Students of closed Sawyer School are reunited with their records

Jan 17, 2013

(PROVIDENCE, RI) Students of the defunct Sawyer School were reunited with their academic transcripts Thursday at a fair run by the state Office of Higher Education. The for-profit trade school closed abruptly just after Christmas, leaving 300 students in Rhode Island and another 1,200 in Connecticut with nowhere to go. 

Nicole Brien spent $22,000 on a medical assistant program at The Sawyer School. She’s done all the coursework and as soon as she completes an externship a certificate should be hers. But will it be? That’s the question she was asking at a fair for displaced Sawyer School students.

Former students of The Sawyer School are reunited with their records
Credit Flo Jonic

“I don’t really know what I’m going to do. I don’t even know if I can transfer to another school because I don’t have much left so who’s going to really want me? I’m not paying a new school for a certificate,” says Brien. “You know what I mean. I don’t know how it’s going to work.”

Mike Trainor, a spokesman for the state Office of Higher Education had some good news for Brien.

“We are developing a process by which those students who have completed the academic portion of their certificate program and have or are finishing their externships will be given certificates,” says Trainor. “They will not be Sawyer School certificates but they will be the equivalent.”

Elsewhere at the fair, students talked to representatives of eight other schools about transferring. 

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