DEALING WITH CAREER & EDUCATION DISRUPTIONS: TIPS AND RESOURCES FOR MEMBERS IMPACTED BY UNIVERSITY CLOSURE

An unexpected university closure impacts faculty, staff and students in the short-term, but unforeseen circumstances don’t have to affect long-term academic or career success. These tips and resources will help you get back on track toward accomplishing your goals.

Prepare by taking a moment, catching your breath, and acknowledging any uneasy feelings.  Having anxiety about the situation is natural, but with proper planning and preparation you will be able to overcome these obstacles.

Dealing with Career Disruption: Professors/Educators

If you have lost your job due to a university closure, here are some things you can do to help make the process less overwhelming:

  1. Review your health care options.
  2. Create a budget that includes financial obligations. 
  3. Contact creditors to tell them about your change in circumstances and,
  4. Contact your State Unemployment Office for information about applying for unemployment benefits in your state.

Begin Your Job Search: Explore options, such as online/remote opportunities, or check out your local community colleges. 

Visit Career Central, ACA’s digital job board, and the online employment hub for counseling professionals.  You can search for specific jobs by title, keyword, location and more.  You have the ability to post your resume to the job board for employers to view. 

Get Support: Job searching can be a complex and difficult task, but the good news is you don’t have to do it all on your own. 

Schedule an appointment to speak with our career and/or private practice consultants. Together we can explore career options, discuss job search strategies and the latest employment opportunities, review and update your resume/CV or cover letter, and brush up on your interviewing skills with a mock interview.  

Network: There are two types of networking to consider: professional (settings such as conferences, training and educational sessions) and personal (friends, family, colleagues, and associates).  Reach out to your networks to find out what is available or if they are aware of any new opportunities. 

Make sure you update your LinkedIn profile. 

Dealing with Education Disruption: Students Mid-Program

The unforeseen and sudden closure of your university may impact your academic pursuits, but it doesn’t have to affect your overall academic success.  Below are a few things to keep in mind as you consider what to do next:

Critical Documentation and Contact Information

  1. Document all communication between you and the university moving forward.This information may be requested by different entities (i.e. financial aid, another university or organization) and could serve as confirmation and/or documentation of the closing your original university.
  2. Get copies of your academic transcripts (official and unofficial), especially if you are considering transfer of credits to another program.If there is no record of your coursework it would be impossible for you to transfer with your current credits. You can print out your unofficial transcripts yourself; official transcripts will have to be requested through your university.
  3. Obtain course descriptions. The current academic course catalog may come in handy should you choose to transfer to another program or pursue licensure in the future. Course catalogs include vital information such as course titles, descriptions, and how many credits each course is worth.Keep any additional course material with descriptions on them as well.
  4. Save copies of your syllabus for each course.This may be requested in the future if you are considering licensure in your current state or even planning to relocate.
  5. Reach out to your current professors for letters of recommendations, or gather contact information to follow up in the future.
  6. Document and retain student financial aid reports.

Continuing Your Education

Check with your university to see if there are any institutions nearby that are taking in displaced students.

Transferring Your Credits:

  1. Research online and traditional colleges/universities with counseling programs.
  2. Find a school that provides the outcomes you desire and has the credibility and stability to be a beneficial partner in your long term goals.
  3. Review their Transfer of Credit Policy.
  4. Make sure they meet your state’s requirements for licensure.

It is important to understand that transferring credits does have limitations. It is possible that you may lose some credits in the process, but be involved when your transcripts are being reviewed. Don’t be afraid to appeal or ask for a second review in regards to your credit evaluation.

Any questions, or need guidance regarding the process?  Schedule a 30 minute consultation with one of our ACA consultants.

Apply for a Closed-School Loan Discharge

If a university closes while you’re enrolled or soon after you withdraw, you may be eligible for discharge of your federal student loan. Only loans you received for a program that you were unable to complete because of the school’s closure are eligible for discharge. 

You are not eligible for discharge of your loans if your school closes and:

  1. You withdrew more than 120 days before the school closed;
  2. You are completing a comparable educational program at another school (e.g. through a teach-out program or by transferring academic credits or hours earned at the original school to another school) or;
  3. You completed all the coursework for the program before the school closed.

Find more information on eligibility for loan discharge.
 
If you have non-federal loans through a private lender, you will need to contact the private lender for additional information.

Students are strongly encouraged to share stories with legislators to inform them of how the University closure is directly impacting their constituents. Find out who your legislators are, then:

  1. Scroll down and enter your zip code in the "Find Politicians" field.
  2. Select the federal and state officials that you would like to contact.
  3. Compose your message.
  4. Hit "send message."

Dealing with Education Disruption: Students Expected to Graduate

Congratulations on nearing the completion of your degree, and your upcoming graduation! We welcome you to the counseling profession! You’ve just achieved an extraordinary accomplishment, and we wish you the best of luck as you embark on your next steps. 

Here are a few things to consider as you prepare:

  1. Get copies of your academic transcripts (official and unofficial). You can print out your unofficial transcripts yourself; official transcripts will have to be requested through your university.
  2. Obtain course descriptions. The current academic course catalog may come in handy should you choose to pursue licensure in the future. Course catalogs include vital information such as course titles, descriptions, and how many credits each course is worth.  Keep any additional course material with descriptions on them as well.
  3. Save copies of your syllabus for each course.This may be requested in the future if you are considering licensure in your current state or even planning to relocate.
  4. Reach out to your current professors for letters of recommendations, or gather contact information to follow up in the future.
  5. Find out if there is a process for obtaining your degree or to receive a statement that confirms your degree was conferred.

Curious about next steps, whether it be finding your first position out of graduate school, or navigating the state licensure process?  No matter where you are in your counseling career journey, the Career Center has resources, services and insights to best serve you.  ACA Career Consultants can help you create or brush up on your resume, practice mock interviews, provide job-search strategies and tips on how to take your career to the next level.  

Argosy University Updates

The following websites have information on official transfer schools and financial aid:

ACA has compiled a list of programs and contacts that have acknowledged their willingness to work with Argosy students looking to transfer. View and download the list. (updated 4/10/19)

ACA will continue to update this webpage as more information develops.

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