SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Michelle Allen was ready to teach her class on landing a state job.

The popular 3-hour night lecture promised tools and tips on getting your foot in the door with the State of California.

But this $50 session at this location felt like a kick in the face.

“I’m stunned,” said Allen.

The school was locked, shut down for good. And the owners gave no notice.

“I feel bad for the students who signed up for classes,” said Allen.

She’s one of many teachers who invested time and money at The Learning Exchange on Howe Avenue. After all, the adult school had been around for more than 35 years offering a variety of classes, from how to file for divorce, to playing the piano.

“This has been an institution in Sacramento!” she said.

It was an institution serving thousands of people over the years, with a solid reputation until Allen says, it sold to new owners.

“Did they just up and leave because of financial difficulties? I can’t get any answers,” she said.

We couldn’t get a hold of the new owners, either. The website’s down, and the number is disconnected. The Better Business Bureau says The Learning Exchange had an A+ rating.

Consumer Attorney Stuart Talley provided insight on what to do if a trade or self-help school unexpectedly closes.

“The state actually regulates those schools, and when they’re regulated they offer protections for the students,” he said.

But the Department of Consumer Affairs says The Learning Exchange was neither licensed nor accredited with the state.

So what do students and teachers do now?

“If they paid for tuition but haven’t received training, they can file a claim in small claims court. If there’s a teacher owed money they can go to the labor board, but it’s a tough situation,” said Talley.

Talley also recommends doing research before signing up for trade or adult schools. Make sure the school is licensed and accredited by the state.

For now, the class “How To Get A State Job” is offered elsewhere. The next class will be held Wednesday 6 p.m.-9 p.m., at Sierra College. The address is 316 Vernon Street Street, Roseville.