NUTTER FORT, W.Va. — West Virginia Business College informed its returning students by email Monday the school’s two campuses in Nutter Fort and Wheeling had closed.
“Due to declining enrollment both campuses of West Virginia Business College are closed effective July 10, 2017,” WVBC General Manager James Weir wrote.
The email comes less than a week after a judge issued a stay that stopped the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education from closing the school as of June 30. The stay allowed WVBC to continue to recruit students despite it losing its accreditation earlier this year.
Weir’s email said Monday’s decision was based on enrollment numbers.
“Management has decided that with the very small number of returning students for the July 2017 quarter it is not financially possible to continue to remain open,” the email said.
Charleston attorney Rusty Webb represents a handful of former students who claim the lack of accreditation has hurt their employment opportunities.
“The students that I’ve talked to, both who graduated recently with degrees and those who have graduated in the recent past, can’t get jobs,” Webb said, adding that difficulty may also be linked to more than one factor.
WVBC lost its accreditation from the Accrediting Council on Independent Colleges and Schools, but that organization has had its own problems and is no longer recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as an official accrediting agency. The CTC Council ordered the WVBC closure in a vote last month over the accreditation issue but the decision was put on hold after Ohio County Circuit Judge David Sims issued a stay. School officials indicated they were going to continue to operate. Monday’s email was surprise to some.
Webb said the former students he represents plan to continue their legal battle.
“It’s a slow process. We’ll let the process take its place and we’ll see where we go,” Webb said Monday.
Webb has been involved in similar cases in recent years. He represented some former students of Mountain State University when it closed its doors.
Weir’s email said all student information had been given to West Virginia Junior College and Salem University.
“We apologize about any confusion, however, we waited as long as we could to benefit all possible students and the verification of their status,” Weir said.
When contacted by MetroNews Monday afternoon, state Community and Technical College Chancellor Dr. Sarah Tucker said she had yet to receive official notification of closure from WVBC.