Former students of Career Point College, a for-profit vocational school that abruptly shut down over the weekend, are planning to meet at the college’s Austin campus Tuesday evening to request their transcripts.
Hundreds of students and staff members were surprised by a Sunday notice from Larry Earle, president and CEO of Career Point, informing them of the school’s immediate closure.
Earle’s letter said three longtime employees had violated rules related to student aid funds, but did not provide further details. Earle said no money was stolen and Career Point “agreed to repay all inappropriately received funds.” The U.S. Department of Education, however, restricted government funds received by the school, prompting school administrators’ decision to close it.
“In this very hostile government climate against for-profit schools, the Department of Education chose not to give the College a chance to fix its problems and instead chose to effectively terminate the college,” Earle’s letter said.
According to Career Point College’s website, the school opened in 1984 and offered medical, business and cosmetology programs. It had campuses in Austin, San Antonio and Tulsa, Okla., and has graduated about 10,000 students in the last two decades, Earle’s letter said.
Students have expressed shock and outrage in social media. One former student posted a video Tuesday burning what appeared to be scrubs with a patch from Career Point’s school of nursing and wrote “A little distress #ThanksCareerPoint.”
San Antonio-based attorney Aric J. Garza said about 150 former students and staff members, most from the college’s school of nursing in San Antonio, have reached out to him since Sunday to ask about their legal options.
Career Point is the second for-profit college to shut down in as many months. Last month, ITT Technical Institute closed its 130 campuses across the country, affecting about 40,000 students.
Hundreds of other for-profit colleges could also face closure after the Department of Education moved to sever ties with the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, the largest accreditor of for-profit schools in the country.
ACICS was accused of having lax oversight over its schools and the Department of Education officials said ACICS’ track record “does not inspire confidence that it can address all of the problems effectively.”
The decision could affect up to 600,000 students attending for-profit colleges across the country.