MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) - Tens of thousands of students woke up Tuesday morning to news that ITT Tech was closing its doors for good, including their campus in Madison.
Just after 6 Tuesday morning, students and faculty received separate emails, letting them know all campus activity would end immediately and the September term classes will not start next Monday.
For the few students that didn't see the email in time, they were greeted with locked doors and no one to answer their questions.
Students that gathered at ITT Tech in Madison said they felt betrayed. “I have sacrificed everything," says Kinitra Thomas, a former ITT nursing student.
“Two years wasted of my life, almost three," says Kinitra Thomas, another nursing student.
Thomas was only 2 quarters shy from obtaining her RN degree. Now, she doesn't know what comes next. “This is my life we’re talking about. My whole entire life. I moved my kids miles away to chase a dream for them to shut the door in my face," she says.
Jamie Dawdy was even closer. She had passed all of her classes and was waiting to take her exit exam. One test short, she's not sure if her scores will be sent to the state nursing board. “I thought I was here. I thought I did it. I thought it was over and I thought I had given my son’s the dream, and here I am," says Dawdy.
Another student we met had a countdown clock on her phone; 2 months, 17 days, 6 hours, 40 minutes.
Now the group is worried, all this time, all this money, all this effort was for nothing. “I’ve been crying. I’m very emotional. I don’t know what to do. I almost feel like a failure and I know it’s not me but that’s how I feel," says Thomas.
When word first came last month that a dispute with the Department of Education would prevent ITT from enrolling new students, Thomas spoke to Madison campus Administrators. “She told me we didn’t have anything to worry about," she says.
Thomas says instead of being given a false sense of security, they could have been planning. “There was another way they could have gone about it," says Thomas.
Trying to find some camaraderie in this difficult time, the nursing student group left a simple hand written note that sums up it all - "We are at Logan's drowning our tears."
“But just to leave us hanging high and dry like that, it’s just so unethical," says Thomas.
Students say they reached out to their instructors who tell them a separate email was sent to faculty letting them know they had been terminated effective immediately.