When ITT Technical Institute shut down in September 2016 thousands of students were left with essentially useless course credits that would not transfer to other institutions.
Valentin Lesi said he was working toward a Bachelor's Degree in electrical engineering when the school shut down.
"My heart sank. That's all I can say," Lesi said.
Lesi is a political refugee from Albania who manages two apartment complexes during the day to support his family.
He had been taking his courses at night.
"I was always infatuated with parts, electronic parts," Lesi said.
Determined to finish what he'd started, Lesi applied at a program offered by the Puget Sound Electrical Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee.
The apprenticeship program is unique in that it pairs students with a job while they complete their studies.
The program requires one year of Algebra, but because ITT shoved Algebra into what it called Math 1 and 2, Lesi was told he would have to retake Algebra, then reapply, even though he had already passed both of those ITT classes with an "A" and moved on to Calculus.
"Just for a slight word!" Lesi exclaimed. "Wasn't my money good enough to pass me through this little burden? Apparently, it's not."
"We answer to the state of Washington Labor and Industries, so all applicants to our program have to meet the same criteria to get into our program," said PSEJATC training director, Clay Tschillard.
KING 5 tracked down the syllabi for both ITT classes and some course materials and gave them to Tschillard to illustrate what Lesi had learned.
"After reviewing that he meets our minimum requirements," Tschillard said, explaining PSEJATC wants to work with students but they also must meet standards set by the state.
Now Lesi can move forward in the application process. He still has to pass an aptitude test and an interview before earning one of a couple of hundred available spots.
Other students struggling to transfer their credits may also have some luck if they can provide course syllabi, transcripts, and relevant course materials to demonstrate the knowledge they obtained in the courses in question.
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