3 small colleges in Pa., including one in Williamsport, abruptly close

Posted: December 19, 2013 - 3:39am


LOWER BURRELL, Pa. (AP) — Three small two-year colleges in Pennsylvania have suddenly closed, leaving students wondering what to do next.

The schools are Oakbridge Academy of Arts in Lower Burrell, near Pittsburgh, and the Newport Business Institute, which has locations in Lower Burrell as well as Williamsport in central Pennsylvania.

Staff and students say they received word of the closure Monday afternoon and the schools were locked tight Tuesday morning.

The for-profit schools are owned by Michelle and John Bryant Mullen. Court documents indicate they have been tied up in contentious divorce proceedings for the past several years.

In an unsigned statement provided by the schools, the closure was attributed to "challenging economic times."

A spokesman for the state Education Department said a total of about 120 students are enrolled at the three schools.