When Career Point College in San Antonio abruptly closed its doors in October 2016, many students were left devastated and seeking ways to finish their education. Many were in disbelief at the loss of student loans, financial aid and course credits and worried for their future. Coastal Bend College in Pleasanton changed all of that for some in accepting over 100 of those Career Point College students.
Just before the end of 2016, Coastal Bend College worked to receive approval from the Board of Nursing to accept former Career Point College students into its various nursing programs. This approval was key in making sure those students accepted at CBC would be able to have most of their course credits transferred and be able to pick up where they left off making a seamless transition of schools.
This was a very traumatic experience because for many of these students they were one semester away from finishing and ready to graduate and move forward with their lives. There was a lot of leg work that was involved in making this happen. We had to figure out where they were in their programs. We had to look at their degree plans and figure out where they were and how much more they had left to complete, said Bernie Saenz, Director of Marketing and Public Relations for Coastal Bend College.
The students will be financially responsible for paying for their continued education through CBC. Some students will have to pay out of pocket to attend CBC. Those who qualify to receive financial aid benefits, student loans, and VA benefits will be allowed to use those, as well.
Joe and Sheri Hall of Floresville, were students at different levels of Career Point Colleges nursing program. Sheri was set to complete the LVN to RN bridge program in May of 2017 with Joe following closely behind her. That all changed when they received notification Career Point had closed indefinitely.
We were devastated over this. Our family budget was wrapped around that school and getting up the ladder in our nursing education, said Hall. I was able to absorb a little better because Im a VA student, prior military Sheri and I were financing all of her part through financial aid and student loans. The VA stopped paying, because they were paying me a wage to go to school and that all stopped when Career Point closed. We had to jump back into the workforce. But, my wife was three quarters of the way done and she could see the light at the end of the tunnel. I was halfway complete. She cried for days. We still got a stack of nursing books waist-high and then to have that great big kick in the chest. It was really tough.
It was definitely a life-changing event for the Halls and many others. When the Halls received the good news about the Board of Nursing allowing CBC to accept all of their credits, they immediately started to spread the word. A few students said some schools didnt want to talk to them because they were Career Point students and they werent going to accept their previous course credits. Most of the students had to make quick decisions and were hesitant to start looking to attend other schools again. Rebecca Gonzales of Seguin and Kendra Gilbert of Charlotte feared the same would happen again at a different school.
I was in disbelief the whole time, said Gonzales. I wouldnt say all of that hard work went down the drain because it brought me here (CBC), but its just a lot of sacrifices were made and then it happened I looked at every school the day I left and began applying. I was really scared and afraid.
Gilbert, an LVN program student, thought shed lost her way to achieving her dream of becoming a nurse.
Im nervous as anything because Im afraid schools going to close even though I know it wont. But, Im here now and Im ready to set out and finish what I said I was going to do, said Gilbert.
Barbara Scanlon, Director of Nursing Education at CBCs four campuses, was previously the director of nursing for the RN program at Career Point. In looking for a new job after Career Point closed, Scanlon didnt want to leave her students without options and wanted to figure out ways to help them.
I requested of the administration that I could find ways to assist the students of Career Point College and accept as many as possible. In November when I came on board here, I started working immediately with the faculty and staff whom had already begun the process of recruiting students from Career Point, said Scanlon.
CBC reviewed their curriculum which closely matched that of Career Points. The staff at CBC worked diligently to get application packets together, making sure the students requirements had been met and to gain clearance from the Board of Nursing to make sure they were operating under their criteria of making sure students received a quality education. The first group of these students are set to be graduating in August of this year.
They (CBC) have so far gone above and beyond for us I just feel like its right and it just fits, said Gonzales.
For many students being able to continue their education has been a God-send. Wasted time and money has been avoided by CBC accepting these students and allowing them to continue on their path of educational success.