CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — Former students of West Virginia Business College feel a little more secure in their future in education thanks to the Community and Technical College System of West Virginia.
The CTC organized workshops to connect former WVBC students to representatives from West Virginia Junior College, Pierpont Community and Technical College and WV Northern Community College to discuss student transfer options.
The first was held Tuesday at Pierpont Community and Technical College Caperton Center in Clarksburg. A second event was held Wednesday at the West Virginia Northern Community College in Wheeling.
Dr. Sarah Armstrong Tucker, chancellor of the Community and Technical College System of West Virginia, said the closure has left students with numerous questions and confusion that she hopes her office can help to correct.
“For the most part, students are just confused about what they’re supposed to be doing,” she said. “Can they transfer? Should they transfer? Should they get their loans discharged? If they graduated, are their degrees accredited?
“So we’re trying to figure out how to help these students, how to get them on the path that they want to be on going forward and help them make the best decisions for their future.”
Chad Callen, campus president of West Virginia Junior College Morgantown, was happy to help any student who attended the workshops create a new plan for their future.
“We feel it’s important to help students all throughout the state, regardless of which school they attend or will attend,” he said. “We support education across the board, and today there are students in our state that need us, so we are here to help them.”
The good news for the former WVBC students is that at least some of their college credits should be transferable to other West Virginia community colleges.
“It really depends on the program and the curriculum and how it’s structured,” Cullen said. “We have all of their transcripts, we have access to financial records so we can give them an assessment right here on the spot to tell them about how much time, about how much money and do whatever we can to facilitate that transition and make it as easy as possible on them.”
About 100 students were affected by the WVBC closure, but at least some of those students will be continuing their education at other colleges in the Mountain State this fall.
Cullen said students already began to explore their transfer options before the workshops were held.
“Between the Wheeling and Nutter Fort campus, about 12 have reached out to us directly,” he said. “We’ve been working with them independently with our subject matter experts in the field and our financial aid team to provide them the information that they need to make good decisions about their future.”
Unfortunately, this is not the first time these institutions have experienced such a situation. Students were in a similar situation when ITT Technical Institute closed in the fall of 2016.
“Situations like this don’t happen very often, but when they do happen, it’s a difficult situation, and oftentimes students lose confidence in education,” Cullen said.
Both Cullen and Tucker hope that not to be the case for WVBC and that students will continue on their higher education paths.
“I encourage all students to continue on their degree path and get the degree and the job that they were initially setting out to obtain,” Tucker said.