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Connecticut Broadcasting School in Hot Water for Abrupt Closure

FARMINGTON, CONN.: State officials are investigating the sudden closure of the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. The 45-year-old school ceased functioning March 4, sending text messages to some students, while others showed up for Wednesday classes and found the doors locked, according to press reports. The school charges $12,000 for a 16-week program that was winding up next week.

According to MSNBC.com, the state Department of Higher Education is investigating the closure and planning to issue a subpoena to obtain student records. Reports indicate that the school’s 26 campuses in 16 states were shut down the night of March 3. Faculty was notified of the closure the day before payroll.

The Hartford Courant said the closure was so abrupt that students had to leave portfolio material behind. Twenty-one-year old Chandler Hartford, who worked in an assisted-living facility while attending the school, was working on a demo tape when the facility closed.

“I was really starting to crack down on my voice-overs and realized that this was something I could be great at,” he told the Courant. “But now all of my work can only be accessed on computers behind locked doors, and my voice-over coach was fired.”

One administrator who requested anonymity told the newspaper that school officials were told at 4 p.m. to vacate the campus by 5 p.m.

“We had no choice but to comply and tell the students to leave,” the administrator said.

CSB’s Web site said nothing about the closure.

The school was founded in 1964 by a local broadcaster, Dick Robinson, who sold it to a Credit Suisse company three years ago. The company told AP that its lender, PNC Financial of Pittsburgh, seized control and froze the schools account while it sought funding. School officials said bankruptcy was likely.

Meanwhile, the Connecticut Broadcasters Association is offering scholarships to prospective Connecticut broadcasters. Scholarships are limited to state residents pursuing a career in broadcasting or industry careers in marketing, engineering or electronics. The school of choice may be in Connecticut or outside.

Grants from $5,000 for one year up to $10,000 total across four years are available. Applications are due by March 21.