UPDATE: ITT Tech closes campuses, state steps in to help
ITT Technical Institute, a national for-profit education company announced Tuesday that they would close all of their campuses after federal sanctions were imposed against the company.
UPDATE: ITT educational services is shutting down all campuses across the country. The U.S. Department of Education banned the school from enrolling new students who use federal financial aid. The vocational school, announced in a statement Tuesday that it is ending all operations at all campuses across 38 states including the one at the Eastgate Town Center.
Students stopped by the ITT TECH at Eastgate Town Center looking for answers but left with more questions and uncertainty. Daniel Reed is among the thousands of students who took out loans for their education, and now they have to begin again and pay them back. “Start over again, I can't even transfer my general education classes,” said Reed.
Investigators accused ITT Tech of deceptive recruiting and accounting practices. Last week, the feds ordered the institute to stop enrolling students who use federal financial aid.“I already have a degree from an institution that no school in town will recognize credits from, other than a for-profit institution and I don't want to do that again.”
Reed was continuing his education studying Computer Network Systems, costing him around $60,000. “I have a degree and I feel like I wasted 3 years of my life here.”
He stopped by the campus to get his transcripts after learning the news. The building was locked and calls to the school rang with no answer. “No email, no communication, and no phone call saying hey we are closing. They were going to use my GI bill benefits without my knowledge of their closures.”
Catherine Smith was going to school to better her two daughter's lives. Now she is left with no degree and college debt. “25, 25, 25. 25 thousand dollars,” said Smith.
Her college dreams gone for now. With only six months left to graduate. “I went to ITT Tech because I wanted the fast track. I didn't want to go to no long four-year college.”
The Tennessee Higher Education Commission called the closings an "unprecedented occurrence" and announced they are stepping in to help. The state has set up a website for the most recent information regarding federal student loans and assured students it will work with each location to preserve students' academic records. The state is also providing a list of other schools with comparable programs.
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More than 8,000 employees will be affected by the closings, as will students and alumni.
“It is with profound regret that we must report that ITT Educational Services, Inc. will discontinue academic operations at all of its ITT Technical Institutes permanently after approximately 50 years of continuous service. With what we believe is a complete disregard by the U.S. Department of Education for due process to the company, hundreds of thousands of current students and alumni and more than 8,000 employees will be negatively affected.”
Sanctions by the U.S. Department of Education were blamed by ITT for the school's closure, which came from non-compliance with certain accreditation standards.
ITT has a campus in Chattanooga, located at Eastgate.
Students can find more information at https://www.tn.gov/thec/article/information-on-the-closing-of-itt-technical-institute