The educational community in Bossier will see a void with the impending closure of Virginia College.
Located in Pierre Bossier Mall in Bossier City, it was announced Monday, Sept. 10, that the for-profit college has stopped enrolling new students and will close June 1, 2019.
The local campus closure is one of several as one-third of Virginia College campuses will close by 2020. This includes Southern cites such as Biloxi and Jackson, Miss.; Mobile and Montgomery, Ala.; and Pensacola, Fla.
A news release said the closure was due to unsuccessful attempts by Virginia College to receive accreditation from other organizations, poor graduation and job placement rates and high faculty turnover rates.
Virginia College offers classes, certificates, diplomas, and degrees related to specific professions, such as health and medical, information technology, business, office management, and criminal justice. It is owned by the Education Corporation of America, based in Birmingham, Ala.
Diane Worthington, vice president of marketing and communications at Education Corporation of America said in a statement, “Effective immediately, we will no longer enroll new students due to insufficient demand for their programs in this market. The vast majority of current students will have the opportunity to complete their coursework and earn their diplomas or degrees as planned. They will also be able to utilize Virginia College’s Career Development services to help them pursue jobs in their field of study. If there are any students who will be unable to complete their programs at the campus prior to the closure date, we will work closely with them to transfer to another school, or they may choose to receive a full refund.”
Although many students who are currently enrolled or were interested in enrolling at Virginia College, have the option to attend Bossier Parish Community College to attain a form of higher education.
“Bossier Parish Community College welcomes any prospective student interested in beginning or continuing their education to consider enrolling in the remaining fall sessions, the winter session, or any upcoming semesters,” said Tracy McGill, director of public relations at BPCC.
Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates, BPCC has a variety of curricula to choose including cyber, nursing, allied health, manufacturing, advanced welding, criminal justice to name a few.
“With a student body of more than 6,400, we offer our students world-class academics, numerous student service resources, and a variety of student life opportunities,” McGill added.
Bossier Parish High School students also have the option to enroll at the Bossier Parish School for Technology and Innovative Learning (BPSTIL).
BPSTIL is an innovative school that offers career and technical education courses to juniors and seniors in Bossier Parish. It is for college-bound students as well as those planning to enter the workforce following graduation or technical school.
BPSTIL also offers students dual enrollment with Louisiana Technical College and Bossier Parish Community College.
Pierre Bossier Mall failed to return requests for comments to The Press-Tribune by press time.