CONCORD (KRON) — Transitional meetings are underway Wednesday for hundreds of displaced Bay Area students of Corinthian Colleges. Some are in talks with campus officials to get their transcripts in hopes of transferring to another school while others seek information about their student loans.
In Concord, hundreds of people waited in line outside the now-closed Heald campus, and many more are expected to attend the meetings throughout the day. Administrators are taking students 10 at a time, and at least one person reported that that parking lot was completely full.
Campus officials in Concord are not disclosing how long they will offer these meetings, and they are not issuing any formal statements about Wednesday’s meetings. It was reported that least one campus administrator said that corporate is banning news reporters from school property. The Concord school called police to help remove media from the campus.
Meanwhile, student sentiment across the Bay Area is equal parts frustration and confusion as the displaced students now face the tough decision of whether to find another school or ask to have their loan debt discharged. If they find another school willing to accept their credits, they won’t qualify to have their existing loans discharged.
The other option for students is to have their loans discharged, but they will lose their credits and would have to start over.
IMPACT ON STAFF
As expected, the shut down will affect campus staff — at least 70 teachers are now out of work at Concord’s Heald College, and not all have received their final paycheck. One part time instructor said in an email that the college may be illegally withholding her payment and she’s not feeling optimistic that she will get paid.
“I’m not talking about a couple hundred dollars either. I’m expecting well over $1,000 and this affects hundreds of adjunct instructors working in all campuses,” said Maria Clark.
Clark, an East Bay mother of two, is a graduate of Heald College and had been teaching at the school for the last two years. She’s planning to wait tables full time until she decides her next career move.
ABRUPT SHUT DOWN
In a statement Sunday, the Santa Ana, California-based company said it was working with other schools to help students continue their education. The closures include the 150-year-old Heald College including those in California, Hawaii and Oregon, as well as Everest and WyoTech schools in California, Arizona and New York.
“We believe that we have attempted to do everything within our power to provide a quality education and an opportunity for a better future for our students,” said Jack Massimino, Chief Executive Officer of Corinthian. “Unfortunately the current regulatory environment would not allow us to complete a transaction with several interested parties that would have allowed for a seamless transition for our students. I would like to thank our employees for their selfless dedication and commitment to fulfilling the educational and career goals of all of our students.”
The chain had six campuses in the Bay Area, including San Francisco, Concord, Hayward and San Jose; all have ceased operations and discontinued instruction, according to school officials.
KRON 4 News is following the story, stay with us for more on this continuing coverage.