AG Shapiro provides answers to students jilted by abrupt closure of Brighton Career Institute |

AG Shapiro provides answers to students jilted by abrupt closure of Brighton Career Institute

Natasha Lindstrom
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro

State Attorney General Josh Shapiro on Wednesday offered guidance and resources to students jilted by last month’s abrupt shuttering of Brightwood Career Institute in Downtown Pittsburgh and related vocational campuses across Pennsylvania.

“The sudden closing of Brightwood schools left many students across the Commonwealth unsure of their academic status and the investment they made in their future,” Shapiro said in a statement. “My office has been working closely with the Pennsylvania Department of Education to help students and their families get answers to questions, and get back on track to complete programs and move on with their lives.”

More than 1,500 students were enrolled at Brightwood-owned campuses in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Broomall when the private educational system halted all classes in December.

Among answers Shapiro provided for students unsure of what the closure means for them:

  • Students enrolled at the time of the closure will receive a transcript with grades for classes they attended;
  • Students who were enrolled in the final class needed to complete a program will receive completion credit; and
  • Students may be able to have their federally backed loans discharged.

Brightwood closed its campuses across Pennsylvania in early December, after initially announcing they would remain open through this coming September.

Classes spanned health care and information technology programs and other vocational skills across Brightwood College, Brightwood Career Institute, Virginia College, Golf Academy of America and Ecotech Institute.

Brightwood Career Institute, at 933 Penn Ave. in Downtown Pittsburgh — which enrolled about 500 students in 2016 — had said as recently as this past fall that it would stop accepting new enrollees but planned to see its senior class of students through to graduation.

School officials cited insufficient enrollment and demand for trade skills.

Parent company, The Education Corp. of America, is deeply in debt and unable to make payments. It owes $66 million and is facing evictions at several of its 26 campuses.

In a statement last month, CEO Stuart Reed said, “It is with extreme regret that the recent series of circumstances have forced us to discontinue the operations of our school.”

RELATED: Pittsburgh’s Brightwood Career Institute closes abruptly

Other schools are stepping up to help students, including state-owned community colleges.

Elizabeth A. Bolden, president and CEO for the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges, has said that “all Pennsylvania community colleges are ready to assist students whose education is unfortunately disrupted by such closures.”

For more information or to file a complaint with the state Attorney General’s Office, go to, call 800-441-2555 or email [email protected]

Natasha Lindstrom is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Natasha at 412-380-8514, [email protected] or via Twitter @NewsNatasha.

Natasha Lindstrom is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Natasha at 412-380-8514, [email protected] or via Twitter .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.