Alamo Colleges pushes options for training

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As for-profit colleges close around the city, the district steps up.

By Kyle R. Cotton

kcotton11@student.alamo.edu

Over the last couple of months students at for-profit colleges, including ITT Tech. Career Point and Regency Beauty Institute, have been shut down by the Department of Education.

With students at these colleges left high and dry, the Alamo Colleges and other universities in the area have reached out to those students to be possible alternatives.

“Unfortunately, this has been pretty consistent with what has been happening nationally with other for-profits: happens suddenly, students left in the lurch and often with debt and no degree,” Chancellor Bruce Leslie said Tuesday. “So we’ve reached out — and other community colleges and universities as well — and offering opportunity for them to come in, get advised and see where there may be a connection between what they were taking and what we offer.”

Leslie said this is a challenge as some of those students have lost access to their transcripts from those institutions as the doors unexpectedly close.

“The goal, of course, is to try and help them transition to the Alamo Colleges so they can continue their journey without them losing time and any more money,” Leslie said. “There really is no information from the for-profits. We’re not getting anything from them. They are basically shut down. There is nobody at home so all we can do is invite the students to come in and talk to us.”

The Alamo Colleges has already had a couple of sessions at St. Philip’s College and Palo Alto College.

“All of our welcome centers are open. Come and talk to us,” Leslie said. “Anything we can do to try and be available to them to just come on in and talk to us.

“So far, we haven’t had a lot of responsiveness. I was told (Oct. 17) that maybe 13 students have shown up to talk to us and maybe six are looking at attending, but it’s still early as a lot of students are frankly in shock at what they want to do so I feel there will be more to trickle in,” Leslie said. “Most of these were workforce programs; most of these are students who are looking to get into employment — that’s what appealed to them to go to these colleges: ‘We can get you into a career pretty quickly without having to take the core course that you would have to take at a community college,’ but frankly, we think that’s the advantage that we offer over the for-profits.”

Palo Alto College will host an open house of its cosmetology program noon-2 p.m. Oct. 25-26 in the performance arts center auditorium.

The Alamo Colleges will host enrollment fairs 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Nov. 5, Dec. 3 and Dec. 12 at St. Philip’s College’s welcome center and in Building 1 Room B172 at Southwest Campus.

For more information on the enrollment fairs, call 210-486-2008.

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