• Report: #732278
Complaint Review:

California School of Law

  • Submitted: Mon, May 23, 2011
  • Updated: Mon, July 02, 2012

  • Reported By: Former Law Student — Yuba City California United States of America
California School of Law
5276 Hollister Avenue, #262 Santa Barbara, California United States of America

California School of Law virtual online school fails to proxy exams. Indiscriminate accusations of cheating. Forfiet your tuition. Santa Barbara, California

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: Never expelled.

*Consumer Comment: I wouldn't

*Consumer Comment: Not the Case

*General Comment: Regarding Proxing Exams

*Consumer Comment: comment

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: The Reality of CSL

*Consumer Comment: So who are you?

*Consumer Comment: So why did you expel him?

*UPDATE Employee: The Reality is

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No exam proxy online. Students are "on their honor" during virtual exam environment according to professors. Everything is operated in a Desktop environment where students can save documents from other documents. There is no remote proxy by professors, so a student can have unlimited resources open on his/her Desktop environment during exams. School was supposed to get webcams to solve this, but the only solution would be a remote desktop application that allows professors to see the student's desktop environment remotely.

This problem surfaces when there is a"suspected" "Cut and paste" happening, as in my case. Even though I did not cut and paste anything on my final exam document, I was terminated and accused of cheating. I addressed issue at length with Dean Hunt in a written letter. NO RESPONSE. Instead Dean Hunt shifted the blame to my academic status even though I had maintained a B average throughout the semester on ALL of my exams and drill questions. Not once did he address the deficiency of the school's inability to effectively proxy exams remotely and the professor trying to detect plagiarism by probability.

But they were sure hot to collect my remaining tuition ($1,700) by pursuing aggressive collections and threats of summary judgment and marred credit scores! BEWARE!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/23/2011 02:33 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/california-school-of-law/santa-barbara-california-93111/california-school-of-law-virtual-online-school-fails-to-proxy-exams-indiscriminate-accus-732278. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 REBUTTAL Individual responds

Never expelled.

AUTHOR: Michael Ferrini - ()

At the time I signed up for California School of Law, I had no experience with online learing environments. My experience was a very hard lessson. NEVER enroll in an online school unless the school has a proxy software for exams otherwise you risk being swept up when everyone around you is cheating. That is exactly what happened to me. 

California School of Law had no proxy software service when I attended, which left the door wide open for students inclined to rely on outside material for their exams to do so. Teachers told students they were "on their honor" prior to the exam and many students cheated. It created a chaotic environment where teachers were hyper vigilant for any signs of outside material use and there was really no way of determining who was using outside material and who was not. It created a skewed curve in the class for those who relied on outside materials and made it harder for students like me who were not.

IF I were cheating, why would I be on academic probation in the first place?  

California School of Law NEVER expelled me for cheating. Dean Hunt simply stated that my grades were too low to continue, probably because everyone else around me was cheating and I had no chance. I spoke to him personally about this. 

So I came to ripoff report upset and feeling terribly wronged.

California School of Law settled this matter with me after I came to ripoff report. It wasn't until I complained here that they took positive action to resolve the matter.  Immediately following this case, they purchased and instituted Exam Soft due to the problems of having little or no proof to expel students for "cheating." 

I believe they fired the administrative assistant who posted above that I was expelled for cheating. It would be nice if Dean Hunt came on here and cleared my name since he had no proof that I cheated. 

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#2 Consumer Comment

I wouldn't

AUTHOR: mr rik - (USA)

I wouldn't send my kid there....

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#3 Consumer Comment

Not the Case

AUTHOR: Former CSL Student - (United States of America)

CSL did not have Exam Soft when I attended. I was unjustly accused of cheating without any evidence to support it. Just because a newbie professor thinks she caught someone cheating based solely on a Word.doc you submit does not make it so. She never spoke to me about it, never presented me with the evidence she claimed to have relied on. The overzealousness combined with no discernable proxy system made it unfair to students like myself who were being honest.

I was aware of cheating happening by other students who admitted using outside resources during exams, but the school had no reliable way to detect it. Unfortunately not everyone who was cheating was ever caught, and some who were NOT cheating were unjustly accused of such. Two in my class were unfortunate victims of inexperienced and overzealous professors.

Threats of lawsuit changed CSL's mind to proxy with Exam Soft. That does not make the school better. They did not care. 

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#4 General Comment

Regarding Proxing Exams

AUTHOR: Jim - (United States of America)

Anyone who has attended law school in the last few years knows that virtually all law schools use ExamSoft to take exams.  Thus there is no need for a proctor.  I've checked California School of Law's website, just like all the other top schools, they use ExamSoft.  ExamSoft shuts down all programs running on a student's computer so that they may not access the internet or any files on their computer.  If a student is instructed to use ExamSoft and does not, then this is prima facie evidence of cheating and most schools will launch an investigation.  It is not difficult for a school to ascertain whether a student has cheated, if they check the computer records and find that a student was using their files on their computer while taking the exam and the exam is outside of the curve of normal performance for the student and/or the other students taking the exam than bam...evidence of cheating.

It seems clear to me that the person is complaining because there was not a person available to keep them from cheating.  Sorry, but it is not the law schools job to keep you from cheating.  Every law student assumes the risk of cheating, thus if you engage in it then you are academically dismissed and you lose the money you paid for tuition.   Law schools are preparing students for the professional practice of law, lawyers have duties and responsibilities which include a duty of honesty and duty not to engage in misrepresentation.  If a student engages in this kind of conduct then they have demonstrated they do not have the moral capacity for the practice of the law.  

Seems to me like the school made the right choice in kicking a cheater out.
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#5 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Jeanski - (USA)

I won't say anything bad about lawyers since my brother is one (and he's good). 

However, the person who posted the information about the OP's grades has committed a serious violation of FERPA.  Someone should check into that.
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#6 REBUTTAL Individual responds

The Reality of CSL

AUTHOR: Michael Ferrini - (United States of America)

On January 3rd, 2011 I contacted Dean Hunt via phone. He advised me that they suspected cheating because my final document which I generated from a "save as" option in Word contained residual text from the previous exam from which the final was generated. It was an honest mistake as I studied my prior exam all the way up to the moments before commencement of the final exam.

Dean Hunt allowed  a written appeal, which I sent on January 4, 2011. NO RESPONSE ever. The next day I received an email from Lee Tabata (registrar) saying I was expelled due to "academic failure" for grades. I have this all documented. I had a high "B" going into the final exam. THEY NEVER PROVIDED MY RECORDS or FINAL GRADES! So they are hiding the truth.

The truth is, they just wanted to back their crappy exam proxy policy and not admit unfair advantage. One thing people need to realize about online law schools is that they have a low pass rate on the bar exam, CSL included. I knew this going in, but what I didn't realize is how unscrupulous they are at applying their own teachings.

Shame on CSL and Dean Hunt.
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#7 Consumer Comment

So who are you?

AUTHOR: mr rik - (USA)

Who is the wise gentleman who has access to the former student's grades?
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#8 Consumer Comment

So why did you expel him?

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

The school maintains that the original Poster was marginally intelligent, a liar and a cheat, and for this they expelled him from Law School. I maintain the school was wrong - the Original poster shows all the qualifications to be a fine lawyer.
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#9 UPDATE Employee

The Reality is

AUTHOR: CSLReg - (United States of America)

Lets look at the reality of the situation:

First, Mr. Ferrini was expelled from the California School of Law for cheating on a final. His explanation on how information in a closed book/closed note exam was included in his final was not plausible. 

Secondly, Mr. Ferrini did not have a B average as he claims in the 6 classes he took, he received one B, in the other 5 classes he received C or less.

Furthermore, Mr. Ferrini was on academic probation when he was expelled.


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