ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- Twenty-one small colleges across the country are closing, and one campus is on the First Coast: Altierus Career College in Orange Park.
This is one of a handful of small colleges that have closed its doors in our area.
"I want to work in a chiropractors' office," Kiana Chambers told First Coast News. She is a student at Altierus Career College in Orange Park. She recently found out the campus, where she is studying medical assisting, is closing.
"I think they're handling it well," she said about the way the staff is working with the students.
The Zenith Group oversees Alteirus Career College and more than 20 campuses across the country. It will be closing 21 of its Altierus and WyoTech campuses, saying in a statement "it has become evident to us that many of our campuses are located in areas that are geographically inconvenient for underserved students or not built to accommodate the programs that we want and need to offer."
The current students will be able to finish the degrees before the schools close.
Three campuses will remain open in Tampa, Houston and Norcross, Georgia.
"The students that are here are going to finish and they'll graduate, Chambers explained. "They just wont' be accepting anymore students."
Kathy Hoesling is studying to be a pharmacy tech at the Orange Park campus.
"I feel for the instructors who now have to find other teaching positions or go back into the fiel," she said. "It's been a big change for them."
Fifty-three instructors will be laid off from the Orange Park campus.
The Orange Park campus will close November 2018. There are currently 179 students enrolled there.
Over the last year, other small colleges have closed on the First Coast. Jones College closed because it lost its accreditation.
Last year, Heritage Institute shut down all ten of its campuses, including the one in Jacksonville. Regency Beauty School closed last year as well.
Unlike some schools that closed, leaving students in the lurch, Altierus students we talked to said the school is handling the situation well. It will not shut down until current students graduate.
"I think it's a great way to handle it," Chambers said.
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