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UPDATE: Platt College North students allowed to complete degree after surgical tech program gives up accreditation

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UPDATE (11/8/19): Surgical Tech students at Platt College North will be allowed to complete their school year, take a certification exam and have an accredited degree, according to the Private Vocational School Board in Oklahoma City. However, this will be the final surgical tech class to go through Platt College North since the school is cutting back its surgical tech program. The School Board pledged to continue monitoring the situation.

ORIGINAL STORY:

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) - Metro college students could be out thousands of dollars for an education that may not even count.

Students enrolled at Platt College North were told Thursday their program is no longer accredited, and the administration allegedly knew about it since August.

“That’s why I’m so irritated because I came here to better my life for my kids,” Platt College student Tarra Hughes said.

Single mother Tarra Hughes has three priorities right now: her two children and her education from Platt College North.

“I’m thousands of dollars in debt right now,” Hughes said.

A chunk of change that Hughes spent on a surgical tech degree she fears may only be worth the paper it’s printed on.

“They don’t even know one day from the next,” Hughes said.

She’s among the stressed out students who filed a complaint begging for help after noticing their instructors were vanishing.

“We need to be in class, but yet we have no one to teach us,” Platt College student Lauren Penn said.

But on Thursday morning, there was a bombshell reply from the Commission of Accreditation of Allied Heath Education Programs (CAAHEP).

The email said, “We received a letter from Rebecca Vaughn, Executive Director of that campus, dated Aug. 28, 2019, requesting voluntary withdrawal of accreditation, effective immediately.”

Students didn’t find out until Thursday, Nov. 7, nearly three months later.

“They said that they have dealt with us for the past three days, and they refuse to talk to us,” Hughes said.

Platt College was not willing to go on camera about why the withdrawal was filed or kept under wraps for so long, but they did send us the following statemen:

“Platt College is an accredited institution through the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). The decision was made to voluntarily withdraw programmatic accreditation for surgical technology. All active, current students in the program were admitted prior to the voluntary withdrawal and will be allowed to graduate and take the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) examination through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs (CAAHEP) and Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (ARC/STSA). Upon graduation, these students will be considered graduates of a CAAHEP-ARC/STSA program.”

But that statement caused a new problem.

CAAHEP told News 4 early Thursday, “They no longer have any authority over Platt, and only enforce their standards at accredited programs.”

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