By Kathleen Zamora and Emil G. Claes, Staff Writers
ITT’s recent closure of more than 130 campuses in 38 states left around 30,000 students stranded and looking for new homes and Valley College might be one of those options.
The Department of Education stated that some students may be eligible to have their federal students loans discharged and their debts erased. Students may also transfer their ITT credits to another institution.
Nextstepsedu.org is a website dedicated to helping those students, and the website reads in big, bold letters: “College closed? Don’t worry, we are here for you.”
Valley is also offering help to students scrambling to find answers.
“Unfortunately we do not accept credit from ITT, but are able to help with prerequisite clearances,” said Frances Chmielewska, who works for Student Services in the Outreach and Recruitment Program. “We have attended meetings targeted for ITT Tech students and have updated links on our main website for further information.”
One option for former ITT Tech students at Valley are the late-start classes. The college is offering around 70 classes, many of them starting Oct. 17. Students can find the link to the classes here: http://lavc.edu/schedule/index.aspx
After 50 years of continuous service, the for-profit education firm, ITT Educational Services shut down earlier this month after the Department of Education cut off access to federal aid for new students.
The closure came not two weeks after the Education Department slapped ITT with a series of sanctions, including one that banned the for-profit company from admitting students who solely relied on financial aid to cover their tuition.
The new sanctions were a result of mounting concerns by the departments regulators scrutinizing the administrative capacity, finances, recruitment tactics and the schools graduation and job placement rates as well as the companies overall ability to serve their students.
“ITT Tech has a long record of making big promises to students,” said Suzanne Martindale, a staff attorney for Consumers Union, “only to leave them in debt without delivering the kind of quality education they need to succeed.”
Martindale also stated that the advocacy group was pleased that the Education Department had increased its oversight of ITT so that “students and taxpayers will no longer subsidize this failing institution.”
ITT Tech is one of many for-profit colleges that have been widely criticized for accepting billions of dollars in loan and government grants while failing to provide valuable job training for its students.
According to the Department of Education, ITT Tech received an estimate last year of $580 million in taxpayer dollars.
Students can reach help at Valley by contacting Chmielewska at (818) 947-2490 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org