Private vocational school in Oklahoma City abruptly shuts down its two campuses

A private vocational school abruptly closed its two Oklahoma City campuses Friday, prompting some of its 80 students to transfer to Platt College of Moore and leaving others bewildered about what comes next.
by Randy Ellis Published: December 6, 2012
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Those students went through orientation at Platt College last week and started classes on Monday, she said. Those students will receive certificates from Platt College, rather than ATI, if they complete their course work, she said.

“That same type of arrangement was attempted for the auto repair and HVAC air conditioning students — that's about 30 students,” she said. “Late on Friday, that failed.”

House said it is her understanding the effort fell through when an appropriate sublease agreement couldn't be worked out for the facility.

When students showed up for class Friday, they were given their transcripts and told the school was closing, said Paula Aduddell, a student in the school's heating, ventilation and air conditioning program.

“No one is giving us answers,” Aduddell said. “No one answers the phone there. The instructors were not notified and now we are having a hard time trying to get relief from the loans we have.”

Aduddell, 46, said she began the program in late August and was scheduled to finish in July. Aduddell said she took out about $13,000 in loans to attend the school and is wondering what happens next.

House said ATI officials have informed her they are trying to work out an arrangement with a community college that would allow students to transfer credits for the work they have done and complete their course work.

But if that effort fails, House said, “the federal government has very specific rules about repayment, refunding of loans and I've confirmed that there are provisions in place for forgiveness of debt when a school closes.”

“There are also provisions where any monies the actual student paid that didn't come through a loan situation would need to be refunded,” she said. “The only thing is some of these things take a while. We don't have every answer immediately for those HVAC and auto students, but it very definitely is still being worked on.”

House said she is working with ATI officials concerning where student records will be maintained.


by Randy Ellis
Capitol Bureau Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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There are also provisions where any monies the actual student paid that didn't come through a loan situation would need to be refunded. The only thing is some of these things take a while. We don't have every answer immediately for those HVAC and auto students, but it very definitely is still being worked on.”

Nora House,
Director of the Oklahoma Board of Private Vocational Schools

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