After Virginia College closes, shuttering Columbia branch, local colleges step up

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Virginia College has closed campuses throughout the country, forcing it’s Columbia location off Two-Notch Road to close as well.

Education Corp. of America, a for-profit company that also owns Brightwood Career Institute, Brightwood College, Ecotech Institute and Golf Academy of America, closed the school after an accreditation agency was poised to revoke the company’s accreditation, the Associated Press reported.

“Virginia College, Columbia has been placed on institutional show cause by its accreditor, the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (“ACICS”), because of the final adverse action taken by another recognized accrediting agency,” the college wrote on its website.

Roughly 1,000 students throughout the state attend Virginia College or one of its sister schools, according to the S.C. Commission on Higher Education.

After the announcement was made, local schools stepped up to take in displaced students.

“Midlands Technical College is inviting former Virginia College students to a college night event to learn about MTC’s 120+ academic and career programs, see what financial aid options might be available, and apply to the college for free,” Midlands Technical College said in a press release. “The event is December 19, from 6-8 pm at the MTC Beltline Campus, Lindau Engineering Technology (LET) Building, Room 110.”

Professional Development and Training Services, LLC in Lugoff offered to take in students majoring in “Nurse Aide, Phlebotomy and EKG practices,” the school said in a release.

“When one door closes another one opens. We are truly sorry to hear of what happened, but wanted to provide an outlet for some of the students who think there is no alternative,” the school’s CEO and founder Kesha Hayes said in a press release. “Professional Development and Training Services will have our doors open for anyone wanting to get their foot into the healthcare industry with the classes we currently offer. There are also resources available that we can discuss if individuals can’t afford tuition.”