A number of students and employees at Vista College find themselves in an uncertain situation after the school officially ceased its operation.
In a letter issued to students, chief executive officer Jim Tolbert announced that the college’s Killeen, El Paso, College Station, and other campuses are closing permanently due to financial challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The school also posted notes at some of its locations, apologizing to students for the inconvenience and expressing gratitude for being a member of the Vista community for several years.
Meanwhile, at the College Station campus, school administrators provided little to no explanation while escorting students and personnel out of the building. Staff at the Killeen campus also decided to open the doors for the last time to allow students to pick up their transcripts and other important documents.
Despite the closure, Vista assured students that it would assist them in finding transfer programs for the institution’s course credit. However, students report that the school’s phone lines are already inaccessible.
‘Putting Life on Hold’
Business administration student Clarence Robinson admitted that he was surprised to find out in an email that the college is already shutting its doors beginning October. He even described the past couple of days at the institution as “crazy.”
“If we would have known about this sooner, students would have had an opportunity to further their education elsewhere,” he told KCEN-TV. “It puts life on hold at least for the next month or so. It is not easy trying to find another school.”
Alyssa Perez said she was walking down a hallway at the Las Cruces campus on Friday when an employee suddenly told her to get her belongings and vacate the premises. She pointed out that students and personnel “literally got kicked out” of the campus.
Meanwhile, student Mariah Rivera lamented how the college has been inaccessible via phone after the controversial closure. She said she wanted to contact her teachers and college counselors since she is taking online classes at Vista.
She also admitted that she is now unsure about her future at the college since she only has three months of schooling left before she can finally acquire an associate degree.