Tammy McCoy said she was shocked and devastated when she found out in August that DuBois Business College was closing its doors after more than 130 years in operation.
The administrative professional student said, at first, she thought only the Philipsburg campus was closing, giving her false hope she could just transfer to another DBC campus.
“I had planned to take a full course there and it was devastating, so I didn’t know what other options were available,” McCoy, of Houtzdale, said. “I actually looked into South Hills (School of Business and Technology) before, but the DuBois campus was close to where I was living and working so it was convenient. But once this happened, I had to look into other options. It was emotional. I was a nervous wreck.”
But she said administrators at South Hills gave her the sigh of relief needed when they stepped up to help make sure former DuBois students could still finish the degree program they sought.
I’m graduating a little later than I had originally planned and it adds about an hour to my drive, but I think it will be worth it in the end
Tammy McCoy, student
“I’m graduating a little later than I had originally planned and it adds about an hour to my drive, but I think it will be worth it in the end,” she said.
With just one term under her belt at DuBois Business College, McCoy was able to completely transfer to South Hills with a goal of getting a degree from the State College institute.
Lori Bell, 45, of Morrisdale, and Wayne Heverly, 50, of Philipsburg, had similar reactions.
“It took me a long time to decide I was going back to college and get a degree,” said Bell, a medical assisting student. “I was one year into the degree at DuBois and decided in the teach-out because I wasn’t financially ready to start over at another school. South Hills reps came to us to talk about options and they found a way to make it work for us.”
Teach-out program allows DuBois Business College students to obtain a DBC degree while finishing their studies at South Hills
Heverly, too, was about a year into his programs at DBC’s Philipsburg campus in the IT program, and decided to opt for the teach-out — a program that allowed DuBois Business College students to obtain a DBC degree while finishing their studies at the South Hills campus.
“I was heartbroken when I heard about DuBois,” Heverly said. “I hoped I would be able to go somewhere to finish out my education, but my biggest fear was that I would have needed to start all over, but they finagled things and went beyond the call of duty to get our classes in order.”
When DBC closed in the summer, South Hills administrators decided to offer a teach-out to give existing students the option of completing their programs.
Director of Education Dave Schaitkin said the agreement was filed with the state Department of Education.
“When DuBois announced they were closing we were contacted by the owner to do a teach-out that happened the day before they announced the closing,” Schaitkin said. “At that point it was too late for students to join our fall term, but the ones who were interested in transferring or participating in the teach-out could start in December for our winter term.”
About a dozen DBC students transitioned to South Hills
About a dozen students made the move.
Schaitkin said a DuBois diploma was still an option approved by the state, if students agreed to pay the DBC tuition and complete their programs under DBC class guidelines.
Administrators did their best to align a program that matched what DBC offered despite students being delayed by at least one term.
You just make do with it. It makes up in the long run, and (I) feel like this wouldn’t have happen without help from South Hills who made the effort to make sure this could work for us
Lori Bell, student
“You just make do with it,” Bell said. “It makes up in the long run, and (I) feel like this wouldn’t have happened without help from South Hills, who made the effort to make sure this could work for us.”
She would have originally been scheduled to graduate in June, but with the teach-out, graduation for her won’t happen until March 2018.