By CASEY JUNKINS
The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register
WHEELING –The saga of West Virginia Business College and its accreditation problems culminated with school officials’ Monday announcement that the institution is, in fact, closed.
A Monday email from college General Manager James Weir to students, as well as to the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education, attributes the immediate closure to “declining enrollment.”
“The college has decided that with the very small number of returning students for the July 2017 quarter, it is not possible to continue and remain open. All student information has been given to West Virginia Junior College and Salem International University as part of a teach out plan,” Weir’s email states.
The action came as a surprise to council attorney Candace Kraus because she spent much of Monday preparing the council’s response to the legal action the school brought against it in late June.
“We are still preparing our response to the appeal. The status of the legal challenge has not changed,” Kraus said late Monday.
On June 8, council officials declared the college would have to close by June 30, citing the school’s lack of accreditation. However, the college filed an appeal of this ruling in Ohio County Circuit Court, asking Judge David Sims to overturn the council’s decision. The school also asked for an immediate stay of the council’s order, which Sims granted.
Nevertheless, Weir issued the Monday email announcing the intention to close.
The college had operated on Main Street in Wheeling and at Nutter Fort, W.Va., just south of Clarksburg. College officials have declined multiple requests for comment made by The Intelligencer since the accreditation problems surfaced.
Weir’s email states school leaders “waited as long as we could to benefit all possible students and the verification of their enrollment status.”
Former college students who need help obtaining transcripts, transferring to another institution, managing student loan debt or exploring new education or career options are encouraged to contact council staff for free assistance at 304-558-0265, or by email to Renee Harvey at [email protected]
“We remain available to assist students with their transfer and transition matters,” Kraus added.
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