Tech school closure stuns students

August 25, 2009 3:45:41 PM PDT
Dozens of students who showed up for class at a tech school in New Jersey got quite a shock earlier this week when they found the school abruptly shut down.The students, who attend PC Tech in Jersey City, paid thousands of dollars in tuition to become licensed medical technicians. Now, many fear they may be out of luck.

A student showed up Tuesday morning for class, still unaware the school was locked up.

"I took out financial aid, and you're telling me that I've just been coming for nothing, wasting my time?" she said. "They took my money. What am I supposed to do?"

Darnell Ferguson said he taught at the school and even recruited many of the students, but that he quickly realized that the school was having financial problems.

"The guy here misleads people," he said. "Not only does he mislead the students, but he misleads the staff...I worked with them for about two and a half months, but I realized there was a problem when they didn't pay me one week."

Published reports say the lease hasn't been paid since February. PC Tech has a separate location in Newark. Both schools are owned by the same man, who declined to speak with Eyewitness News.

The instructors claim not to know much, but some students at the Newark location had plenty to say. They are not satisfied at all with PC Tech.

"This school is a mess," one student said. "We don't have no books, we have outdated computers. The computers are from 1998. We haven't had a teacher in two days. They keep us here until 4 p.m. to learn absolutely nothing."

"Our instructor was fine, you know, he did what he was supposed to do," another said. "But if he's not getting paid, I don't blame him for not being here."

The school bills itself as a specialist teaching computer skills to students in office and medical work. Students typically get state grants for the courses, which cost upwards of $7,000. Ferguson says he is trying to get students' grants transferred to other schools.

"Most of these people here are on welfare, receiving some type of benefit, and they're trying to better their lives," he said. "And at the same time their trying to better their lives, the gentleman here is destroying their lives...Being that I know most of the students here, I'm going to try to help them to continue their education so that they can prosper in life and do well."

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King


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