State Senator Demands Acton on Sawyer School Debacle
Friday, January 11, 2013
State Senator Donna M. Nesselbush (D – Dist. 15, Pawtucket, North Providence) is urging the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education to assist the students impacted by the closing of the Sawyer School and requesting public answers to the mysterious closing and demanding appropriate accountability from the institution for its actions.
In a letter directed Ray DiPasquale, Commissioner of the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education, Nesselbush indicated that the plight of the affected individuals and cities is “compelling in terms of the potentially adverse impact both to the educational and economic well being of the students, as well as the host cities through this closing.”
The school, which offered certificates in office information systems and medical assistance, also closed three schools in Connecticut.
Classes were set to resume last week, but the school abruptly shut down and left about 300 students in Rhode Island and 1,200 in Connecticut without direction. The Senator is concerned about her many constituents who fall into the category of displaced students and is hoping Commissioner DiPasquale will ensure no one falls through the cracks. She is also concerned about the closing of yet another Pawtucket business.
“As we move forward, my office stand ready to work with the board to solve the mystery regarding this abrupt closing,” Senator Nesselbush wrote.
Last year, GoLocalProv reported that more than 21 percent of the students who began repaying loans from the Sawyer School in fiscal years 2009 and 2010 were in default. Of Rhode Island’s higher educational institutions, only Lincoln Tech (25 percent) had a worse default rate.
Currently, the Office of Higher Education in Rhode Island has set up a hotline for displaced Sawyer School students at (401) 277-5282. The Lincoln Technical Institute (LTI) has also agreed to do all it can do to provide transfer opportunities to students of the Sawyer School. For more updates, visit: http://www.ribghe.org/sawyer/index.html.