Randy Ramirez showed up at the ITT Technical Institute campus in Sylmar on Tuesday, Sept. 6, to pick up the schedule for what would have been his last quarter at the school.
Instead he found closed doors.
The technical college announced the same day it was shutting down, leaving Ramirez — and more than 40,000 students across the country — in educational limbo.
“All I can do is wait and see what happens,” said Ramirez, who was studying software development.
A self-described “hacker,” Ramirez, a Burbank resident, had attended ITT for nearly two years and was hoping to graduate by the end of this year.
“I wanted to get my diploma to get a better job,” he said.
While he knows a lot about computers and programming, a certificate would validate all that knowledge and allow him to get going on a good paying position, he said.
“This hit me by surprise,” Ramirez admitted.
He said there were no rumors or any indication about the school closure. When he attended classes last week, everyone expected to resume their studies after the Labor Day holiday weekend.
And it’s not only the lost classes he’s worried about. Ramirez said he is on the hook for more than $10,000 in school loans.
It’s the same concern for Jerald Guieb, a Granada Hills resident who showed up Tuesday at the Sylmar campus “to see if what his relatives were telling me was real.”
“I’m heartbroken, just disappointed,” said Guieb as he looked at the shuttered doors of the school from his vehicle.
Guieb attended ITT because his father graduated from there.
“This was a familiar school. I did trust this institute,” said Guieb, 23, who was pursuing a software development diploma. “I thought it would be a faster route to get a degree.”
Guieb said he only had two quarters left, and was clearly disillusioned at the prospect of trying to finish somewhere else.
“It’s a lot of stress. I’ve got to find out how I can transfer my credits,” he said.
Guieb said the school sent an email with a list of schools that would accept their credits, but most of them are online. He knows it won’t be as informative as sharing knowledge with fellow classmates in a regular classroom setting.
He added his family was looking forward to him starting his career. But now things are on a wait-and-see basis.
“In the beginning (my parents) were excited for me. Now they’re heartbroken as well,” Guieb said.
“This puts more stress on the family. I really don’t know what’s going to happen”