Current quarter will be the last for Pittsburgh Technical College students

OAKDALE, Pa. — Pittsburgh Technical College is closing its doors.

>> Pittsburgh Technical College placed on probation, in jeopardy of losing accreditation

Last week, Channel 11 reported the college was in “imminent danger” of closing as its accreditation status was in limbo.

>> AG’s office investigating complaints against local technical college, sources say

The current quarter, which will be the last one for students, ends on June 27. PTC will officially close on Aug. 9.

PTC’s board of trustees sent a statement to students on Monday evening saying in part, it’s with a heavy heart they announce the closure of PTC.

Bryce Bladen is supposed to graduate from PTC in September. He relies on campus housing and doesn’t know what will happen in a couple of weeks when the quarter ends and so do classes for good at PTC.

“We have no information, no teach-out plan, we don’t know if we can stay on campus until we’re done, we know nothing, literally nothing,” Bryce Bladen tells Channel 11.

But just this past Friday, the college’s accreditor, Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), rejected PTC’s teach-out plan, which they say was incomplete and insufficient. MSCHE added that it was possible students would be harmed and that retaliation against complainants would not be tolerated.

PTC’s President and CEO Dr. Alicia Harvey-Smith has blamed declining enrollment and targeted attacks for the college’s downfall. She has also continued to maintain that there were no plans for the school to close, which some students and staff now feel was dishonest and deceptive.

Every student we talked to since the news of the closure was made public says they want to see where all the money has gone, leading to hundreds of students and faculty/staff without a place to learn or a job to go to.

“Students were never the top priority at the school, it was always her lining her pockets,” Bladen added. “That was the priority”

Hanna Tourney is supposed to graduate next year with a web development degree. She’s also an RA who will likely lose her housing.

“It’s really, really disappointing,” Tourney said. “Unfortunately, I’m going to have to move home, I don’t really have another option.”

Sources tell 11 Investigates that there is still an active state Attorney General’s office investigation into PTC’s top leadership.

Students fear that without a teach-out plan that’s been approved by the college’s accreditor, their courses could drag on months longer than they anticipated and cost thousands of dollars more.

The full statement from the Board of Trustees is below:

“It is with a heavy heart that we must announce the difficult decision reached by the Board of Trustees: Pittsburgh Technical College will be closing its doors at the end of this quarter. Despite extensive efforts by our dedicated President, Dr. Alicia 8. Harvey-Smiths to manage our situation and secure necessary funding, we have faced persistent challenges of declining enrollment and financial difficulties, leaving us with no viable path forward.

“We took every possible measure to address these issues, including extensive fundraising efforts, cost-cutting measures, and strategic partnerships. Unfortunately, these efforts have not been sufficient to reverse the situation. Dr. Harvey-Smith, who was appointed in April 2019, accepted the challenge to lead our institution and has made significant advances during her tenure. Her leadership brought about the establishment of the Pittsburgh Technical College Foundation, Corporate College, Health, Wellness and Fitness Center, and the acquisition of multiple grants totaling more than twenty-five million dollars. We commend her for her courageous and committed leadership.

“We understand the profound impact this decision will have on our students, faculty; staff, and the entire community. Our immediate priority is to support our students in completing their education and transitioning to other institutions. We are committed to providing resources and assistance to ensure this process is as smooth as possible. We also extend our deepest gratitude to our faculty and staff for their unwavering dedication and commitment to our students and the college. Your contributions have been invaluable, and we will work closely with you to support your transition during this difficult time.

“The legacy of Pittsburgh Technical College will live on through the achievements and successes of our alumni who have made significant contributions to their communities and professions. We take pride in the impact our institution has had over the years and the lasting relationships that have been formed here. This is a time of great sadness for all of us, but it is also a time to reflect on the rich history and the many lives that have been positively impacted by PTC. We will be communicating further details in the coming weeks regarding the process and support available to our community during this transition.

“Thank you for your understanding and continued support during this incredibly challenging time.”

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