UPDATE: College fair for students at Virginia College in Chattanooga

Image: WTVC


UPDATE (Friday evening):

Virginia College says official transcripts will be ready on Wednesday, December 12th.

A handful of colleges and universities are hosting a college fair that day.

Bryan College, Bethel University, Belhaven University and Miller-Motte are all confirmed. They will be there to talk about how credits will be able to transfer to their institutions.

It starts at 10 a.m. at Virginia College’s campus at 721 Eastgate Loop in Chattanooga. All are welcome.

PREVIOUSLY (Thursday):

You’ll find a skeleton crew of employees at Virginia College Thursday.

That’s after the college’s owners, the Education Corporation of America announced an unexpected shutdown Wednesday.

A former professor says ECA cared more about making money than turning out qualified graduates. He blames the company’s for profit foundation for the shutdown.

More than 30 staff members are now unemployed and about 100 students are being forced out. The campus will officially close its doors December 19.

Students like Dezaree Moseley are weighing what to do next.

Moseley soaks in the joy of motherhood.

She wants to make a better life for her 1-year-old daughter Jidayah and the rest of her family. You’ll find her at night classes at Virginia College after work.

“It’s hard work. The time, balancing the jobs. It's hard,” said Moseley.

She needs to complete two more classes to graduate. The abrupt shutdown is forcing her out.

“Will we be able to go to other colleges in Chattanooga to complete?” asked Moseley.

Cate Green is the Dean of Academics at Chattanooga’s campus. She’s contacted five nearby colleges to create an agreement for her students’ credits to transfer. That includes Chattanooga State, Miller-Motte, Bryan College, Dalton State and Belhaven University.

“It’s my personal mission that they don't feel abandoned,” said Green. “We are working on transfer credits for them.”

“These students have had a rug pulled out from them. They've been working very hard to earn their degree,” said Zack Kassebaum, Assistant Vice President of Eastern Region for Belhaven University.

They’re reviewing any student’s transcript to figure out where their needs fit best. A solution Moseley is anxious to learn more about.

“That push to go back to school with kids, you look forward to graduating college,” said Mosely.

Determined to walk across a stage with her diploma in hand.

Current students do have the option to get their student loans forgiven.

If a student decides on this option, that wipes their entire transcript. You can do so at www.studentloans.gov

Chattanooga State Community College has planned an immediate response to help students displaced by the closing of Virginia College. Affected students may attend an Information Session on Monday, December 10 at 5:30 p.m. in the Instructional Materials Center (IMC/Library), room 124.

Miller-Motte says they are evaluating transcripts now. They have reached out to the state and their accreditors to see if they can waive the residency requirement, allowing students to transfer more than 75% of their classes.

Current requirements restrict a student to graduate from an institution with less than 25% of that college’s courses. If this rule is not lifted, students who are near graduation may have to retake classes.

NewsChannel 9 will keep you updated on the results of that request.

Miller-Motte and Belhaven are offering tours to Virginia College students.

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