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Virginia College to abruptly close campuses nationwide this week

Image: WTVC

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WTVC) - The owners of Virginia College in Chattanooga, the Education Corporation of America (ECA), have announced that it is closing all campuses nationwide this week.

That includes the Virginia College campus in Chattanooga, located at the Eastgate Mall.

"We are shocked and saddened by this move, and our students have always been our highest priority at the campus," said Chris Montgomery, Virginia College Director.

Montgomery says all current students will finish on Friday, and will not be able to continue. He says the Culinary Department will finish on December 18th.

An article posted at InsideHigherEd.com says ECA owns more than 75 campuses and enrolls at least 20,000 students in mostly certificate-granting professional disciplines such as cosmetology, culinary arts and medical and dental assistant programs. The article continues,

"The shutdown follows years of declining enrollment for the chain. More recently, the privately held company scrambled to turn around its troubled finances by closing about a third of its campuses and pursuing a corporate overhaul through a court-approved receivership. But ECA continued to be dogged by creditors after falling behind on payments and rent for many campus locations. In October the company filed a lawsuit, which was later dismissed, against the U.S. Department of Education in an attempt to maintain its access to federal student aid."

The article also says a skeleton crew of employees will remain on campuses to assist students with obtaining documentation of their programs.

Earlier this year Virginia College announced it would no longer enroll students as of September. The college's website has not yet been updated with this new development.

This is a developing story and will be updated as we get new information.

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