The 131-year-old DuBois Business College is shutting down. The school announced today that all four campuses will close later this month.
We have more on what’s next for dozens of students and staff members.
The school’s president is blaming problems with accreditation for closing the school that’s been in business for more than a century.
“The fall part has not started and we will not be starting those students,” says DuBois Business College president/CEO Jackie Syktich.
Syktich says the current 85 summer students will be their last and about 50 people will lose their jobs.
The accreditation problem is connected to whether students can get financial aid from the government.
“There’s a lot of regulations. There’s a lot of detail. There’s a lot of difficulty. The ACICS has been under such scrutiny right now by the United States Departement of Education, and being re-recognized,” says Syktich.
Here in DuBois, students told us last year that fiinanical aid is critical.
“I mostly go on FAFSA. That’s where I go and I get my loans and grants from there,” said Josh Farster, who used financial aid.
“We want to do what’s best for our students and have them transition to the right kind of colleges, so we thought it was best to stop our campuses now,” says Syktich.
Syktich moved here from Tyrone to attend the DuBois Business College, and later became its owner..
“I’ve been here for 36 years,” says Syktich.
Sykitch grew the business, adding a fourth location in Philipsburg in 2013. She says they’ve averaged more than 100 students during the year. But now, the last day for classes will be Sept. 22 for all four campuses.
“I feel blessed to have worked with the most wonderful students in the world. I loved my job every single day,” says Syktich.
Syktich says they are working with other technical colleges throughout Western Pennsylvania with “teach-out plans” so that students will hopefully be able to transfer their credits there.
“My job at this time is to make sure i take care of every one of our students that we have,” says Syktich.
She says a transition team with Careerlink will work with the staff members to look for new jobs.
The decision to close affects three satellite locations in Huntingdon, Oil City, and Philipsburg, along with the main campus on Beaver Drive in DuBois.
Fields of study at the two-year school included accounting, medical assistant, office assistant, and computer technician.
Click here for the press release from DuBois Business College.
The closing of DuBois Business College follows the Aug. 24 closing of Cambria-Rowe Business College.
Both schools were among those accredited through the Accrediting Council of Independent Colleges and Schools.
And nationally, for-profit giant ITT Technical Institute closed all 130 campuses today, citing the same problem. This affects tens of thousands of students. The Department of Education banned it from enrolling new students who use federal financial aid.
ITT operates in 38 states, including seven campuses in Pennsylvania. Two are in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh Technical college has offered to work with students there.
Regarding DuBois Business College, US Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-District 5, issued a statement calling the closing “troubling.”
“Situations like this are often complicated by overburdensome federal regulations that have been making it harder and harder for schools like DuBois Business College to operate,” the statement said.