Several local colleges, including Harcum, Peirce, and Community College of Philadelphia, are reaching out to students who have been displaced by the sudden closing of ITT Technical Institute's campuses.
"ITT Tech had been offering several comparable programs to Harcum's, in business and criminal justice, for instance," Jon Jay DeTemple, president of the Bryn Mawr-based Harcum College, said. "Harcum would like to help these students continue their education here, since several ITT campuses are within the Philly region and a comfortable commuting distance to either our Bryn Mawr campus or our partnership sites."
The for-profit ITT Tech chain announced this week that it would shut down all 130 of its U.S. campuses because it could not weather sanctions by the U.S. Department of Education. Those locations include Center City, Marlton, Levittown, and Plymouth Meeting.
The Education Department prohibited the chain from enrolling new students who used federal financial aid, and ordered it to pay $152 million within 30 days to cover student refunds and other costs if the college closed. The school had been under investigation by authorities who accused it of pushing students into risky loans and misleading students about its programs.
CCP on Tuesday said it also would help local ITT students scrambling to figure out their next educational step.
The community college will host a fast-track enrollment day for ITT students on its main campus from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday.
"Their credits may or may not transfer, but we will individually assess where they are and get them in an individualized program of study before Oct. 4," Samuel Hirsch, the college's vice president for academic and student success, said.
Harcum will offer a new ITT Tech scholarship to students of up to $5,000 a year, and will transfer up to 30 of their credits to help complete their associate's degree, said Gale Martin, college spokeswoman.
Peirce College in Philadelphia plans to offer the first course to ITT students free and will waive the application fee, said spokesman Jeff Cronin. ITT students also will get a $100 book voucher, he said, and a 48-hour unofficial transcript evaluation to determine the number of credits eligible for transfer.
Peirce similarly reached out to students at Corinthian College campuses when they closed in 2015, Cronin said.