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Medical lab, Central Texas College offer help to Vista College students following sudden closure

After hearing that Vista College closed its doors to students, Lillie’s Institute of Phlebotomy and EKG and Central Texas College began offering help to students.

KILLEEN, Texas — A little sigh of relief for Vista College students as medical professionals and local schools are stepping in to help them get their careers back on track. This comes just days after Vista College officials announced the school was closing permanently.

As the director of Lillie’s Institute of Phlebotomy and EKG, Brittney Johnson is no stranger to helping people achieve their goal.

"We here at Lillie’s Institute provide allied healthcare training to students who are looking to further their career goals with healthcare training such as medical assistant, phlebotomy and EKG," said Johnson.

After hearing news that Vista College closed its doors to students, Johnson began offering students a chance to further their career at her medical lab.

"I was always taught that it is good to give back to others who need any kind of additional help, and just to hear the heartbreaking news about the students who abruptly had their education taken from them," said Johnson.

Johnson is not the only one stepping in to help. On Wednesday, Central Texas College said students can contact them about the possibility of transferring credits to the two-year school and apply them toward an associates degree or certificate of completion.

“We want to do whatever we can to help these students stay on track in their educational pursuits,” said Debbie Hansen, CTC director of evaluations and graduation. “We will evaluate the credits earned at Vista College to see if they will transfer to CTC. Then we can offer assistance with the admissions process and degree plan advising so students can possibly complete their studies in a time frame similar to their original goal.”

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CTC has eight-week classes starting Oct. 18 at the Killeen campus and at the Fort Hood campus. A full scope of classes in all delivery formats including in-person, online, blended which combines face-to-face lecture and online components and synchronous virtual lecture will be offered. 

Core classes such as government, history and English; computer courses; foreign languages; a variety of business administration classes; and industrial technology offerings are some of the courses available.

Students who were in specific career programs may find a similar option through CTC’s Continuing Education program. 

“CTC offers pharmacy technician, clinical medical assistant, veterinary assistant, EKG technician and other medical career training programs,” said Hansen. “The start dates for these programs may not be immediate, but they are offered each semester and may be a viable option for those affected by Vista’s closing.”

Johnson hopes this can help someone support themselves and their families.

"We want to keep the students encouraged and to let them know that even though the torch has been dropped, we are here to pick up the torch and enlighten a new career path for the students and let them know that anything is possible," said Johnson.

RELATED: Texas Workforce Commission trying to help Vista College students after school abruptly closes

Vista College students may also be eligible for several emergency aid grants currently available to CTC students. The American Rescue Plan (ARP) grant, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) grant and Reskilling grant are options which can provide from $500 up to $2,500 in funds.

Interested students may contact CTC at 254-526-1394 or debbie.hansen@ctcd.edu.

RELATED: "It puts life on hold" Vista College student speaks out after Killeen campus abruptly closed