Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Columbia Academy Abruptly Closes Broadcasting School

Columbia Academy Closes Broadcasting School

Columbia Acadamy abruptly closed its doors, leaving students like Grant Notenbomer in the lurch. Photograph by: Glenn Baglo, The Province

The show is over for recording, sound design, film and video production students at Columbia Academy Broadcasting School.

The 45-year-old school was recently forced to close, leaving a few students out of school, and maybe out of luck.

“Over the past several months, Columbia employees attempted to purchase the school from a new owner who bought the school in the fall of 2010,” said Gord Peters, Director of Operations, in a statement on their website.

“For reasons known only to bankers with narrow vision, we were unsuccessful in our efforts. Since we could not acquire the assets of the school, we could not continue to operate the school.”

Sixteen staff members have been laid off, and 98 students are scrambling to recover their tuition or make other arrangements.

Peters said the school is working with schools like the Art Institute of Vancouver, the Pacific Audio Visual Institute, the Vancouver Film School and the Nimbus School of Recording Arts to transfer credit for Columbia’s film and sound students.

The biggest challenge will be the broadcast students. The British Columbia Institute of Technology has the only comparable program and they are a public institution at the end of their school year.

Because Columbia Academy is registered under the Private Career Training Institutions Agency of B.C. (PCTIA), students can look into refunds. In the event an accredited school closes, the PCTIA can refund outstanding tuition.

Schools mentioned: The Art Institute of Vancouver, The Pacific Audio Visual Institute, The Vancouver Film School, The Nimbus School of Recording Arts, The British Columbia Institute of Technology.

Ryan Leclaire
Author: Ryan Leclaire
Ryan has been writing for 7 years and has been featured in Chatelaine, Canadian Living and Cottage life.
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