Heald College students still looking for answers after closure announcement

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- One day after they heard their college was permanently closed, friends and business students Darrius Cavazos and Shawn Anderson drove to campus, looking for answers.

"Now it's just like I don't know what I am going to do," Anderson said. "It's just so sudden. It just shut down, it's just like what's going on?"

"This crap, yeah," Cavazos said. "That's all I can really call it, crap."

Corinthian Colleges closed Heald College in Fresno plus 27 other campuses on Sunday, after being fined by the U.S. Department of Education for misrepresenting data like post-grad job placement rates.

In a statement released Monday, the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office said they will assist Corinthian College students.

"Our 112 colleges, which serve 2.1 million students, are ready to help students who wish to pursue their educational goals at community college," the statement said.

Fresno City College said they will be ready to help Heald College students continue their education.

"I think we can provide a great low-cost option since we only charge $46 a unit," said Fresno City College's Vice President of Student Services, Christopher Villa. "Obviously this will disrupt the lives of some of the students or many of the students but it doesn't mean their education will end."

"I think this is a travesty," said Jan Marie Crabbe, a longtime Heald technology teacher. "It's not just heartbreaking for my students, but it's heartbreaking for this community."

Crabbe said she objects to any claims that Heald students do not go on to make good money after spending a lot of money on their Heald education.

"What's happening here is somebody's political aspirations and just what I consider unethical behavior on the part of the Department of Education, on the part of the state officials, but mainly what I feel is heartbroken," Crabbe said.

So as staff packed up and drove away Monday, Cavazos and Anderson are thinking about doing the same. They want to continue their education, but not in Fresno.

"I'm most definitely out of here. The next two weeks I'm outta here," Anderson said.

San Joaquin Valley College also said they will help Heald students any way they can.

"We are saddened for all Heald students and will help in any way we can. Every student's situation is different and we'll do our best to work with each and every one that contacts us. Currently we have a link on our website (www.sjvc.edu/transfer) that Heald students may access. It gives information on possible transfers to our programs as well as links to our accrediting agencies and consumer information on SJVC program outcomes. Students may request to be contacted by one of SJVC's advisors for transcript evaluation and program options."

Fresno City College encourages Heald College students to call their counseling department at (559) 442-8226 to start the application process for summer and fall semesters.

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