Tulsa Students Devastated After Surprise Closing Of Career Point College

Monday, October 17th 2016, 5:39 pm
By: Amy Slanchik

A college in Tulsa says it has "no choice" but to close after its president says employees worked together to break rules surrounding student aid money.

When Career Point College students showed up for class Monday, they found a locked door and a note saying school personnel will answer questions on Tuesday, October 17th, but Monday is October 17th, so students are confused on when they'll get answers.

Georgette Steele showed up to school Monday morning to take a test she studied all weekend for.

"It's kind of devastating in that you put so much effort into trying to do what's right, and trying to get ahead in life, and then things like this happen. You know, it's not fair," she said.

Two letters taped to windows are the only explanation she received for the closure.

10/17/2016 Related Story: Career Point College Closes Tulsa School

One, from the Oklahoma Board of Private Vocational Schools, explains someone from the school will return to campus to answer students' questions.

The second is from the school's president, Larry Earle, which says the school's management team found out in August that three employees worked together to violate rules surrounding student aid money.

He explains the school didn't steal any money and offered the Department of Education a plan to repay "inappropriately received funds."

Earle said the plan was denied and blames the department for the immediate closing of the college.

Amy: “What are your questions for the school?
Steele: “Why weren't we notified earlier?”

Kristy Lee said she graduated just in time, this past May.

"For them to be told that, you know, you're three months shy of getting your diploma, and then now you still have to pay back your student loans but you don't have no diploma? That's insane,” she said.

The school was headquartered in San Antonio and also had a campus in Austin.

Lee has a message for students whose path to earning a degree ended so abruptly.

"Get your degrees, get your diplomas - keep pushing,” she said.

The letter from the president ends with an apology, and says in the next few weeks, the college will "attempt" to help students transfer to other colleges.

Steele has her sights set on Tulsa Community College.

Tulsa Tech wants former Career Point students to know they have options, too.

The school released a statement Monday, offering help with potential credit transfers for students studying business, cosmetology, information technology and some medical fields.