Fountainhead College of Technology is shutting its doors Wednesday after 71 years of educating students, according to an announcement made on the Knoxville school’s website.
The closure falls as a consequence of “unfair competition with free college education being offered by the state of Tennessee,” the announcement stated.
The school, previously named the Tennessee Institute of Electronics, will lock its 30,000-square-foot building at 3203 Tazewell Pike while it works on figuring out how students can complete their degree programs.
“If we can develop any agreements with local colleges, we will post that information on our College website,” the announcement stated.
The technology school plans to finalize students’ transcripts as soon as grades from their last class are submitted and will mail them to students. The Tennessee Higher Education Commission, which has been alerted to the college’s closure, will also house copies of students’ transcripts.
The college has also notified the Department of Education and asked it to create a website that will inform students about the fate of their loans.
“You may be able to transfer your credits to another college and continue,” the announcement stated. “You may be able to apply to get some or all of your loans discharged. If you completed your associate’s degree and were in the process of getting your bachelor’s degree, you may only be eligible to get the portion past your associate’s degree discharged.”
Additionally, the college has made students aware of refund policies in place for when a student does not finish a semester, no matter if he or she withdrew, were terminated or forced out because of a school closure.
For students who are veterans, the school is trying to terminate their benefits “as quickly and efficiently as possible” so that they can carry them to another institution, according to the announcement.
The technology college launched in 1947 as the Tennessee Radio Service School on Gay Street, before its name was changed the next year to Tennessee Institute of Electronics, its website states.
It originally set out to prime students for entry-level positions as electronic technicians in radio and television communications. It earned accreditation by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges in 1967 and continued to expand to the point that it updated its name in 2003 to Fountainhead College of Technology, according to its website.
One of the school’s emphases has been on security programs. In 2003, it introduced a computer security-focused baccalaureate degree, its website states.
The technology school recently has offered associate degrees in health information management, electronic technology, information technology and computer programming along with bachelor degrees application and development, network security and forensics, and electronic wireless communication.