Heritage College closing all 10 of its campuses

Published: Nov. 1, 2016 at 4:02 PM CDT
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The Kansas Board of Regents confirms all 10 of Heritage College's locations, including those in southeast Wichita and Kansas City, Mo. are closed. The board or regents says the school is closed effective "immediately" and "indefinitely."

Tuesday afternoon, Eyewitness News heard from a student at the college's location on South Rock Road in Wichita, who was preparing to graduate.

The student says there was a note on the door of the school that they weren't letting anyone in. The note read that the school went bankrupt, the student says. She says neither students nor staff received notice of the shutdown. Some learned of the closure by finding the notes, others heard from classmates.

"I actually got a text message from a classmate and then I called the school several times and couldn’t get an answer so I decided to come up here," said Machelle Hatter, who went to Heritage.

Many students say they feel angry and confused.

"I don’t know where I’m going, I don’t know what’s going on with my loans, I don’t know what to do next," said Stephanie Hermrack, who attended Heritage College.

Hermrack said now she and many others who attended Heritage are left with only a partial education and thousands of dollars in student loans.

"So I don‘t know if I owe the government $20,000 now even though I didn’t get a degree out of this or what," added Joshua Anderson, another Heritage student.

"All they needed to do was talk to us," continued Hermrack. "At least give us warning instead of just shut the door for us to walk up to nothing."

The board of regents says it does not know why the Wichita and Kansas City campuses are closing, but it did receive notice of the closures.

Eyewitness News talked to Bobbie Haydon, a former adjunct professor at Heritage College. She says staff were waiting on paychecks when she heard about a 2:30 p.m. meeting Tuesday. That's when she says instructors were informed the school was closing, and employees would receive partial payments.

"I'm an adjunct, which means I have a full time job elsewhere. Some of my co-workers, this is the only job they have...they were devastated...the staff at heritage at my local campus, they were dedicated people. They welcomed the students, they had creative ideas for them, the students focused on learning. It's sad it had to end this way."

Eyewitness News has reported at least three other college closures in Kansas this year. I.T.T. Tech closed all its schools, including 38 campuses in Kansas, in September. Brown Mackie College announced it was closing 22 of its 26 campuses in June, including a campus in Salina. Wright Career College closed all its schools in April, including the Towne East location, after the college filed for bankruptcy.