HARTFORD, CT - The State of Connecticut’s Office of Higher Education is urging students impacted by the sudden closure of the Butler Business School in Bridgeport, and The Sawyer Schools in Hamden and Hartford, to register their contact information by visiting www.ctohe.org or contacting the Education & Employment Information Center at 1/800-842-0229 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Butler and Sawyer Schools are among the 65 private, non-degree granting private occupational schools which are regulated by the Office of Higher Education. Connecticut General Statutes prescribe procedures for schools to follow in the event of closure, including a requirement for notifying the Office of Higher Education at least 60 days prior to school closure so that agency officials can work with school representatives to assure an orderly transition and cessation of business. Both Butler Business and Sawyer Schools violated this notice requirement; the Office of Higher Education received a brief email on December 30, 2012 stating that both schools have “suspended operations.”
Officials from the Office of Higher Education have attempted to reach school officials, and are working with the Office of the Attorney General to secure student records and financial files. The Office is meeting with representatives from other schools to create “teach out” opportunities to provide a means for affected students to complete their studies. The Office also is in communication with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. Department of Education and the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.
“Our priority is to see that students have an opportunity to complete their studies,” stated Jane A. Ciarleglio, Executive Director of the Office of Higher Education. “Connecticut’s private occupational schools have a strong tradition of serving students, and such sudden closures are highly unusual in our state. We encourage all impacted students to register with our Office so that we may learn of their status and help answer their questions about finishing their coursework and obtaining potential tuition reimbursements.”
The Butler and Sawyer Schools participate in Title IV federal financial aid funding, and offer three training programs in medical assistant/secretary, office information systems and phlebotomy technician. Enrollments for 2010-11 show 415 students at the Butler Business School, 339 students at the Sawyer School in Hamden, and 461 students in Hartford. Butler was approved by the State of Connecticut to operate in 1957, and the Sawyer Schools were approved in 1991.