JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Edward Waters College held information sessions Tuesday night for students left in the lurch by the closing of all Virginia College campuses, including the one in Jacksonville.
Two one-hour sessions took place at the Milne Auditorium at the historic school on Kings Road.
"We're going to give a general overview and, of course, have question-and-answers so they can get their questions answered," said Dr. Thomas Calhoun, EWC vice president of enrollment management. "We also hope to pique their interest so they'll ask more questions."
EWC offered advice on enrolling so displaced Virginia College students can complete their studies.
"We are having this information session because we want to recruit these students," Calhoun said. "So we're going to do what we can to make it as seamless as possible to transfer them, to continue their studies at Edward Waters College."
Calhoun said the closure creates "an unfortunate uncertainty" for the Virginia College students, but Edward Waters would stand ready to assist.
That assistance is what students like Julius Jackson are interested in.
"I'm trying to finish my degree and I'm not going to let a school closing stop that from happening," said Jackson, a former Virginia College student. "I'm just glad they reached out so, hopefully, it's a smooth transition."
While many students were disappointed and frustrated last week, Jackson said he’s pushing forward no matter what.
"If I have to start behind the eight ball, it's fine with me," Jackson said. "It's just the end goal, you know? More education -- that makes me a better person so I can eventually, you know, spread and educate others."
Virginia College was operated by Education Corporation of America, which issued the following statement last week:
After many years of training students for new careers, it is with a heavy heart that today we announce that Education Corporation of America (ECA) is closing all its career colleges effective with the completion of the current module or term for most students. We will work with students to ensure access to their transcripts so they can complete their studies at another school. We are proud of our thousands of graduates who have entered the workforce with skills they acquired at our schools along with our faculty and staff who have shown unwavering support for our students. This is not the outcome that we envisioned and is one that we recognize will have a dramatic effect on our students, employees, and many partners."