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Clark College offers info to ITT students

Credits from defunct for-profit school are not likely to be recognized for transfer

By , Columbian Education Reporter
Published: September 13, 2016, 7:48pm

The news of ITT Technical Institute’s systemwide closures last week left students across the country, including some in Vancouver, scrambling to determine the next steps in their education.

Clark College hopes to make that transition easier for some, but a college spokesman was frank about limits on options available for students.

“We want to be up-front with students,” Chato Hazelbaker said. “Your current academic progress at ITT is not going to be where you end up with us.”

Clark College announced Tuesday that it would host an ITT Tech information session on campus at 3 p.m. Thursday. The free work session will be in Room 161 of the Penguin Union Building. Several staff members from the college’s Student Affairs department will talk about the school’s resources, and there will be an opportunity at the end for individual students to ask questions.

Students may be able to work with Clark College one on one to determine if they qualify for any credits for prior learning, Hazelbaker said. But because Clark College’s accreditation body, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, doesn’t recognize ITT, Hazelbaker said credits are unlikely to transfer. Take nursing, for example.

If You Go

• What: Student Affairs officials from Clark College will lay out options available at Clark for students affected by the ITT Technical Institute closure.

• When: 3 p.m. Thursday.

• Where: Clark College, Penguin Union Building, Room 161, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver.

“If you’re three-quarters of the way (through a program), you’re not just going to be able to pick up those credits,” he said. “Nurses are essentially going to lose all of that progress.”

That was bad news for Steve Bews, who was set to begin his last quarter at the ITT Breckinridge School of Nursing and Health Sciences this week.

“The biggest thing we’re hearing is absolute no’s from all these colleges,” he said.

Bews said Clark College’s information session isn’t the first he has seen advertised, and worries community colleges are trying to take advantage of students struggling because of the closures.

“They’re jumping on us like sharks on blood in the water,” he said. “They see the potential for more students.”

It’s been a week since ITT reported the for-profit college chain would close in the wake of tough financial restrictions from the U.S. Department of Education. Students may be eligible for federal loan refunds, or could transfer to other schools. Whether the credits from ITT properly transfer to other institutions, however, is up to each individual school.