'We were this close': Macon's Virginia College students voice concerns on school's closing

    Virginia College in Macon/Ricco Holston (WGXA)<p>{/p}

    MACON, Ga. -- The Education Corporation of America (ECA) is shutting down all Virginia College locations, and students in Macon talked with WGXA News about their worries.

    A student who's currently finishing up classes said she's concerned she'll be forced to start all over. Persephone Sledge said she hasn't gotten any information about the status of her degree.

    RELATED: Students worried after Macon's Virginia College announces it's closing down

    "We'll see our teachers tomorrow for the last day," said Sledge.

    Sledge is just four months away from graduation, and she said it's not fair.

    "I think they should have let us finish, we were this close to finishing, so I think they should have been able to let us finish what we started," she said.

    Now, Sledge doesn't know if she'll have to start all over again. "The way that he was telling us, that we were going to have to start from scratch," she said.

    Another student sent WGXA an email from Virginia College. It said students will receive credit for courses completed by the closure date and had information about where to request transcripts.

    Owner of Virginia College, the ECA, said students will be able to get this information "on/around December 17th."

    Press Secretary for the US Department of Education (DOE) Liz Hill told WGXA that the ECA's "decision to suddenly close its campuses is highly disappointing and not best for its students."

    Read the full statement from the DOE below:

    Education Corporation of America’s decision to suddenly close its campuses is highly disappointing and not best for its students. There were other options available. The Department was in daily conversations with ECA and potential teach-out partners to assist as many students as possible to find a new institutional home. Instead of taking the next few months to close in an orderly fashion, ECA took the easy way out and left 19,000 students scrambling to find a way to finish the education program they started. The Department is ready to help ECA students with either transferring their credits to new schools or applying for closed school discharges.

    WGXA News has called three different phone numbers eight times in since Wednesday evening and has also sent emails requesting information about student concerns regarding Virginia College's closing.

    We did recieve a call from the academic dean of Virginia College in Macon, Dr. Christopher Ellis, around 5:30 p.m. Thursday. Ellis said an ECA spokesperson would call our newsroom with more information - but WGXA hadn't received that call as of 10 p.m. Thursday.

    WGXA is working for the community to get additional information from the ECA. Any students or faculty members with concerns can contact WGXA at 478-743-0742.

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