AUGUSTA, GA. (WFXG) - As dawn broke on Virginia College’s campus located on Wylds Road in Augusta, many students and faculty faced the abrupt reality of broken dreams. Several people told FOX 54 they weren’t notified that their school lost accreditation and that their scholastic future was potentially in limbo.
"It felt like I was in a nightmare. Everyone came in abruptly."
Kizzy Torbert was inside Virginia College Wednesday morning when students and staff learned the school was being shut down.
“I was actually talking to my program director at that time and was getting ready to go out for my externship and we just immediately had to leave the building - without any notice," she said.
She said some of her classmates got emails - she was one of many who didn’t.
“Where do we go from today? What do we do for the fundings? How was this allocated? Will we be reimbursed?”
All these questions - left unanswered. FOX 54 Also reached out to Virginia College - no response.
Stephanie Carter with Breath of Life says her phones - ringing off the hook - with emotional students.
"Over 300. That's not even the students that have came in since yesterday."
Her school offers several healthcare training courses. She said the National Health Career Association told her students who have completed at least 50 hours of their clinical are eligible to test for certifications.
“They will have to go on line, pay for the study guide.get ready for the exam and then they can test here," Torbert explained.
Local attorney Jason Hasty said students should contact their senator or U.S. representative
“To investigate whether there are any regulations that do apply. Most of the pro-profit colleges don’t have the same regulations, sol they’re gonna be in a little bit of a bind,” he advised.
He recommends students evaluate if they were mislead - and if so, contact an attorney, like Jack Long, who practices general civil litigation with an emphasis on class action litigation, bankruptcy and domestic relations disputes..
It’s something that’s impacting people nationwide, frustrating and taking them by surprise. FOX 54 reached out to the college’s campus president and director of administrations and did not receive a comment from either.
According to the Education Corporation of America, the school’s parent company, information about transcripts and recommendations about transfers will be available starting about Dec. 17. FOX 54 obtained a copy of a four page letter written on December 4, 2018 to the college’s chief executive officer Stuart Reed from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
It states the council has acted to “withdraw, by suspension, the current grants of accreditation of all the institutions owned by Virginia College, LLC." due to the school’s inability to meet its financial obligations, unresolved issues with student progress, satisfaction, staff turnover and more.
Virginia College has until December 19th to appeal that decision. In the meanwhile, several colleges have reached out to FOX 54, hoping to help students impacted by this.
Paine College, The Georgia Institute of Cosmetology and Empire Beauty School expressed concern and are working to enroll eligible students.