we have a principles of (computer-aided drawing) offered here,” Whittington said. “That engineering tech department would come together and develop an exam where by if a student passed that exam, we would feel that they were proficient in that area.”
In a press release, Hinds Community College announced that it would work similarly with former ITT Technical Institute students on a case-by-case basis to determine their transfer potential to Hinds.
“We want to do what we can for these students while maintaining the instructional integrity at Hinds Community College,” said Randall Harris, associate vice president of Student Advancement and District Registrar.
Students who decide to finish their degree in a comparable program will not be able to apply for a closed school school loan discharge.
A closed school loan discharge will return all of the money students took out via federal Direct Loans, Federal Family Education Loan Program loans, and Federal Perkins Loans. In addition, effected students will be reimbursed the amount of money they paid to the government.
Between Sept. 7 and Sept. 22, the Department of Education will be sponsoring a series of sixteen national webinars for ITT students to discuss options, questions, and concerns.
The closure is the culmination of pressures on ITT due to concerns about their programs. Last month, the U.S. Department of Education banned ITT Tech from admitting any more students who relied on federal financial aid. The department also ordered the school to put hundreds of millions of dollars more into a fund to cover the potential liability of existing federal student loans.
The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools has expressed concern about ITT Tech’s administrative capacity, organizational integrity, financial viability and ability to serve students.
Ryan Roney, executive vice president and chief administrative and legal officer of ITT Tech, noted in corporate filings that the company has been under investigation by a number of state attorneys general and has been sued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Securities and Exchange Commission.