Metropolitan College Closes Tulsa Campus

Thursday, July 13th 2006, 10:14 am
By: News On 6

It's a painful lesson for students at Metropolitan College in Tulsa. The trade school closed its doors in Tulsa and Oklahoma City with no warning Wednesday. And now, students say they can't even get their transcripts.

If that's not bad enough, News on 6 reporter Steve Berg explains they might be stuck with thousand of dollars in student loans.

For Linda Ramirez, college wasn't just a diploma, it was a dream. "And I was getting very excited that I was coming to that crossroad where I was actually going to accomplish this and I feel like it's just all been ripped away from me now." Ramirez is one of about four-dozen students at Metropolitan College in Tulsa, which offers or offered degrees for paralegals and court reporters among other programs.

Most are non-traditional students looking for a fresh start. Lorraine Newham: "It's humiliating, it's degrading. I mean, this is supposed to be our second chance. These are working women, women with families trying to get a new start, and this is what this kind of school does to people." Lorraine Newham says the school's security guards locked the doors and school workers refused to give her her transcript. She says students have invested one year, some of them two years, maybe in vain. "I don't know what to do from here. I don't know if my credits are transferable to another school. I know there aren't any other ABA approved programs. And this school is supposed to be ABA-approved, and I don't know if it is or was."

The school apparently had its accreditation suspended last month and Ramirez says school officials told her in a meeting yesterday they knew the school wouldn't last the whole semester. "Which really bothered me, because if that were true, why did they let us start. Why didn't they tell us in the beginning when problems began and give us the option of moving on to another school rather than lead us to believe everything was fine here."

Lorraine Newham: "Now I owe $15,000 for a school that's closed its doors, and I can't even get a transcript."

It's still not clear whether or not the students will be able to transfer their credits to another trade school or whether they're on the hook for their student loans.

The News on 6 made a call to the head of Metropolitan Colleges. There was a message saying she was out of the office until next Monday.