WyoTech is slated to cease enrolling new students and current courses will be taught out, according to a Zentih Education Group news release.
Zenith, a nonprofit education provider that bought 56 Corinthian Colleges, Inc. campuses including WyoTech Laramie, announced Wednesday it will enter a new phase limiting admission of new students to three Altierus Career College campuses.
The move could allow Zenith to increase “focus on the most effective initiatives and innovative ideas that provide underserved students with the best opportunities for career success,” the news release states.
WyoTech Director of Student Services Kyle Morris confirmed WyoTech students currently enrolled in classes would be allowed to finish the course, but he said he could not confirm the when last day classes would be taught.
“It’s heartbreaking,” said Guy Warpness, a former WyoTech student, instructor and campus president. “This has nothing to do with the quality of the instructors or the quality of the students.”
Between attending WyoTech as a student, returning to teach diesel technology and working in admissions, Warpness said he invested more than 27 years in WyoTech.
“From my perspective, this (is) about an organization purchasing the campus without any idea how to run it,” he said. “If they sell it now, whoever buys it will have immediate access to federal grants. If they teach it out, shut it down and another school purchases it, they would have to run it for two years before applying for federal funding. That’s going to be hard.”
The Laramie campus is among 21 Zenith-owned WyoTech and Altierus campuses slated to cease enrollment, the news release states. This change comes nearly three years after ECMC Group, a nonprofit corporation focused on education, formed Zenith to acquire 56 Corinthian Colleges, Inc. campuses facing certain and immediate closure.
“Over the past few years, 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 news release states. “We intend to use those learnings in a more focused three-campus approach to enhance initiatives, including employer partnerships and student support services, that have demonstrated success in improving academic and job placement outcomes for students.”
The three campuses slated to remain open are in Georgia, Florida and Texas.
“Obviously, it’s a sad day for Laramie,” Mayor Andi Summerville said. “WyoTech was started in Laramie. It’s an important piece of this town’s history.”
The news comes after nearly 18 months of layoffs, closures and budget reductions affecting some of Albany County’s largest institutions.
“We want to support our partners at WyoTech in any way we can,” Summerville said. “As the situation becomes more clear, we’ll pull together the appropriate resources to help the displaced workers and families.”