Alpine College To Hold Meetings Today - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Alpine College To Hold Meetings Today

MEETINGS:

The Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board staff is hosting meetings on Tuesday, May 24th at Alpine College at 10020 E. Knox, #500, Spokane Valley, WA 99206.

If your last name begins with:

A-F 1:30 p.m.

G-O 3 p.m.

P-Z 4:30 p.m.

If you are unable to attend the above meeting, please contact the Workforce Board at 360-753-5662.

CONTACTS TO CALL:

The Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board encourages students to contact Private Vocational Schools Program Manager Peggy Rudolph at prudolph@wtb.wa.gov

LOANS: Who is responsible?

Students are responsible for paying loans. However, they can apply to have their loans discharged by the U.S. Department of Education, if it is federal financial aid.

Those students who paid out of their pocket, may be reimbursed on a pro rata basis through the state's Tuition Recovery Trust Fund. This fund is paid for by schools as part of their licensing requirement. Students may be reimbursed for training they did not receive, based on several factors, including class hours. For example, if they enrolled in a 100 hour course and received 90 hours of training, they could be reimbursed for the 10 hours they DID NOT receive.

When the state taps into the trust fund, it will be charging the school's owners to get all or some of it back.

NEXT STEPS:

Members of the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board staff drove to Spokane Valley Monday. They will be meeting with students, staff and the school's owners tomorrow. They will be distributing 200 flyers and posting a notice on the school door.

View times at <http://www.wtb.wa.gov/AlpineCollegeclosure.asp>

Staff will be obtaining student records to help sort out who may be eligible for financial reimbursement, and what level. They will be working with Northwest Career Colleges Federation to see if any colleges can take Alpine students and allow them to finish out classes. Another possible path for students is to contact a community or technical college and see if they can undergo an assessment for prior learning. In some cases our community college system grants Credits for Prior Learning that help put students closer to a credential.

Get more information about our consumer protection role and other details on our private career schools page.

www.wtb.wa.gov/pcs.asp <http://www.wtb.wa.gov/pcs.asp>

Horizon Medical Institute said it will also be accepting students. Call Eric Brewer, the Program Director, at 509-534-1551 or 509-496-7409 or email him at eric@horizonmedicalinstitute.com. You can also check out their website at www.horizonmedicalinstitute.com.

CERTIFICATES:

The Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board regulates private career schools and makes in-person visits. Staff takes consumer protection role seriously and monitor schools offering programs below a two-year degree. School closures are infrequent. Most do so in an orderly fashion, meaning students finish their courses before they close their doors. A certificate from a closed school is typically fine. We keep transcripts from closed schools for 50 years, so students can access them and provide them to employers when applying for a job.

LICENSED SCHOOLS:

Alpine was an accredited school. It was also licensed by the state's Workforce Board. The Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board maintains a list of licensed schools here. <http://www.wtb.wa.gov/currentlicensedschools.asp>.

To license a school, the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board requires a: working business plan, detailed descriptions of education programs, a financial statement, a credit report, a draft catalog, copies of other state licenses and more.

FULL STORY

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - A local Spokane Valley suddenly shuts down leaving 160 students in the lurch. On Friday, Alpine College owner Kevin Williams with administrators to tell them the school was closing effective immediately. A sign on the door advised students with loans to contact the U.S. Department of Education. By Monday morning, KHQ received a letter from Williams that said the closure was due in part to low revenue projections.

"There's a judgement day someday and hopefully may god have mercy on your soul," student William Zucconi said.

Harsh words for the owner of Alpine College. It was a sentiment felt by many of the 160 students at the school.

"Why? What did we do to deserve this?" said Krystal Milward, Alpine College Medical Assisting student.

It's no wonder students felt left in the dark. A letter posted on the outside of the door Monday was how a lot of Alpine students found their scholastic careers at the vocational college were over. In part, the note read: "Alpine College permanently closed for business. Sorry for the inconvenience." At least one administrator told KHQ that they didn't have contact numbers for students since the building was closed and they were forced to look them up, one by one, in the phone book.

"It was more of a shock than anything else," Zucconi explained.

After an 11year run, Alpine College owner Kevin Williams said in an email statement that the school was closing its doors "Due to poor economic conditions and low revenue projections for the balance of the year as well as health concerns of one of the principal owners." All but four teachers were let go, according to the statement.

"I don't blame the staff and the faculty because it's not their fault," Zucconi said.

On Monday, a security guard for the college passed out letters for students which included an apology from owner Kevin Williams. It read, in part, "We realize this may put you in a difficult position, and we apologize for that. However, financial and health reasons make it impossible for us to continue doing business."

While most students did not hold a grudge against teachers or staff, students had plenty to say about owner Williams.

"Grow up and tell us what is going on," Krystal Milward continued. "We gave up everything to go to school and I have two kids, I'm a single mom."

Just days away from graduating, Milward said she was supposed to receive her certificate from Alpine College this week.

"Now look at me; I might not get my certificate or my transcripts. "It's not fair."

The story was the same across the board. those who'd invested countless hours and thousands of dollars and dreamed of a career in the medical and technical fields had been wiped out.

One student told KHQ, "It's disappointing not only for me but my kids why I'm not going anymore. It's heartbreaking."

Monday, Crowds of Alpine students and their families gathered outside the school to figure out their future.

"We're all a family out here," Zucconi said. "We became a family. So this, it affects us all."

According to a statement from Williams, Alpine has contacted other vocational colleges in the area and is working to help transition Alpine students to other institutions. He also said that more than 80% of the school's graduates found jobs within three months of graduation and he said Alpine's closing leaves a void in the community and creates issues for students wishing to further their education.

The Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board is responsible for licensing private career schools including Alpine. Members told KHQ that their staff was looking into the abrupt closure and finding ways to help students.

MEETINGS:

The Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board staff is hosting meetings on Tuesday, May 24th at Alpine College at 10020 E. Knox, #500, Spokane Valley, WA 99206.

If your last name begins with:

A-F 1:30 p.m.

G-O 3 p.m.

P-Z 4:30 p.m.

If you are unable to attend the above meeting, please contact the Workforce Board at 360-753-5662.

CONTACTS TO CALL:

The Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board encourages students to contact Private Vocational Schools Program Manager Peggy Rudolph at prudolph@wtb.wa.gov

LOANS: Who is responsible?

Students are responsible for paying loans. However, they can apply to have their loans discharged by the U.S. Department of Education, if it is federal financial aid.

Those students who paid out of their pocket, may be reimbursed on a pro rata basis through the state's Tuition Recovery Trust Fund. This fund is paid for by schools as part of their licensing requirement. Students may be reimbursed for training they did not receive, based on several factors, including class hours. For example, if they enrolled in a 100 hour course and received 90 hours of training, they could be reimbursed for the 10 hours they DID NOT receive.

When the state taps into the trust fund, it will be charging the school's owners to get all or some of it back.

NEXT STEPS:

Members of the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board staff drove to Spokane Valley Monday. They will be meeting with students, staff and the school's owners tomorrow. They will be distributing 200 flyers and posting a notice on the school door.

View times at <http://www.wtb.wa.gov/AlpineCollegeclosure.asp>

Staff will be obtaining student records to help sort out who may be eligible for financial reimbursement, and what level. They will be working with Northwest Career Colleges Federation to see if any colleges can take Alpine students and allow them to finish out classes. Another possible path for students is to contact a community or technical college and see if they can undergo an assessment for prior learning. In some cases our community college system grants Credits for Prior Learning that help put students closer to a credential.

Get more information about our consumer protection role and other details on our private career schools page.

www.wtb.wa.gov/pcs.asp <http://www.wtb.wa.gov/pcs.asp>

Horizon Medical Institute said it will also be accepting students. Call Eric Brewer, the Program Director, at 509-534-1551 or 509-496-7409 or email him at eric@horizonmedicalinstitute.com. You can also check out their website at www.horizonmedicalinstitute.com.

CERTIFICATES:

The Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board regulates private career schools and makes in-person visits. Staff takes consumer protection role seriously and monitor schools offering programs below a two-year degree. School closures are infrequent. Most do so in an orderly fashion, meaning students finish their courses before they close their doors. A certificate from a closed school is typically fine. We keep transcripts from closed schools for 50 years, so students can access them and provide them to employers when applying for a job.

LICENSED SCHOOLS:

Alpine was an accredited school. It was also licensed by the state's Workforce Board. The Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board maintains a list of licensed schools here. <http://www.wtb.wa.gov/currentlicensedschools.asp>.

To license a school, the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board requires a: working business plan, detailed descriptions of education programs, a financial statement, a credit report, a draft catalog, copies of other state licenses and more.

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