CHARLESTON — Citing West Virginia Business College’s failure to gain accreditation for the 2017-18 school year and its inability to offer its students financial aid, the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education on Thursday revoked the college’s permit to operate in West Virginia, effective June 30.
West Virginia Business College has 20 days to appeal the council’s decision. Multiple messages left for John Tarr, the business college’s president, and Julie Magers, campus director in Wheeling, were not immediately returned Thursday.
The immediate impact, outside of the potential shutdown of the school, is that those set to graduate this spring may not be able to receive a diploma, as West Virginia Business College loses its accreditation April 30. Sarah Tucker, chancellor of the Council for Community and Technical Colleges, said the final decision on that matter would be up to the U.S. Department of Education.
“Historically, the federal government has said diplomas are only recognized from accredited institutions,” she said. “We have a phone call in to the department of education, and we are trying to set up a call for next week on this matter. Ultimately, it’s a federal decision.”
The business college, which has operations at 1052 Main St. in downtown Wheeling and Nutter Fort, W.Va., just south of Clarksburg, had its accreditation pulled late last year by the Accrediting Council on Independent Colleges and Schools. A letter from the Washington, D.C.-based council dated Dec. 22 listed 29 findings by the governing body that led to its decision not to renew the business college’s accreditation, which will formally expire April 30.
Among those findings were concerns with faculty credentials, learning resources, financial aid processes and transparency with students concerning their financial aid and student loans.
The business college had sought more time to dispute the accrediting council’s findings, but an April 7 hearing by the Accrediting Council on Independent Colleges and Schools “found no credible basis upon which to summon confidence that additional time would serve to assure the institution’s compliance.” That led the accrediting body to reaffirm its decision to deny West Virginia Business College’s accreditation, noting that no further appeals process could take place.
The West Virginia Council for Community and Technical Colleges, in its unanimous decision Thursday, cited a section in the governing rules of business, occupation and trade schools that reads, “The Council may for good cause suspend, withdraw or revoke authorization of a school to operate in this state or to solicit students within the state. Good cause shall consist of loss of accreditation by…