SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – A Poway woman is stepping up to help military students impacted by the sudden closure of Brightwood College in San Diego.

Birmingham, Alabama-based Education Corp. of America on Wednesday closed schools operating as Virginia College, Brightwood College, Brightwood Career Institute, Ecotech Institute and Golf Academy of America. Brightwood College has various locations in San Diego, including in Vista, Kearny Mesa and Chula Vista.

The closure left hundreds of San Diegans out of money and out of time to start new classes at other schools. “I am going to have to start from scratch now, and I have been in this program over a year,” said Brittanie Debias, a student at Brightwood at the Vista campus.

“When I saw your story last night, I thought I can do something,” said Carol Pouliot.

Carol said she wants to help military students and veterans affected because the military helped her when her civilian husband, Mike Pouliot, was killed in Kuwait while delivering software in 2003.

“He was gunned down at a roadside stop. Mike was never military, but the Army brought him home,” said Carol.

The California’s Office of Student Assitance and Relief is also stepping in to provide help. “When a college closes, students have certain rights. A right to request a refund from the school,” said Matt Woodcheke from the state agency.

Students also have the right to have loans discharged and request reimbursement of tuition. All Brightwood students are encouraged to contact the state.

Carol said she “would like to help with funding” as students look into getting into other schools. If you are a veteran and a Brightwood College student, you can email Carol Pouliout at:

The Office of Student Assistance and Relief will hold two resource events for Brightwood students:

  • Vista campus – Friday 12/7, 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM
  • Chula Vista campus – Monday 12/10, 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM