Sen. Jones calls on Virginia College CEO to help Alabama students after sudden closings

Sen. Jones calls on Virginia College CEO to help Alabama students after sudden closings (img: FILE/ Doug Jones for Senate)

Washington, DC – In response to news that Virginia College would be abruptly closing its campuses in Alabama and across the country, U.S. Senator Doug Jones wrote to CEO Stu Reed on Thursday calling for ECA, the for profit corporation that owns Virginia College in Alabama, to help students navigate their options and understand the resources available to them.

ECA represents Brightwood Career Institute, Brightwood College, Ecotech Institute, Golf Academy of America, and Virginia College throughout the country. Based in Birmingham, ECA operates for-profit Virginia College campuses in Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile, and Montgomery and serves more than 3,800 Alabama students. Of those students, 670 are using GI Bill benefits.

The closures were announced Wednesday and are effective this Friday. According to ECA’s website, information for students is currently not expected to be available until on or around December 17, which could delay students from being able to transfer to another institution in time for the spring semester.

In his letter, Jones urged Reed to speed up outreach and assistance to students, writing, “After abruptly closing the doors, your decision to make students and families wait nearly two weeks to receive any information about their next steps is simply unacceptable. You have a responsibility to these students, including our veterans and service members, to ensure they have all of the tools and information they need to move forward, including the choice between receiving a discharge of their federal student loans or transferring to a similar program if they can find an institution willing to accept their credits.”

ECA operates more than 70 campuses nationwide and serves more than 20,000 students, including 4,000 who are veterans or military service members.

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