What's Next For Displaced Students?

Abrupt closure of three schools leaves students in the lurch.

What's Next For Displaced Students?
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What's Next For Displaced Students?

An investigation is underway into the abrupt closure several weeks ago of three career training schools in Connecticut. Displaced students had a chance Thursday to start to figure out what happens next.

Melissa Butler spent nearly a year training to be a medical assistant at the Sawyer School in Hamden. 

She was six weeks away from graduation when she arrived at school just before New Year’s... "and all my teachers and friends were outside and there was a note on the door . It said we’re done. We’re closed. I was very upset. I called my family like freaking out because I didn’t know what to do. Where do I go? Who do I talk to?"

The state’s Office of Higher Education held the 2nd of 3 information sessions Thursday to begin answering her questions and those of the more than 350 former students of the Sawyer and Butler Schools in Connecticut.

Spokesman Connie Fraser.  

"What we’re doing at the information sessions is give them a one stop shopping center whey they can pick up their transcript from the schools. If they wish to have their loans forgiven, they can talk to people from the US Department of Education on that."

There are also representatives from colleges and other career training schools helping students figure out future education plans and transfer options. 

The Sawyer and Butler schools were located in Hamden, Bridgeport and Hartford. There has been limited contact with the owner -  RI-based Academic Enterprises, Incorporated - but Connecticut officials say they believe that the programs experienced a big drop in enrollment last year. That's when a new federal  law took effect, requiring students to have a high school diploma or GED before enrolling. 

An investigation by The Office of the Attorney General and the State’s Attorney is ongoing. 

For WNPR, I’m Diane Orson.