Education fair to be held for students stranded by Stone Academy closure

The Office of Higher Education is helping students who were left stranded by Stone Academy’s closure.
Published: Feb. 18, 2023 at 11:13 AM EST|Updated: Feb. 19, 2023 at 11:23 AM EST
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HARTFORD, Conn. (WFSB) - The Office of Higher Education is helping students who were left stranded by Stone Academy’s closure.

In a letter to students, the department says they are going to work with students to help transfer them to other programs.

The department will work with an independent auditor to vet active student’s transcripts and their clinical progress so students can have an accurate account of their progress.

This process will help students transfer to other programs and will ensure students will receive an appropriate tuition refund.

“A number of students have already sent in transcript requests. We’re putting a hold on transcript requests until we get the audit completed,” said Sean

There is no timeline yet for when that is going to happen.

The Office of Higher Education (OHE) will also hold a fair from February 27 to March 1 where students can explore other educational options.

Representatives from the Lincoln Technical Institute, Griffin Hospital School of Allied Health Careers, Porter and Chester Institute, and the National Guard will attend. Officials from the state’s community college system will also be available.

Officials from the U.S. Department of Education will also attend to assist students with how to apply for loan discharges.

OHE staff will also help students who paid out of pocket to apply for a tuition refund.

To register for the fair, fill out this form by Thursday, February 23, 2023.

The fair will be at 450 Columbus Boulevard in Hartford.

East Hartford’s mayor says the situation is heartbreaking and wants to support these students however the city can.

“You often hear banquet venues going out of existence overnight and somebody has a wedding the next day or the next week. In as much as that’s tragic to me, this is a higher degree of significance,” said East Hartford Mayor Mike Walsh.

Students like Symia Lyles know just how heartbreaking this is.

“I put a lot of hard work, sweat and tears into my education here at Stone Academy. I mean, being a single mother of three, it’s not easy,” said Symia. “It’s like they didn’t care, they just threw us right out with no questions asked.”

Symia is helping plan a demonstration Monday morning on the East Hartford campus.

“The law, which stands behind us, is that we should have a teach-out plan where they would finish out the education that we started and for our credits to be honored,” Symia said.

A teach-out plan is “a written course of action a school will take to ensure its students are treated fairly with regard to finishing their programs of study,” according to Federal Student Aid, an Office of the US Department of Education.

“We all have different stories, but the main thing is we worked hard for our education, we worked hard for our credits and we want them to be honored,” Symia added.

Organizers of Monday’s demonstration want to highlight how much these students have sacrificed to attend Stone Academy and pursue their dream.

Stone Academy was largely attended by students of color, many of them are single parents.

“I think we’re at the beginning of a much longer process and we look forward to Stone Academy sorting out what we’re going to do for these students,” said Mayor Walsh.

The Office of Higher Education is helping students who were left stranded by Stone Academy’s closure.