San Diego City College helping former ITT Tech students - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

San Diego City College helping former ITT Tech students

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The sudden shutdown of ITT Technical Institutes in National City and Vista affected thousands of students, and on Wednesday San Diego City College stepped up to help some of them to explore new options for their education.

Nearly 43,000 students nationwide were left without a school, and in some cases without hope.

Lakeside resident Matthew Fowler was among the thousands of students whose dream of earning a college degree was suddenly dashed when 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.

"I was a month away from getting my bachelor's degree before they shut down. I have to start from ground zero - another four years, eight years gone," said Fowler.

Mr. Fowler and other former ITT Tech students were offered assistance Wednesday night in re-charting academic paths and applying to have their federal student loans forgiven.

According to the district's vice chancellor of student services, Lynn Neault, ITT Tech course credits cannot be transferred to San Diego community colleges because ITT Tech was not regionally accredited - that does not necessarily mean all the work has been wasted.

"Hope is not lost. They have an option for credit by exam - test out of certain courses," said Neault.

Electrical engineer major Arturo Escandon said his dreams will not be derailed by ITT's collapse. It's a sentiment that was also echoed by U.S. Army veteran Stephen Racilis who attended ITT on the GI Bill.

Last month 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.

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