Dear Mr. Frank Schoneoman, C.E.O,
Please accept this letter as an attempt to revise and implement the rights of all students who attend Empire Beauty Schools, aka Empire Education Group.
Due to recent undue hardships in my personal life, I have requested a medical leave of absence for rehabilitation due to anxieties/stress. In doing so, I have been told that my options are to take time off temporarily, not to exceed a 14 day window. After the 14 days of absence, which includes unscheduled instructional days/hours, I am considered withdrawn or terminated. As this applies to every student who attends Empire, I strongly believe this violates the core values of many students who medically need a leave due to illnesses, pregnancy, undue hardships, and other medically necessary leaves.
I am currently a part time evening student, left with no other option of:
1. Dropping out
These are the consequences if I am unable to make attendance in accordance to the schools stipulations. In an attempt to avoid absences, I have called corporate headquarters to rearrange my schedule. After speaking with Beth from operations, I was told that I need to make a decision and if I cant attend evening classes or day classes (because I am a working mother) then I need to think about quitting!
In signing my contract with Empire, that in no way waives my rights. I understand my obligations to the school to obtain my license, but currently I find myself facing a feeling of being overwhelmed with anxiety and self guilt for not being able to make perfect attendance. With that being said, I can not solely concentrate on my education when Im told I have no other options then stated above.
Im asking you to please reconsider (as I am told this is a corporate decision) the options available to ALL students under Family Medical Leave Act and Michelles Law. Im also asking the ALL students be advised of their rights under The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act in addition to Disabled Students in Higher Educations rights and accommodations. Im not only writing for the vices that are currently inhibiting my education but on behalf of ALL students who attend Empire.
Empire Education needs to inform students of their rights and to date, students as well as I have not been given any information regarding our rights as students in higher education. Often times Empire will not make options available to the students as in;
*Information regarding corporate phone numbers and/or addresses
*Rights / Accommodations
*Student Opinions for better education
I have personally been denied access to email addresses of corporate personnel as well as phone number, addresses, a copy of my contract, information regarding my rights and my personal transcripts.
In addition, as a student body, wish to have more structure regarding rules and regulations and duties in each branch rather then each branch forming their own guidelines regarding duty work, curriculums, daily instructions techniques, and the possibility of students gaining more theory classes verses salon floor work. Even as a student with close to 850 hours, I feel I could use more education in the field of cosmetology , knowledge of laws and possible repercussions of law violations according to employers as well as entrepreneurs. Although we do have curriculums that involve state board code, many do not include areas such as ethics, code of conduct for employees/employers/customers. More information needs to given to students regarding NACCAS and practices that need to be in compliance so students and employees are EDUCATED and know what to look for to be compliant. Often times, students and or/educators are not aware of violations they are making until it surfaces in a civil lawsuit.
As a business, I understand many of these items mentioned above may delay the disbursement the company may receive. Please accept this letter as a way to make a change and protect the student and the student status from not being deemed terminated or withdrawn, which would ultimately affect many students covered under parents health plans, as well as protecting students and their status as enrolled while on leave, so we can protect our position within the school without having to pay extra enrollment fees, lose financial aid, and other items which would inhibit and force many students to have no other option other then voluntarily or involuntary omitted from the school status.
Fundamentals and structure shouldnt lack core values in the personal interests of any person. The fear and denial of student status and medical leave and its repercussions, due to medical conditions, causes many cosmetology students to drop-out or force others to sign themselves out. The numbers will speak for themselves. Drop out levels would not be as atrocious if Empire didnt lack empathy on a corporate level.
I appreciate your time and possible considerations and revisions.
Empire Education Group
Attn: Frank Schoenman, C.E.O 396 Pottsville/St Claire Hwy.
Pottsville, PA 17901
State Board of Cosmetology
Attn: Frank Schoenman, Chairperson P.O. Box 2649
Harrisburg, PA 17105-2649
4401 Ford Avenue, Suite 1300,
Alexandria, VA 22302-1432 USA
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202
The Association on Higher Education and Disability
107 Commerce Center Drive, Suite 204
Huntersville, NC 28078 USA