Shutdown of ITT Tech Also Affects Charter Schools
The nationwide shutdown of ITT Technical Institute also caused the company’s public charter schools to close, leaving students and parents unhappily scrambling to figure out what to do next.
ITT Tech operated two Early Career Academy charter schools in Tempe, AZ and Troy, MI. The Indiana-based for-profit company also operated a campus in Indianapolis for a year, but the school had its charter revoked by the Indiana State Charter Board in August. The school also lost its nonprofit status in November 2015. By August of this year, the school had shut down.
At all three Early Career Academies, juniors and seniors could earn a high school diploma tuition free and an ITT Tech associate’s degree in two years, although most colleges and universities didn’t accept ITT credits for transfer. According to the academies' website, the two programs offered at the Tempe and Troy campuses were network systems administration and software development.
At the Early Career Academy in Troy, school administrators are working to place their 61 former students in other local schools, according to the website the74million.org and Timothy Wood, associate vice president for charter schools at Grand Valley State University, which authorized ITT’s charter in Michigan.
At Early Career Academy in Tempe, the executive director and staff are working with Arizona education representatives to secure a school building with hopes of reopening, according to the74million.org.
“We’re at a complete loss. What is our kid supposed to do?” said Chris Eppich, father of Trevor Eppich, a student at Early Career Academy in Tempe, in an interview with the74million.org.
Early Career Academy and ITT Tech representatives could not be reached for comment on this story.
On Sept. 6, ITT Tech closed its vocational schools on more than 130 campuses in 38 states, after the U.S. Education Department banned the company from enrolling students who were receiving federal financial aid. The shutdown affected about 35,000 students who were preparing to start classes, as well as 8,000 employees who lost their jobs.
Richard Chang is associate editor of THE Journal. He can be reached at [email protected].