Virginia College is immediately closing its entire system, WBRZ-TV reports, making the Baton Rouge school’s departure from its Cortana Mall campus earlier than expected.
The for-profit college, which opened its Cortana location in 2010, announced in September it would stop enrolling students in Baton Rouge, with plans to close the campus sometime in 2019.
But in an email obtained by WBRZ, Stu Reed, CEO of Virginia College’s parent Education Corporation of America, notified students and faculty that Tuesday night the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools suspended the system’s accreditation with an intent to withdraw. The Department of Education also added new restrictions on its access to Title IX student aid.
As a result, all schools within the system will close immediately after students complete their term, Reed said in the email.
Employees were told to check with supervisors about when their last days of employment would be, WBRZ reports, they be paid for any time worked along with accrued but unused vacation.
The school’s immediate closure deals a major blow to the mall, which is left with only one remaining anchor: a Dillard’s clearance store.
Birmingham-based Education Corporation of America, one of the nation’s largest for-profit college operators, owns more than 75 campuses with 20,000 students enrolled in various trade courses. In addition to Virginia College, the company is also closing all its other career colleges. Calls to the company were not returned prior to publication.
A spokesperson for Virginia College could not be reached for comment before this afternoon’s deadline.