I registered for a one year course in Health Counseling at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) in July 07. Subsequently, I also registered and paid $500 for certification at Columbia University through IIN.
Approximately 2/3 of the way through the course, I realized that I had forgotten to take the second of the 3 IIN online tests. I contacted IIN who said not to worry, they will work to resolve it. They came back later and stated that they would forgo the test and graduate me anyway. They stated this did not guarantee me certification through Columbia who I needed to deal with seperately. Columbia said they would get back to me.
At the end of the school year in June, Columbia stated that they were denying my certification because I had so many reminders through IIN to take the online test. When I asked them what reminders, they cited 4 different ones I was to have received. Problem was, I only received 2 of the reminders (and these 2 were easier to miss) I never received a notice when I logged into IIN during that time period nor did I receive an email notice (I save all my emails in my delete file) Another student who forgot to take the test had the same experience.
When I contacted IIN to report that I had never received these notices, they were completely uninterested and uncooperative in refusing to intervene with Columbia on my behalf. I was told by other students that Columbia had grown disillusioned with IIN due to their lax curriculum and testing. Perhaps Columbia was also unhappy with IIN's computer reporting and notification because I know that myself and others experienced numerous reporting errors from IIN throughout the year. Columbia no longer certifies Health Counselors through IIN.
I twice emailed IIN founder and lead instructor Joshua Rosenthaul about the situation but I heard nothing back. What is most upsetting to me was not the loss of the $500 certification fee, but the callous treatment I received from IIN who preaches caring and listening.
I gave up the opportunity to receive at least $1000 for refering someone who came to me interested in registering with IIN. In my conscience I could not recommend the school.