Virginia College shuts down

Seven years after opening its Chattanooga campus near Eastgate, Virginia College will shut down its local operations Friday along with those in 70 other cities this week after its parent company lost its funding and accreditation.

The for-profit, private college, owned by the Birmingham, Alabama-based Education Corp. of America (ECA), said it was closing schools operating as Virginia College, Brightwood College, Brightwood Career Institute, Ecotech Institute and Golf Academy of America in 21 states.

The closing affects more than 15,000 students still enrolled at ECA campuses, including more than 170 enrolled at Virginia College in Chattanooga, and the shut down will cut about 30 full- and part-time jobs at the local campus.

ECA had planned to close its Chattanooga campus and 25 other campuses at the end of the school year in 2019, but the college abruptly shut down nearly its entire operation this week because the company was unable to raise more money to continue operations.