By Kalea Hall
Arthur Daly worked at ITT Technical Institute’s Youngstown branch for eight years.
When he found out Tuesday he was no longer employed as director of career services and the campus was closed, his thoughts went immediately to concern for the students.
“I have students I am still in contact with now,” he said. “We are trying to help our students because that’s the right thing to do.”
ITT Educational Services Inc., the parent company of ITT Tech, on Tuesday announced the closure of all of its 130 ITT Tech locations in 38 states after the Department of Education issued sanctions against the for-profit educator.
Last week, after the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools found the school was not in compliance, the department banned ITT from enrolling new students using federal financial funds.
It also stepped up financial oversight of ITT and gave ITT 30 days to increase its surety from $94.3 million to $247 million or 40 percent of all Title IV aid the school received in 2015 payable in full.
In response, ITT said it was forced to close its ITT Tech campuses after 50 years of educating.
Daly believes neither the ITT headquarters in Indiana nor the U.S. Department of Education put the students first.
“We thought we were going to reorganize,” Daly said. “Our classes were supposed to start Sept. 12.”
While reports make ITT look like a sham school that did not provide a quality education to prepare students for the workforce, Daly reports otherwise.
“That’s where I come in and take it personal,” he said. “We serviced our students the best we possibly could. We love our students.”
The Youngstown campus averaged about 350 students on campus each quarter studying a variety of curricula from registered nursing to cyber security. It offered both associate’s and bachelor’s degree studies.
“It was my responsibility to get students gainfully employed upon gradation,” Daly said.
Daly worked with many local companies to get the students placed. ITT Youngstown placed 70 percent to 75 percent of students on average each quarter.
Companies “would have never hired our students if they weren’t qualified,” Daly said. “So to say that we never trained our students properly is irresponsible.”
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat of Cleveland, hosted a conference call Wednesday with Ted Mitchell, the U.S. undersecretary of education, to get out information to ITT Tech students on what they should do next.
Nationally, ITT had about 40,000 students and in Ohio, 3,200.
Basically, students can choose to have their federal loans discharged, or they can choose to continue their education elsewhere.
“We all hope that students will continue their education,” Mitchell said. “We know in this period ... post secondary education is more important than ever before.”
ITT is required to make all students’ transcripts available, Mitchell said.
“We are encouraging community colleges to work with ITT students,” Brown said. “They deserve better than the exploitative practices of ITT.”
Eastern Gateway Community College, said it is making “special efforts to accommodate students transferring from ITT Tech in order to ease some of their stress regarding their future.”
Mitchell said had the department waited to take action against ITT, the impact would have been far worse.
“We felt that we needed to act as quickly as we could,” Mitchell said. “The risks to students and taxpayers were simply too high.”
Students should go to studentaid.gov/ITT or call 1-800-4-FED-AID.
ITT students interested in EGCC should contact the admissions office at 330-480- 0726m, ext. 3109, in Youngstown or 740-266-9656 for the Steubenville campus.