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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Closure of Global College of Natural Medicine Investigated

Global College of Natural Medicine abruptly closed on November 30, 2012, leaving thousands of students without any clear recourse for completion of their studies or return of tuition entrusted to the school.  The California-based distance education school cited an inability to renew its license as a basis for the closing.

Attorneys at The Googasian Firm, P.C., a Michigan law firm that pursues claims against post-secondary schools on behalf of current and former students, are investigating the closure on behalf of students.  The Googasian Firm served as class counsel for students in a class action filed against Clayton College of Natural Health, Inc. after that natural wellness school suddenly closed in July 2010.

If you have concerns about GCNM's closing that you wish to share with an attorney at The Googasian Firm, please call 1-877-540-8333, or fill out a concern form here.

Monday, August 13, 2012

DACC Nursing Program Loses Accredtiation

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that Dona Ana Community College in New Mexico was denied accreditation for its nursing program, leaving many students "worried and scrambling to find out what the loss means for their academic and professional careers."

According to the Sun-News, the Georgia-based National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission announced last week on its website that it had denied accreditation for DACC's associate-degree granting program.  Graduation from an accredited nursing program typically is a pre-requisite for many certifications and hiring.   DACC has told students that, despite the failure to obtain accreditation, they remain eligible to take a national licensure exam.

Loss of accreditation is a recurring issue in post-secondary education.  The Googasian Firm, P.C., a Michigan-based law firm that has represented thousands of college students across the country in multiple class actions arising from acts by schools that have harmed students, recently filed a class action on behalf of out-of-state students affected by the Higher Learning Commission's recent actions to revoke accreditation for Mountain State University in West Virginia.  The firm also is investigating the developments with regard to accreditation at DACC's nursing program.  If you have questions or concerns about DACC's failure to obtain accreditation, you may share those concerns with attorneys at The Googasian Firm by sending an e-mail to contact@googasian.com or calling 1-877-540-8333.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

West Virginia Board Seeks Oversight Of Private Colleges

The Associated Press is reporting that the State of West Virginia is seeking expanded authority over private and for-profit colleges,

The need for expanded regulation by state governments is increasingly seen as a needed response to rampant  problems in for-profit and private school education.

West Virginia's Higher Education Policy Commission reportedly has approved a rule that would require information from every state private college on student retention rates, transfers, licensure pass rates and loan  default results.  The new rule must be approved by the state Legislature.

The new rule would expand the authority of the commission, which currently only monitors 12 public and private colleges and universities.

This effort to expand oversight in West Virginia comes in the wake of the Higher Learning Commission acting to revoke Beckley-based Mountain State University's accreditation in June 2012.

Paul Hill, the chancellor of the state Commission seeking the new authority, told the Associated Press, "Some think we're over-regulating.  But with the unfortunate situation we've seen with Mountain State University, we see what can happen without oversight."

Two federal class actions against Mountain State University have been commenced following the accrediting agency's action to revoke the school's accreditation.  For additional information on the these lawsuits, go to www.mountainstatelawsuits.com  or send an e-mail to mountainstate@googasian.com.


Monday, July 30, 2012

Senate Report Blasts For-Profit Colleges

A two-year investigation by the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee has culminated in a scathing report on for-profit colleges, finding that these institutions too frequently put revenues   above education to the detriment of students charged high tuition and saddled with student loan debt.
According to one story in the Associated Press, the report from a committee chaired by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Ia.) found that, "While students are aggressively recruited, they drop out in high numbers without the degree or certificate initially sought . . . [The report] found that 54 percent of students enrolled in 2008-2009 left without a degree or certificate by mid-2010. When two-year associate degree programs were studied, 63 percent left without a degree."

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

DeVry Slashes Jobs and Loses Share Value

DeVry, one of the nation's largest for-profit education companies, is facing hard times.

The Downers Grove, Illinois-based company -- the parent of DeVry University and other sellers of education to adults -- announced this week that it plans to cut 570 jobs, or 5.5 percent of its total workforce, amid declining enrollment.

According to Bloomberg News, DeVry shares also lost more than a quarter of their value in early trading on July 24.

Bloomberg News also quoted an industry analyst stating that "DeVry's competitors were faster to adjust to new scrutiny of student-recruitment practices."

Virginia Union Warned By Accrediting Body

The Associate Press reports that Virginia Union University has received a warning from its accrediting body due to reported failure to comply with certain financial standards.
According to the AP, the Southeastern Association of Colleges and Schools' Commission on Colleges has identified deficiencies in the Richmond-based university's control over its financial resources, as well as its control over externally funded programs and research. Importantly, the accrediting body also faulted Virginia Union for failure to comply with federal Title IV student financial aid requirements.
The commission is scheduled to review Virginia Union's accreditation in December.
Another university, Mountain State University, based in Beckley, West Virginia, lost its accreditation earlier this month.
If you have have concerns about accreditation issues at Virginia Union or Mountain State, you may share these concerns with attorneys at The Googasian Firm, P.C., which has represented thousands of students in class actions against colleges and technical schools throughout the United States, at contact@googasian.com.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Higher Learning Commission withdrawing accreditation of Mountain State University

Mountain State University, a university based in Beckley, West Virginia with online offerings across the country, has learned that its general accreditation body is withdrawing the school's accreditation.

As reported in the Register-Herald newspaper, Mountain State is facing loss of its general accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission on August 27.  The decision by HLC follows a year-long review that resulted in a notice by the accrediting body faulting the university in areas including "lack of integrity, resources and administrative leadership."  

The HLC is requiring Mountain State to file a teach-out plan with the commission by July 23 and students must be notified of their options by July 31.  Mountain State has announced plans to appeal the decision to withdraw accreditation.  Mountain State would keep its accreditation during any appeal process, according to published reports.

Separately, The Googasian Firm, P.C., a Michigan-based law firm that has pursued claims on behalf of thousands of students harmed by school closings and deceptive practices by institutions of higher education, is investigating the impact of these developments on current students.  If you have a concern that you wish to share with a Googasian Firm attorney, call 1-877-540-8333 or contact@googasian.com.




Monday, July 9, 2012

Ashford University Suffers Accreditation Setback

Ashford University, a for-profit school owned by Bridgepoint Education, Inc., suffered a significant setback last week when its accreditation application was denied by a regional accreditor.  Bloomberg Businessweek is among the news organizations reporting how Ashford did not comply with "multiple aspects" of the accreditor's standards in areas related to student retention, maintaining a core of full-time faculty and having an independent governing board. Ashford was seeking accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.  Among the revelations in the recent reports is a large number of students dropping out of the school, which has a campus in Iowa and a significant online presence.
The Googasian Firm, P.C., a law firm specializing in pursuit of claims against for-profit schools,  is investigating the impact of Ashford's accreditation problems on current students.  If you have concerns about Ashford, you may share these concerns with Googasian Firm attorneys by calling 1-877-540-8333 or sending an e-mail to contact@googasian.com.


Monday, April 9, 2012

ACT College Shuts Down, Stranding Students

A Northern Virginia vocational college has abruptly shut down, stranding students and teachers who appeared for classes last week to discover ACT College closed.
The school, with campuses in Arlington, Alexandria, and Manassas, has left hundreds of students looking for answers.  Some students were only weeks from graduation.
A United States Department of Education spokesman told The Washington Post that the school's eligibility for federal aid was recently denied "to protect students and taxpayer funds."
The school had operated for nearly three decades announced its sudden demise by posting a letter on the door of its campus and providing limited information on its website.
Some students took out tens of thousands of dollars for programs in subjects such as medical assisting, health sciences, and medical radiography.
The Googasian Firm, a class action law firm based in Michigan, is investigating potential claims belonging to former students.  The firm has previously pursued certified class actions on behalf of former students of for-profit schools, including those affected by the sudden closing of ComputerTraining.edu in December 2009 and Clayton College of Natural Health in July 2010.  More information about the class actions arising from the closure of these schools is available at www.computertrainingclassaction.com and  www.ccnhclassaction.com.
Persons with concerns about the closing of ACT College who wish to speak to The Googasian Firm attorneys investigating the closure may call 1-877-540-8333.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

For Profit Colleges Suffer Enrollment Drops

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that intense public scrutiny of the nation's largest for-profit higher education have taken a toll on enrollment, revenue and profit.  Companies including Career Education Corporation, Corinthian Colleges, and Kaplan have all experienced declines during a period of "negative publicity abut their colleges from Congressional hearings, lawsuits, and state investigations," according to the Chronicle.
In some instances in the for-profit school sector, declining enrollment and revenue actually prompts admissions officials -- who are responsible for meeting sales targets -- to engage in deceptive practices on issues like accreditation, credit transferability, and placement.   If you are a student or school official with concerns about the practices of a particular for-profit school, click here.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

For-profits schools receive nearly half of military education benefits

BusinessWeek reports that for-profit schools get nearly half of all federal dollars aimed at assisting veterans in pursuing education after their military service.

According to BusinessWeek:

"For-profit colleges are getting almost one of every two military Tuition Assistance dollars, according to data from the U.S. Department of Defense.
"The for-profit college industry received $279.8 million of about $563 million spent last year on the program, according to analysis released today by the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Public colleges received $163.5 million, while nonprofit private schools got $119.4 million.
"Congress and states’ attorneys general have been reviewing sales practices and student debt loads at for-profit colleges, which get as much as 90 percent of their revenue from federal programs. Schools solicit troops partly because their government tuition programs are excluded from that 90 percent cap. Senator Tom Harkin, a Democrat from Iowa, has proposed legislation that would include those funds to remove the extra incentive for signing up soldiers.
"'Today’s news that the DOD is paying more to for-profit colleges than public and nonprofit institutions is highly troubling,' the majority staff of the committee said in the report, which cited misrepresentation of programs and tuition costs, aggressive recruiting strategies and high drop-out rates as 'significant problems' in the industry.
"Six of the top 10 tuition assistance recipients are for- profits -- American Public Education Inc., Bridgepoint Education Inc., TUI Learning LLC, Apollo Group Inc., Columbia Southern University and Grantham University -- according to the report.
"Tuition Assistance lets active-duty members of the military take college classes, capped at $4,500 per year."

Private equity firm purchases Career Training Academy

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that a Chicago-based private equity firm has acquired a small for-profit school, Career Training Academy, in Pennsylvania as an investment.  The firm, HCP & Co., acquired the 25-year-old school "which has its main campus in New Kensington and campuses in Monroeville and Ross" and "provides training in medical and dental assisting, medical building and massage therapy." The school currently has more than 250 students, and the new owners are seeking to boost enrollment and expand program offerings.

Harvard study finds-profit students have higher unemployment and lower earnings

A new, comprehensive study of private, for-profit institutions finds that students enrolled in these schools "end up with higher unemployment and 'idleness' rates and lower earnings six years after entering programs than do comparable students from other schools, and that they have far greater student debt burdens and defaults rates on their student loans."  The study by three Harvard professors was prepared for the Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment.  The comprehensive report is entitled, "The For-Profit Postsecondar School Sector: Nimble Critters or Agile Predators?"

If you have a concern about a particular for-profit school, click here.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Institute of Medical Education student: "We wasted a whole year for nothing"

California state officials are continuing their efforts in shutting down the Bay Area-based Institute of Medical Education over financial and accreditation problems.  More than 250 students who each paid the school thousands of dollars in tuition are dealing with problems relating to non-transferability of credits and lack of accreditation at the school that operated Oakland and San Jose campuses. One of the students effected by the closure told the San Jose Mercury News, "We wasted a whole year for nothing."

The Googasian Firm, P.C. is investigating the closure, following its representation in class actions of thousands of students harmed by other for-profit schools.  Persons wishing to share their concerns about the the Institute of Medical Education with Googasian Firm attorneys may do so here.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

New Bill Attempts to Protect Vets From Unscrupulous For-Profit Colleges

Legislation introduced this week in Washington, D.C. aims to close a loophole that encourages unscrupulous for-profit colleges from taking advantage of military veterans in enrollment practices.
The Military and Veterans Education Protection Act would discontinue the current practice of allowing GI Bill funds and other defense-related education programs from being counted as "private funding" by for-profit schools, which are required to have at least 10 percent of their revenue from private sources.  Due to the loophole, unscrupulous for-profit schools target veterans in an effort to lure them to enroll in their programs, thereby helping the schools' satisfy their 10-percent requirement.
A host of Democratic Senators introduced the bill this week in the U.S. Senate, including Sen Al Franken (D-Minn), Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), Sen. Tom Casper (D-Del.), and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).  A report on the bill can be read here.
Deceptive enrollment practices are a chronic problem in the for-profit school industry.  If you have a concern about a for-profit school and its tactics, share it at www.forprofitschoolwatchdog.net.

Friday, February 17, 2012

California shuts down nursing school over accreditation

State of California regulators have shut down a for-profit school over allegations of false accreditation and other improprieties.  According to a recent news report, the Institute for Medical Education was closed on February 15, 2012 after California regulators "determined it had deceived students enrolled in programs such as dental hygiene, nursing and other medical fields."
The Googasian Firm, P.C., a law firm in Michigan that has represented thousands of students harmed by for-profit schools, is commencing an investigation of the closing.  For further information on The Googasian Firm's efforts against for-profit schools, visit here. The firm has served as class counsel in numerous class actions against for-profit schools, and it recently filed a lawsuit against the Palm Beach Institute of Technology regarding claims pertaining to its lack of accreditation.  For additional information on the Palm Beach Institute of Technology case, click here.
If you have a concern abut the Institute for Medical Education or another for-profit school that you wish to share with a Googasian Firm attorney, call 1-877-540-8333 or click here.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Columnist: "Beware of For-Profit Schools"

An editorial in the Belvoir Eagle urges the public to "beware of for-profit schools," where enrollment has risen dramatically in the past decade.  Joyce M. Peterson writes:

For-profit schools are educational institutions operated by private seeking businesses. There are many categories of for-profit schools but the ones that Soldiers, Family members and Department of Defense civilians should be aware of are post-secondary institutions which employ deceptive marketing tactics by refusing to disclose total tuition cost and fees to prospective students before they enroll with the school; enticing students to take out student loans even when the applicant already has enough financial assistance. These schools promise extravagant, unlikely high pay to students after graduating and over-flood the market with advertisements in newspapers, the internet, radio and television.

If you have concerns about a for-profit school's practices, share your views with attorneys at The Googasian Firm by submitting your concerns here.

TV investigation probes Belford High School

KHOU's investigative unit, the I-Team, has broadcast a report on Belford High School, which operates out of Karachi, Pakistan.  The I-Team went to two addresses provided for Belford High School in Texas and found one of them to be an abandoned building and another to be a closed-down commercial mailbox store.  The president of Houston's Better Business Bureau criticizes Belford in the report as "classic con artistry."
Belford and its owner, Salem Kureshi, are defendants in a class action lawsuit pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.  The class of recipients of Belford diplomas on whose behalf the class action is being pursued are represented by The Googasian Firm, P.C.  For further information on the class action, click here.

Monday, January 23, 2012

For-Profit Schools Criticized for Treatment of Veterans

For-profit colleges are receiving new scrutiny for allegedly preying on veterans.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois will be holding a forum in Illinois this week and plans to introduce legislation aimed at curbing problems with aggressive recruiting of veterans due to the lucrative financial aid available through GI Bill funds and Department of Defense tuition assistance benefits.

The efforts by Senator Durbin come one week after the Illinois attorney general sued Westwood College, alleging that it misleads students enrolled in it criminal justice program.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Online Schools Lag In Performance in Michigan

A Michigan Public Radio report states that students at online schools in Michigan lag in performance on standardized tests when compared to students at traditional bricks-and-mortar schools.  According to the report:

"The National Education Policy Center found about 27 percent of online schools met federal achievement standards in the last school year. That compares to about 51 percent at brick-and-mortar schools.
"The study says the largest growing subgroup of public charter schools is virtual -- or online -- schools.
"Western Michigan University education professor Gary Miron co-authored the study.
"He says there are also questions about the accountability of for-profit charter schools that offer online education.
"'One of the issues that has been coming up is that many of these virtual schools enroll students, then these students don't actively participate,' Miron says. 'However, the school continues to receive money.'"

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Study Correlates For-Profit Schools With Higher Debt And Lower Employment

A new study, according to a report in the Huffington Post, links for-profit colleges to students with "much higher student-loan debts, lower employment rates, and lower pay than counterparts at public or private nonprofit schools.  The student by a group of Harvard researchers was prepared for the National Bureau of Economic Research.