An empty hall is filled with faces of years gone by. Class pictures of nursing students from the 1960s and beyond occupy a vacant corridor at Henderson Community College.
It’s a reminder to some what they have, in a nursing career. But it’s reminder to others where they’re at, with nothing.
Dozens of nursing students are scrambling to get into school days after classes were supposed to start at ITT Tech.
“I’m devastated and shocked,” says Carol White, who was halfway through the nursing program at ITT, when she says she got the email her school was closing for good.
The federal government forced a shut down of ITT Tech last week, leaving students at its Newburgh campus, and 140 others across the country, without a place to call their Alma mater.
She and her classmates spent countless hours in a classroom for nothing. Now they’re piled in a classroom – not learning how to be a nurse, but how to be a student again.
“We were supposed to start classes on Monday,” White says, “I just didn’t want to do anything on that day, I was depressed.”
But a ray of hope comes from across the river at Henderson Community College. The nursing students visit to learn what it’ll take to get back in class and back on track to nursing.
Associate Dean of Enrollment Management at HCC, Cary Conley, says he was surprised to see as many as 20 students at the school’s open house, but sympathizes with their situation.
“It’s terrible they’re having to go through this,” Conley says, “but we’re here to help.”
To make matters worse for the former Tech students, most of the credits earned at ITT won’t transfer to a new school.
It’s a tough pill to swallow for Anastasia McCarter, who had dedicated the last six months to the ITT nursing program.
“It’s extremely frustrating,” she says, “I took a lot of time away from my kids, from my husband to do school work, and go to classes, and study, and find babysitters.”
“It’s all down the drain,” McCarter adds.
HCC has classes starting in mid-October and there are some students trying to get enrolled in time. Others will have to wait until next year.
If you ask an expert, this may not be the last time we see a mass exodus of students searching for schools either.
“As the federal government cracks down on some of these for-profit colleges, we may be seeing more of this in the future,” says Conley.
The students didn’t ask for this. At least, all McCarter is asking for now is a chance.
“Given the opportunity, I think I’ll make a good nurse.”