Chains on business school’s doors

Class is dismissed for those attending the Newport Business Institute – and it appears the school that has been in Williamsport for more than 50 years has closed its doors permanently.

Less than 24 hours after students enrolled at the institute allegedly were notified that the school was closed, students are left wondering what is next for them.

The Sun-Gazette received word that the business school had closed early Tuesday morning and multiple phone calls to the local branch at 941 W. Third St. were not returned.

Those in the community have been looking for answers for students left without any.

Charles Protasio, of CareerLink, works with students who receive tuition assistance through the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, some of whom attended Newport. The act helps those who lost employment due to their job being exported abroad.

Protasio said that he saw a letter from a student that explained that the school was closed effective immediately.

Both Protasio and Dennis Correll, associate dean for admissions and financial aid at the Pennsylvania College of Technology, reported that they heard both students and staff received word of the immediate closure Monday afternoon.

Correll added that he has received more than 10 phone calls from the school’s former students asking for help. When asked if he’s expecting more phone calls, Correll said: “I’m quite sure.”

Correll said many students are left without any answers as to the next step. Many, he said, are close to graduation, needing only to finish an internship to receive their degree. He added that Penn College will “help as many as we can.”

“We hate to see these kids get halfway through and not get their degree,” Correll said.

Correll was notified by a Newport student who was interning at Penn College that the business institute had closed. He said with the two schools being located so closely, many students took classes at both institutes.

Penn College also has been in contact with those who administer the tuition assistance in Harrisburg to figure out a solution, Correll said.

Correll believes there are more than 40 students affected by the Newport closure.

Protasio didn’t have any answers as to what options were for students. He said that things still were being sorted out.

“It leaves them all (students of Newport Business Institute) up in the air,” he said. “We have some kids that have three months in, some folks that have three months left in a two-year program.”

Both Correll and Protasio said they would continue to work to find answers for students.

According to a report from the Valley News Dispatch, another branch of the Newport Business Institute in Lower Burrell has confirmed its closure.

A visit to the business school came up empty on answers as doors, which were locked by chains, were not answered.