ITT Technical Institute shuts down campuses across the nation - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

ITT Technical Institute shuts down campuses across the nation

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NATIONAL CITY (CNS) - ITT Technical Institutes in National City and Vista are among the campuses permanently shuttered following a ruling barring the for-profit college from accepting new students who receive federal financial aid.

Following a lengthy investigation, the U.S. Department of Education determined ITT Tech's parent company, Indiana-based ITT Educational Services Inc., was not in compliance with criteria set by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.

In addition to the financial aid sanction, the federal agency planned to ramp up its oversight of the college's finances due to "significant concerns" about its administrative capacity, organizational integrity, financial viability and ability to serve students.

"Our responsibility is first and foremost to protect students and taxpayers," U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. said. "Looking at all of the risk factors, it's clear that we need increased financial protection and that it simply would not be responsible or in the best interest of students to allow ITT to continue enrolling new students who rely on federal student aid funds."

ITT Educational Services Inc. officials said the Department of Education's sanctions forced them to cease operations and cancel trade school classes for the September quarter. The company has also fired most of its employees, excluding those kept on to assist students with obtaining their records and assessing their educational options.

"It is with profound regret that we must report that ITT Educational Services Inc. will discontinue academic operations at all of its ITT Technical Institutes permanently after approximately 50 years of continuous service," according to a company statement. "With what we believe is a complete disregard by the U.S. Department of Education for due process to the company, hundreds of thousands of current students and alumni and more than 8,000 employees will be negatively affected."

Officials with ITT Educational Services said the government actions affecting its estimated 140 ITT Technical Institutes in 35 states were "inappropriate and unconstitutional." The ruling came down without a hearing, and the company was not allowed to appeal it.

ITT Tech students already enrolled in classes can continue to apply for federal financial aid to finish their coursework elsewhere, and may be eligible for a federal loan discharge, according to the Department of Education.

The San Diego Community College District released a statement that said its staff is exploring how the SDCCD might be able to help ITT Tech students.

"For some local ITT students, continuing their education at City, Mesa or Miramar college may be a good option -- but these students may face some challenges transferring their coursework," the statement says. "Since ITT Tech was not regionally accredited, students seeking to transfer credits may need to pursue credit by examination."

The district said it welcomed inquiries from ITT Tech students because it offers similar programs in career technical fields.

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