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Hundreds Of Colorado Students Affected By ITT Technical Institute Closure

By Rick Sallinger

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Another well-known for-profit college has shut down. Earlier this year, Westwood College closed, now it is ITT Technical Institute which closed 130 campuses including two in Colorado.

The fall term was to begin next week. But 35,000 students across the country have been notified the school is closing leaving 8000 people out of jobs.

After 50 years the doors the career college have been closed. The school’s TV commercials lured students and their federal money from grants.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

One typical ad proclaimed, “We are educators helping people build a foundation for their rest of their lives ITT technical institutes education for the future.”

The Westminster campus is located at 88th avenue at the Boulder Turnpike.

The Aurora campus was housed in a building at Interstate 25 and Iliff. There, CBS4 found one young man who had been counting on ITT to launch his future in computers.

He declined to give his name, but told CBS4’s Rick Sallinger, “I came to Denver to start over at ITT tech to go to school and I found out this morning they closed without even an email.”

ITT is blaming its closure on the federal government which had demanded that it put more money in the bank to cover the federal grants paying for the students’ education.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat from Missouri said, “Pretty much all their money was federal tax dollars that students were handing over to them and they weren’t getting the job done, not producing graduates, job-ready graduates.”

The criticisms of ITT were similar to those of other for profit colleges. Heavy recruiting of students for courses and degrees that didn’t turn into expected jobs.

Much of it footed by the government as the student at the ITT Aurora campus noted in his case, “I’m a vet so I was going to school under the GI bill. I’m shocked that I’m not going to get an education now because they are closed.”

ITT says its focus now is helping tens of thousands of displaced students with other educational options.

itt schools touch map Hundreds Of Colorado Students Affected By ITT Technical Institute Closure

The Colorado Department of Higher Education says the closure affects about 300 students in Colorado. Arrangements have been made with nine other institutions to take the students through transfer and accept their credits.

The department added in a statement sent to CBS4, “Our staff have been aware of concerns and have been following actions that the Department of Education and ACICS have taken with ITT over the past weeks and months. In fact, the board for the Division of Private Occupational Schools had already scheduled a special meeting for Sept. 8 to discuss ITT and several other time sensitive issues.”

The Colorado Attorney General asks that any current or former students of ITT can learn about their options at this link: studentaid.ed.gov.

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.

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