HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Stone Academy students are still facing questions about an uncertain future in the wake of the healthcare school closing all three of its campuses.
But on Monday, students were able to begin getting answers.
“It gave me a little light to relax a little and see what’s going to happen next,” said Kimya Winkle, who attended Stone Academy. “I was going to sign up somewhere else and continue on.”
Stone Academy abruptly closed its schools in East Hartford, Waterbury and West Haven earlier this month, leaving more than 800 students scrambling.
The three Stone Academy locations had low pass rates, unqualified instructors, “invalid” clinical experience opportunities and didn’t adequately record student attendance, according to a letter released Feb. 14 from the Connecticut Office of Higher Education.
The Connecticut Office of Higher Education plans to hold the information fair all week in Hartford. Students are able to see their educational options and meet with representatives from other schools and programs.
“This is really something that’s important for us to help these displaced students, and we’re working with our OHE partners and other schools to help these students succeed,” said Amanda Bell, the executive dean of the Griffin Hospital School of Allied Health Careers.
Students also received information on how to apply for loan discharges and tuition refunds.
“We wanted to make sure they had a human being and a place to reach out and find out what’s going on,” said Tim Larson, the executive director of the Connecticut Office of Higher Education. “We didn’t want to just do text messaging and emailing — it’s so impersonal.”
The state is in the process of obtaining all active student files, including transcripts and students’ financial statuses. An independent auditor will review the documents so that students know where they stand when they transfer.
Larson doesn’t know when that process will be finished but estimates it will be at least a month.
Students, meanwhile, hope they won’t have to start all over.
“I did my clinicals, 800 hours, everything, done with my classes, said Anita Opo Aggrey, a student.
They also want the school to be held accountable.
“We’ve almost spent two years to get here, and all of a sudden, everything has gone down the drain,” Opo Aggrey said. “It’s very frustrating and stressful.”
No students will be turned away from the information sessions. For more information, email OHE.PCS@ct.gov or call (860) 947-1816.
Tuesday’s session has been rescheduled to Friday due to weather.