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IADT = Waste of money. CBS 60 minutes report.

Discussion in 'TRIBE Main Forum' started by FrItZ~tHe~KaT, Dec 6, 2007.

  1. FrItZ~tHe~KaT

    FrItZ~tHe~KaT TRIBE Member

    CEC who owns the International Acadamy of Design and Technology are only out for your money. If you or any loved ones plan to intend IADT please save them the debt and show them this article.
    I'm 21, and have a 18 000 debt hanging over my head. For a school that is considered a total joke in the career world.


    For-Profit College: Costly Lesson
    Steve Kroft Reports Whether Or Not Career Colleges Pay Off

    Jan. 30, 2005
    Previous PhotoNext Photo
    1 | 2

    Former students say that some career schools exaggerated job-placement rates and potential salaries. (CBS)

    Education In America

    Education In America

    Backpack ready? Learn more about education in America through fun facts, national statistics and unusual schools.


    (CBS) Are you interested in a new career? Are you looking for specialized training and a high-paying job in computers, fashion or health care?

    Well, a lot of people must be, because companies selling that dream, the for-profit career colleges, are one of the fastest growing area in the field of education.

    It’s a multi-billion dollar business with most of the revenues guaranteed by the federal government, and until recently the industry was the darling of Wall Street.

    Now, it’s under scrutiny, with one of the biggest players facing allegations that it deceived investors, the federal government, and students, who say they’ve been taught a very expensive lesson. Correspondent Steve Kroft reports. If you’ve ever watched daytime TV, you’ve probably seen one of Career Education Corporation’s ads offering students a brand-new life.

    “Ever think you could be part of this? With the right training, you can!”
    That one was for the Katharine Gibbs schools, which were bought by Career Education Corporation in 1997, and make up just a small part of its scholastic empire.

    A year ago, CEC was one the hottest stocks on the NASDAQ exchange, with five years of record growth and $1 billion in annual revenue. It comes from nearly 100,000 students at 82 different campuses, taking classes in everything from computer animation to the culinary arts.

    Brooks College in Long Beach, Calif., offers training in fashion and design, but its graduates have a special nickname for their alma mater: “Crooks College.”


    “Cuz they robbed us,” says one graduate.

    “Everything was a lie,” says another.

    What was the biggest lie?

    “Job placement -- 98 percent job placement,” several graduates said. “They said, like, starting $30,000 a year, $30,000 or more.”

    Brooke Shoelberg, Chanee Thurston, and Amanda Harris enrolled to study fashion merchandising after the school signed them up for tens of thousands of dollars in student loans, and showed them videos promising to help them get jobs with companies like Giorgio Armani.

    Did Brooks College find any of them a job? No, they said.

    Did it make an attempt to find them a job? Again, they said no.

    The school declined to comment, but 60 Minutes knows that all three women graduated near the top of their classes. A year later, none had been able to find the kind of job she was supposedly trained for.

    Brooke was managing a telephone store; Amanda was unemployed; and Chanee was selling T-shirts. All of them went heavily into debt to get a two-year degree they now believe has little value.

    “The school has no credibility with the fashion industry, whatsoever,” says Thurston.

    Complaints, laid out in a number of lawsuits against CEC by former students, investors, and employees, are now under investigation by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    The lawsuits and the investigations were cited by CEC as the reason for declining a request by 60 Minutes for an on-camera interview.

    But there were plenty of other people willing to talk on-camera. One man, who wore sunglasses and a visor, said, “I am completely embarrassed that I ever worked at Brooks College or for CEC.”

    This man, along with two of his former colleagues, Barry Ross and Eric Shannon, used to work at Brooks College. They say there were some dedicated teachers there, but that the administration was more interested in making money than in educating students.

    Ross’ title was admissions representative. But Shannon says “we were really sales people.”

    “Selling the dream, basically,” says Ross.

    “We’re selling you that you’re gonna have a 95 percent chance that you are gonna have a job paying $35,000 to $40,000 a year by the time they are done in 18 months,” says Shannon. “We later found out it’s not true at all.”

    “Yeah, it wasn’t true at all,” says Ross.

    According to an evaluation report from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, “Only about 38 percent of Brooks students ever finish the program,” and the average starting salary for all graduates is “less than $11 dollars per hour.”

    The admission counselors told 60 Minutes they were expected to enroll three high school graduates a week, regardless of their ability to complete the coursework. And if they didn’t meet those quotas, they were out of a job, which is what the man in sunglasses says happened to him. They all say the pressure produced some very aggressive sales tactics.

    “In that way, the job was a lot like a used-car lot, because if I couldn't close you, my boss would come in, try to close you,” says Shannon.

    The enrollment fee was $50. “You need three things,” says the man in sunglasses. “You need $50, a pulse, and you’ve got to be able to sign your name. That’s about it.”

    You have to sign your name to a government loan form. The government-backed student loans are crucial to the entire industry.

    In 2003, they made up nearly 60 percent of CEC’s revenues. And in order to be eligible for that money, CEC is required to provide students with accurate information about job placement.

    Would CEC exist if it weren't for government loans?

    “I don’t believe that they would be a $1 billion company in 10 years, if it weren’t for the federal government loan programs,” says Tami Hanson, who was once the national manager in charge of student placement for all of Career Education Corporation’s campuses in the United States.

    Hanson, who was fired a few months ago, was one of more than 50 current or former employees with whom 60 Minutes spoke at more than a dozen schools. All had variations of the same story.

    What was the corporate culture like?

    “All about the numbers, all about the numbers,” says Hanson. “Getting students enrolled, getting students in the seats. Keeping students in the seats, getting them passed enough to graduate, and then trying to get them any job we could.”

    But getting students any job they could did not necessarily mean getting them jobs they were trained for. And she says a job placement could mean just about almost anything.

    “It may be that, you know, they end up placing them folding T-shirts at the Gap at a fashion, as a fashion grad -- which is fine, but not what they were promised in the beginning,” says Hanson.

    “And a job they could've gotten without paying $15,000 or $30,000,” says Kroft.

    Actually, it is more like $30,00 $60,000 and $80,000 depending on the program, says Hanson.

    Hanson says the quality of education varies from school to school, and that there are some very good programs and highly motivated students who find successful careers. But she says too many students simply don’t have the aptitude or the skills necessary to succeed in class or the workplace.

    “They were not prepared, but at the same time, the instructors were really pressured to pass them through that class to keep them in school,” says Hanson.

    So CEC could keep collecting the government money? “So they could keep the revenue,” says Hanson.

    CEC has denied these and other allegations in response to various lawsuits, and it says it’s made compliance with government regulations and investigating complaints a top priority.

    Chairman John Larson wrote 60 Minutes saying, “We’ll investigate the situations cited in your report and take appropriate corrective action as violations are identified.”

    And it did not take long to find a violation. To see how the admissions process works, 60 Minutes Associate Producer Jennifer MacDonald, armed with a hidden camera, went to a number of CEC schools in the New York area.

    At the Katharine Gibbs School, she began by asking about graduation rates. She was told that 89 percent graduated.

    But that wasn’t even close. According to the Department of Education’s most recent figures from 2003, this school’s graduation rate was 29 percent not 89 percent, a difference of 60 points. Federal regulations require that prospective students be given the official statistics in writing prior to enrollment and the admission representative seemed ready to sign MacDonald up.

    When MacDonald wanted to know about a career in fashion, this is what she was told: “These jobs pay a lot of money. You’re looking at, if you take this craft and be very serious about it, you can make anywhere from hundreds of thousands to if you go up to be a designer."

    But not everything at Career Education Corporation is fashion or business. Its Sanford Brown Institutes prepare students for careers in health care; training ultrasound and cardiovascular technicians; and medical and surgical assistants.

    The admission representative told the associate producer that the school was highly selective. So MacDonald did everything she could to disqualify herself for admission to become a medical assistant, a nine-month program that costs almost $13,000 prepares students for entry-level positions.

    When lousy grades and prior drug use weren’t enough to get her rejected, she tried a different approach. She told them she had a "problem with blood." The representative told her that “98 percent of our students have a problem with blood. The first day of the module, they don’t hand you a syringe and say, 'Go for it.'”

    The school did require the associate producer to take an admission test. She intentionally flunked it, getting just 7 out of 50 questions correct. But the school allowed her to take another test with different questions. This time, the admission representative said she had doubled her score to 14 out of 50, and that was just good enough to qualify for admission.

    Although it was easy to get in, all the counselors told MacDonald she would have to work hard and attend class to complete the course. But Hanson says what CEC is most interested in is tuition.

    “They want to say that the student comes first, but I think it becomes obvious to anybody that works in the school, that the student does not come first,” says Hanson.

    Where does the student come? “The student comes with how many dollar signs are attached to them. And anything after that is secondary,” says Hanson.

    CEC is not the only publicly traded career-school operator in trouble with the federal government. Last fall, the Department of Education handed out its largest fine ever -- $9.8 million dollars to the Apollo Group and its University of Phoenix for admitting unqualified students to boost enrollment.

    And a year ago, federal agents raided the headquarters and 10 campuses of ITT Educational Services, investigating charges of falsified grades and attendance records.

    Nick Glakas is president of the Career College Association, a Washington lobbying group that represents 1,100 career colleges in the United States.

    “This is not an industrywide problem. And let me address the whole question of being under investigation,” says Glakas. “Allegations from a legal standpoint are not facts and are not evidence.”

    Glakas says career colleges are a passport into the middle class for millions of people, a gateway to the American dream.

    “Twenty-five percent of our students are working adults. Fifty percent are minority. Seventy percent are the first in their family to go to college. This is an extraordinary success story,” says Glakas.

    Rep. Maxine Waters, who represents the poorest district in Los Angeles, isn’t so sure. For the past 15 years, she’s been the industry’s most persistent critic.

    “I have seen young person after young person who simply wanted to get trained for a trade, for a job, get ripped off,” says Waters.

    Why hasn’t anything been done? “These private post-secondary schools are very sophisticated in its politics, and they actually have members of Congress who protect them,” she says.

    Over the past two years, career colleges and lending institutions that benefit from government-backed student loans handed out more than a million dollars in campaign contributions to members of the House Education Committee. Half of that money went to the committee’s two ranking members: Chairman John Boehner of Ohio and Buck McKeon of California. Both declined requests for interviews.

    As for the sales reps whom 60 Minutes spoke with, Barry Ross has filed a discrimination lawsuit against CEC. Eric Shannon now works in finance, and the young man is the sunglasses is selling cars.

    And the Brooks College graduates? They feel betrayed. They were sold the idea that an investment in education would change their lives. This investment did, but not in the way they were promised.

    “My mother told me to declare bankruptcy and I'm only 21,” says Thurston. “She said it'll go away in 10 years so when I'm 31 I can start my life all over.”

    “But we are all students that did everything we were supposed to, we gave it our all,” says Amanda Harris. “And we're still jobless. You know, like, it doesn’t make sense.”

    Facebook Group - http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=5604847490&ref=share

    Multiple links of investigations into CEC schools.
  2. I_bRAD

    I_bRAD TRIBE Member

    Also: It's not p0ssible to earn 150K+ per year working at home (not telemarketing)
  3. OTIS

    OTIS TRIBE Member

    Not surprised at all. Especially this part:

  4. Subsonic Chronic

    Subsonic Chronic TRIBE Member

    From the latest Harper's Index:

    Total contributions to 2008 presidential campaigns so far that have come from the oil & gas industry: $1,727,000
    Total from the education industry: $6,406,000
  5. thom100

    thom100 TRIBE Member

    there is no easy way when it comes to education.
    The slightest bit of research in to these schools is all it takes. I always figured you go to one of these schools with the same faith as buying a lottery ticket. While it may be a bit extended you are paying for the dream.
    There is a reason they play pawn shop/money loan commercials in the wee hours of the morning- just as you it is not surprising that these schools would slip by when you consider their clientèle are willing to spend well above a university education, in half the amount of time, with "industry professionals"- these are exactly the type of people that like to ask questions.
  6. Gfunkdiva

    Gfunkdiva TRIBE Member

    I've interviewed a lot of IADT grads for graphic design jobs over the years, and every single one of them proved to be collossally incompetent.

    Any design school that graduates students who:
    a) don't know the difference between pantone and process colour
    b) have portfolios riddled with typos and
    c) think that $50K is a decent starting salary for junior design positions

    is not offering students their money's worth.
  7. OTIS

    OTIS TRIBE Member

    A big problem is these congressional committees who retain a huge amount of power over the legislative processes regarding specialized items like education. The argument for them is to devote interested congressional resources to the legislation of their forte. The downside is it makes the committees and sub-committees much easier targets for lobbyists and interest groups when the whole congress is not typically included on the process. Add a couple lines of pork-barreling legislation at the revision process, and it's all good. For an "industry" like education who still have a lot of public resources to grab up, the disproportionate 'contributions' compared to Big Energy, who've already got a fairly established presence in their sector, doesn't surprise me.
  8. TaCk OnE?

    TaCk OnE? TRIBE Member

    haha, yah, It's regarded as a total waste of time and money, I've never once met a colleague who's graduated from there.

    what do you do in the design/ad industry?
  9. Gfunkdiva

    Gfunkdiva TRIBE Member

    I used to be in charge of branding/advertising for a major law firm and other corporate machines... but I left the design world in favour of PR for events. see my attempts at writing in NC -- my current project and the reason I'm still at work right now. :eek:
  10. KiFe

    KiFe TRIBE Member

    I'm concerned to hear "every single one of them proved to be collossally incompetent" or "I've never once met a colleague who's graduated from there."

    Albeit the school was a substantial waste of time, money and effort, it has not had a detremental effect on my career.

    Thankfully I work in a rather progressive industry where the hiring decisions are based on proven artistic skills rather than where a potential employee may have trained. In the end, regardless of how you came to aquire the knowledge that you'll need, the fact that you can perform the tasks required and surpass the expectations of your superiors is what will get you the job.

    I think a step AWAY from hiring/judging people based on WHERE they trained is a step in the right direction.
  11. OTIS

    OTIS TRIBE Member

    Maybe when the training is visual arts or any other discipline where the skills are instantly demonstrable, I agree with you. But the tendency to judge based on institutional background is grounded in good reason for industries that look for less tangible qualities in a candidate like discipline, critical thinking, intellectual rigour, and organizational skills. Although schooling generally means shit these days, it means more to some places than others. In terms of IAOD, I'd still throw them in the shittiest pile for being general scumbags.
  12. KiFe

    KiFe TRIBE Member

    Oh yeah, without a doubt. can't agree with you more.
  13. Snuffy

    Snuffy TRIBE Member

    I find the advertisements rather funny... have you seen the one for fashion or game design? The examples they show... dear lord!
  14. Lysistrata

    Lysistrata Well-Known TRIBEr

    god, my ex went there... i told him it wasn't a credible education but he went anyway. to this day he teaches there because that one of the ways they keep their post-graduate employment rates up - they only employ their own grads as instructors.
  15. TaCk OnE?

    TaCk OnE? TRIBE Member

    oh for sure, if you had an amazing book and could hang then it wouldn't make a damned bit of difference.

    people in my experience also don't hire based on schooling per se, it's just that a lot of people who leave there aren't prepared. obviously there must be exceptions, people who learn on their own, or are talented enough without the training.
  16. grounded4life

    grounded4life TRIBE Member

    I find this really interesting because I went to this school and couldn't agree more with whats' been said here. I fought for almost 2.5 years to not pay the remainder of my tuition because I did not receive the education I was promised. I wrote letters after working for their sister school which had merged with IADT and when I saw that they were selling a "one size fits all" education with little regard to whether the program was suited for the student or not, I knew I had something to work with. At first I received letters asking whether I would be returning to the school. Since several of the programs were so messed up (we were stuck with ill equipped prof's and the lessons were not that of the curriculum, at one point the whole class had received the same grade because people were cheating off each other in class, etc...) that I called and met with the student liaison. I asked if I would be able to take the courses over for free, to which they replied that that would be impossible. I walked right out. I started to receive collection notices that my tuition was due. Months of this went on. When I finally got absolutely fed up I called and wrote to them that there was no way that I would be paying for an education I didn't receive and if they pressed that I would contact every media source possible and tell them what was happening at their schools, that their student councilors are nothing but inside sales agents. I was fortunate enough that the calls and letters stopped, but it amazes me that this is still happening.
  17. ~atp~

    ~atp~ TRIBE Member

    I've always regarded school as a pragmatic means to an end anyway, so this comes as no surprise. Educational institutions are, at their core, businesses designed to discipline you for industry.
  18. grounded4life

    grounded4life TRIBE Member

    But they didn't offer any discipline. They cheated people out of their money.
  19. fear_of_fours

    fear_of_fours TRIBE Member

    i do not understand why anyone would go to IADT.

    i take photography at sheridan college and i was like fucking columbo when i looked into schools. contacting past students, going to see student work, etc.

    incurring large amounts of educational debt is something that people should take really seriously. i was going to say "if you don't bother looking into your school then you deserve what you get" but if these people are lying about stats, then that is a bummer.
  20. ~atp~

    ~atp~ TRIBE Member

    That's not what I meant.

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