Coast institutions offer help to Virginia College students

Coast institutions offer help to Virginia College students
Students across the country arrived at their respective Virginia College campuses Wednesday only to find the doors closed. Virginia College in Biloxi said earlier this year that the campus would close in August 2019.

GULF COAST, MS (WLOX) - Students across the country arrived at their respective Virginia College campuses Wednesday only to find the doors closed. They thought they had until August of 2019 before the school officially closed, with existing students able to continue to complete their programs and still be able to receive career services assistance.

In the wake of this news, Coast institutions are offering help to Virginia College students.

The owner of Chris’ Beauty College in Gulfport told WLOX News Now the cosmetology students have a place to finish their training, some at no charge. Ann Simmons said frantic Virginia College students began calling her college after getting the news of the abrupt closing. Simmons told WLOX News Now she and her staff are working with the Mississippi Board of Cosmetology to help Virginia College students complete their hours and certification.

Simmons said Chris’ staff will coordinate a “teach-out” program for 21 students who were scheduled to graduate over the next few months. Many, Simmons said, have used all of their financial aid in the Virginia College.

“The ones with no student loan or grant money left, we’ll let them finish their hours at no charge,” Simmons said.

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College will also offer help to students affected by Virginia College’s closure. MGCCC will hold a Virginia College Assistance and Outreach Session Dec. 13. According to the college’s website, deans and directors will be available to help students with admission, registration and financial aid.

“After seeing the devastation wrought in these students’ lives by the sudden closure, our leadership team wanted to help,” said Carmen Walters, executive vice president of Enrollment Management and Student Success.

Programs are available that align with those previously offered at Virginia College, such as cosmetology, medical assisting technology, business and office technology and culinary arts.

The session will be held at MGCCC’s Advanced manufacturing a Technology Center at 10298 Express Drive in Gulfport and will begin at 2 p.m. Register HERE.

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