Mass. Sues For-Profit School for False Marketing - Higher Education

Higher Education News and Jobs

Mass. Sues For-Profit School for False Marketing

Email

   



by Rodrique Ngowi, Associated Press

BOSTON — A for-profit school offered so little training that students who paid hefty fees to train as medical assistants never learned how to use a stethoscope, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday by prosecutors in Massachusetts.

The complaint filed in Plymouth Superior Court accuses Brockton-based Sullivan and Cogliano Training Centers Inc. of “grossly misrepresenting the quality and scope of education” and distorting job placement numbers while leaving students with deep debt and poor job prospects.

Coakley pointed to the school’s portrayal of training for medical assistants as false advertising.

“School advertisements featured women wearing medical scrubs and holding stethoscopes and medical charts, but the school never offered that type of clinical instruction, such as how to use a stethoscope or chart a patient’s medical care,” Coakley said.

Coakley said a growing number for-profit schools nationwide spend a large percentage of their revenues on marketing that targets students from low-income families and veterans eligible for generous federal student loans. The expensive courses and poor instruction ultimately leave students unable to find suitable jobs and default on those loans, she said.

For-profit schools account for 12 percent of the student population nationally, and this small segment also accounts for about 48 percent of all student loan defaults, according to Coakley, who said the suit is the first of its kind.

Prosecutors say 183 students took part in that program, paying, on average, $14,000 in tuition using federal loans, but only 22 got work in medical offices, and most did not find jobs that paid well enough to pay off their debts.

Related:  Morgan State Constructing New School of Business in Honor of Earl Graves

The victims, prosecutors said, were lured by the school’s claims that between 70 and 100 percent of graduates secured jobs in a medical office.

Investigators, however, found that less than 25 percent of graduates found that type of work, and the school counted jobs in fast food and big box stores toward its placement percentages, she said.

School officials did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

The school began as a job placement center and ventured into education in 1993. It has offices in Massachusetts and Florida, and offers online courses to students in other parts of the country.

Complaints from students triggered the probe, Coakley said.

RELATED ARTICLES >>
UND Eliminating 138 Positions to Meet Budget Allotments FARGO, N.D. ― The University of North Dakota plans to eliminate 138 faculty, staff and administration positions to help meet budget cuts ordered by the governor, the school’s interim president told state Board of Higher Education members Thursday. ...
Kansas State University Asked to Examine Off-campus Rapes MANHATTAN, Kan. ― Kansas State University fraternities are calling on the university to begin investigating episodes of alleged sexual violence that occur off campus. The university's Interfraternity Council unanimously approved a resolution Monda...
Yale President Defends Ivy League School’s Tax-exempt Status NEW HAVEN, Conn. ― Yale’s president defended his school’s tax-exempt status Wednesday as Connecticut lawmakers consider allowing New Haven to tax some university buildings. A bill before the state legislature would allow real estate taxes on build...
University of Kentucky Suspends Fraternity for Hazing LEXINGTON, Ky. ― The University of Kentucky has suspended a fraternity for five years for alcohol and hazing violations. The Lexington Herald-Leader reports a letter from Denise Simpson of the university Office of Student Affairs said Phi Kappa Ps...
Semantic Tags:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *