• Report: #572355
Complaint Review:

Goddard College

  • Submitted: Sat, February 20, 2010
  • Updated: Fri, February 10, 2012

  • Reported By: Jaquelline *** — Burlington Vermont United States of America
Goddard College
123 Pitkin Rd. Plainfied, Vermont United States of America

Goddard College Completed a 60 credit hour MA in psychology and counseling, and was then dismissed without viable degree for licensure. No counseling component Goddard requires students to find their own placement a Plainfied, Vermont

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: The "Interim" President

*Consumer Suggestion: "WE" are the customers

*Consumer Comment: Goddard College did not provide the service I paid for.


*Consumer Comment: my credits from Goddard College won't transfer either

*Consumer Suggestion: I had a similar experience, unfortunately.

*UPDATE Employee: Response from Goddard College, founded 1863

*Consumer Comment: Interesting Post

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I was dismissed from the Psychology and Counseling program after 4 years of good academics and struggle to get adequate placement and supervison in an itnernship with Goddard College.  The program was a 2.5 year degree.  About 3 semesters into the program, I began to feel as though I was not going to get a placement with them for an intrernship.  When I contacted internship sites, I was told that other schools do the placements and supervision. 

I was led to believe that this crucial component to a counseling related degree was totally my responsibility.  After years of contacting sites, I had to take 2 leave of absences in order to find them. Eventually I found placements on my own with inadeaqute supervison.  Issues arose on the internship sites that are part of the normal learning.  I was not given support and supervision form Goddard and subsequentaly dismissed after thousands of dollars in student loan debt, and no degree. 

I was told by a friend who was a psychologist in Burlington Vermont that is was inadequate for a training program.  She said with Antioch New England, that she was given site recommenations, placement, and triple supervision by professors, site supervisor, and classroom feedback. She graduated in 2.5 years from Antioch with a degree towards licensure, and said the program was, "Seemless."  When I told her of my problems with Goddard College, she said, "Shut em down."  The therapist said I wasn't the first client she had seen who came to her with distress about Goddard. A few years earlier, a client of hers completed an education program without a satisfactory practicum placement for her degree in education, and had to go to another college and take the entire program over again in order to work in the teaching profession. 

This was a warning sign.  This information along with stories I had heard about classmates in New York State who were removed from internship sites in that state because New York State did not recognize the validity of the program, put me in consumer advocacy mode.  I contacted all of the New York State students I knew in the program begging them to question if their degree was going to be valid in New York state, I also cc'd my academic adviser who then became enraged with me for doing so.  By this time I had pretty much completed the core 48 credit degree.

When I began a search for a supervisor to help me do my work in Vermont, a woman who has reputation of supervsion for grad students in Vermont, told me that, "You will not get adequate training with Goddard, cut your losses."  I should have listened to her, but I contined for another 2 years trying to salvage my work and degree.

After this information was revealed to me, I drove to the college to speak with the President of the College Mark Schulman  with my concerns about New York State, and whether the program was seaworthy at all.  I was sent to his secretary Jeffifer Trip Meade who basically dismissed me in person and over the phone and email.

When I asked the internship director of Goddard"s psychology and counseling program, Michele Clark, in 2008 to provide me with the names of alumi who have actually gotten a counseling licensure from the state of Vermont, she said there was only one she could think of, but that he was probably too busy to speak with me and never gave me his name. 

Working with the Vermont Department of Labor, I contacted the mental health licensure board in  Vermont, which told me that a degree from Goddard was still considered an adequate degree for licensure in Vermont, so I continued to persue my degree towards licensure.

It just never happened and I never got much support to make it a reality. And I even went as far as to ask the school to give me a Master's Degree in independent studies early on as well as shortly before my dismissal.  I was told by my academic advisor that this was impossible without sacrificing the lions share of my credits.

A classmate who now holds an MA from Psychology and Counseling from Goddard and is living in Ohio, is having trouble getting her states licensing board to recognize her degree.  Another alumna living in New York, had been unable to get her counseling credentials in New York. 

I and about 10 others per semester are lured into Goddard's Psychology and Counseling program by a brochure that said they had a "Sexual Orientation Concentration."  I wrote the majority of my papers and thesis on LGBT related issues. I begged the director Steven James and my academic advisor Jim Fitzgerald, both out and proud gay men, to help me get a placement with Vermont Cares, a statewide AIDS organization, and heard nothing. 

A group of Goddard College students from the state of Maine actually had to go to that state licening board themselves, and fight for the validity of their work with Goddard.

When an alumna who is from Connecticut who suffers from MS asked for special accomodations, she was required to do additional academic work  in order to get her degree.  She completed an entire workbook on statistics as part of Connecticut's requirements, and then was told by Goddard that she only needed to complete 1 chapter of the book to recieve credit from the school, and then her work was never read.

I think many consumers are lured into the program thinking they will become qualified therapists at the end of it, but many states including Maine, Connecticut, New York, and Ohio are not convinced, and consumers are holding degrees that only allow them to get bachelor's level employment.  In my estimation, an MA from Goddard College in psychology and counseling does not give students any professional advatntage over the Bachelor's Degrees they held before their work with Goddard.

Goddard College provides no direction or assistance to ensure that students meet any state regualtory requirements. Often what happens because of inadequate supervision, students find themselves going extra semesters in order to get viable degrees from them. I believe that Goddard College is not able to live up to their advertized mission statement as a, "Leader in Progressive Education." Since their Master's Degree in psychology and counseling is fraught with so much difficulty in the region, I wonder why Goddard's regional accreditation with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges is intact. This seems inexplicable to me and other frustrated students I have heard from.

Respectfully submitted,


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/20/2010 12:18 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/goddard-college/plainfied-vermont-05667/goddard-college-completed-a-60-credit-hour-ma-in-psychology-and-counseling-and-was-then-572355. 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

The "Interim" President

AUTHOR: disenchanted - (USA)

Just like the former President- without any discernible ability to exhibit such. I attempted to email such interim President and presented (methodically)  evidence of my plight. He minimized me to the point of perceived arrogance. NO- you are no smarater that I am a*****e! Go on thinking otherwiise.


YOU work for your students....your salary is paid by such. When you utilize your oft-beaten-path thinking (for laclk of a better description), eventually your thinking WILL be challenged.


The lack of attention you displayed towards me tells me one of two things: 1) you are not sufficient to be in your role and 2) you lost track of the "varied" goals of education. And those whom you screwed  had brilliant spirations.....only to be shattered by you. Go look for another occupation, because even if you're so void of reality, you would behoove yourself to defer responsibilities to another who has a better grasp on Academia.


You are an evil who deters any creativity ....Please rssign if you already haven't done so.

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#2 Consumer Suggestion

"WE" are the customers

AUTHOR: disenchanted - (USA)

Often, in this obvious "racket" of academics supposed standards are derived from those who quite frankly are questionable in determing such standards. Everyone has a potential, but those at Goddard do not necessarily have the accumen to determine potential "period".  First of all, residency dictates that professors travel to the VT campus.99% of professors do not live in VT, hence the "residency" program....obviously, that applies to visiting professors as well.

Throughout my tenure there, I had consistent feedback as to my intelligence. In fact, the most memorable expeeriences were in the cafteria...brilliant minds conversing and enjoying much more than than what those "attending" professors "thought".

And then we left.after the residency...most ofthe professors returned to their respective residences as well as their jobs or practices. "We" had to write.....for years many told me how great a writer I was......until certain "psychotic" professors lost track of that "customer" service ....they lost track of individuality.....they ultimately ruined my aspirations. And because of my decision to return to graduate school at at a latter age, Goddard has been so adverse not only to my unique personality and abilities, but to the point where potential accreditation and /or transferability. merely augments a barrier.

The former President (a self noted drop-out and proponent of adult education) never responded to my appeal. And that's when I realized that her words did not match her actions.

So..... along with my intelligence and affirmatively agreed- upon lack of "temporary" (how could a visiting professor actually have enough time to asssess potential), my (and others') apathy has caused me to lose heart, but more importantly despise the obvious lack of humanistic ability on your part. I have often reffered to Academics as a "racket"And so, I will laugh once again.

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#3 Consumer Comment

Goddard College did not provide the service I paid for.

AUTHOR: Aaron1979 - (United States of America)

I attended Goddard College's ON-campus undergraduate program from 1996-1999.  Against the recommendations of my parents and High School I believed that a progressive education system was more in tune with my needs and style of learning.  In retrospect I was too stupid to know that I did not know anything, however in my defense I was 16 years old when I enrolled and 17 when I attended. 

The on campus program has since been shut down due to financial reasons and a questioning of their educational validity.  They essentially preempted the knowledge that they might not get the accreditation from NEASC  that they required to remain a recognized educational institution.

I stopped attending Goddard after 70 credit hours in 2000.  I became a chef and then pursued a career in environmental remediation.  I have discovered a passion and aptitude for GIS work and have decided to re-enroll in a university to pursue a BS in GIS.  Here is where the problem begins.  I have discovered that my transcripts are essentially worthless.  Out of the 70 hours I paid and worked for the other university would only award m e18.  This was not because of a need to make more money it was due to the fact that the transcripts were "laughable" and completely non-translatable to any institution other than Goddard. 

One of the reasons I attended Goddard was that they assured me that my credits were transferable and that the transcripts would be written in such a way as to be easily inturpretted by other institutions.  This is not the case.  After contacting the records departemtn and asking if they could re-write the transcripts, at least including course descriptions I was told they could try.  They would have to go back through the Archives, by hand, and try to find and compile a course description list, but then she told me that I would probably be unable to get a description for every course because a lot of the "facilitator" (professors) did not submit descriptions to begin with.

So my question, ultimately is, what did I take $48,000 in loans for?  What service did I pay for?  Goddard college is set up in such a way to keep you within their walls only.  It is virtually impossible to get a transcript that other institutions will understand.  I know people who attended other progressive education schools and those schools would provide transcripts for transfer which included GPAs and course descriptions that correlated with more traditional schools.  I believe that Goddard college took advantage of my ideals and my youth and now that I actually require the service I paid and am paying a lot of money for it turns out that the contract they had with me was not valid.  I implore everyone to stay as far away from this institution as possible and please, if there is any one else out there with the same issues help me find a way to rectify this problem.  I am fine with starting over again, but I do not believe I should continue to pay a college that did not live up to their side of the agreement.  Goddard College is a cult, a scam, a not a true institution of higher learning but rather a summer camp for the ideologically drunk.
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#4 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: RLD - (United States of America)

I am an adult learner who returned to school with a full time job, family, and a mortgage. With so much on my plate I could not commit to the commute time, study time, internship hours, and class time required by more traditional programs back home. I often study early in the morning, late at night, or on my lunch break, Goddard allowed me this flexibility. I landed an internship at a respectable teaching hospital alongside counseling students from those programs that couldn’t fit into my schedule.
I have never found my education to be insufficient, but as in traditional programs, it is what you put into it. As we are training to be counselors and clinicians, empathy and understanding are as important as book learning when sitting down with your first patient. Goddard’s psychology program has a duty to the public to filter out students who lack such qualities. The internship acts as such a filter.
If you are interested in applying to Goddard, I would encourage you to participate in a significant self-analysis of yourself. Do you have the discipline and commitment for independent study? Are you willing to reach out to valuable resources in your community, like professionals in your area of study?

After you enroll, network at your first residency with both senior students and those in your incoming class. It is those who keep in touch who make it through the first semester. Most students who drop out do so during these first few months of the program.
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#5 Consumer Comment

my credits from Goddard College won't transfer either

AUTHOR: Piper Davenport - (United States of America)

I thought Goddard College was supposed to be an accredited university but my credits won't transfer to another school. So, then, I thought, I could go back there to finish my MFA in Creative Writing. I was told yesterday that I would need a what happened statement explaining for the reason why I originally left the program. So, I filled one out today and on the same day, was told that they didn't think I would complete the program. How can one make a decision like that in just a few hours? I would imagine that it would take them a few DAYS to for a decision but a few hours? Come on! 

Reading your report reaffirms my mother's belief that there's something shady about Goddard College. Why won't your credits transfer? My credits won't transfer either and why is their retention rate only 50%? These questions that consumers must ask themselves BEFORE applying to the program. If I had known three years ago, what I know now, I would have skipped Goddard College entirely! What a sham!
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#6 Consumer Suggestion

I had a similar experience, unfortunately.

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

The MA psych and Counseling program is a baffling circus of negligence and ineptitude. I have reported Goddard College to the Vermont State Attorney General and would encourage you to do the same. It is not difficult to file an official complaint: http://www.uvm.edu/consumer/?Page=complaintform.html

Also, now is the perfect time to report Goddard to the accreditation board because they are going to be reviewed this month! Please share this link with anyone and everyone who has shared the same appalling Goddard experiences that we have:  http://www.goddard.edu/selfstudy_comments

Comments can be sent to
Public Comment on Goddard College
Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
New England Association of Schools and Colleges
209 Burlington Road
Bedford, MA 01730-1433

Comments are due by March 24! Please encourage others who have been wronged by this fraudulent program to speak up.
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#7 UPDATE Employee

Response from Goddard College, founded 1863

AUTHOR: Goddard College - (United States of America)

All programs at Goddard operate exclusively on a low-residency model; consequently, our students live around the world. When they leave campus after the week-long residency that begins each semester, they are supported in finding and contracting with appropriate, professional supervisors at their local internship sites. All student interns are supported by a year-round Internship Coordinator, but it's the on-site supervisor who evaluates the intern's success.

To be a counselor takes a lot of skills; people skills are especially important, and so is self-knowledge when working with other people's lives. Being a good student isn't always enough, and sometimes it's hard to accept when we're not doing well within one area after having done well in another. But any good counseling program is going to protect the public by holding each and every student to high standards in all important skill areas. The staff and faculty of Goddard College regret that this student views her experience in such a poor light, but we do strive to provide and sustain a high standard of support and professional expectations.
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#8 Consumer Comment

Interesting Post

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

I went to the state licensing guidelines for counselors in Vermont. The licensure requirement is 1000 hours of practicum/internship. At a part time rate you're looking at at least one year. You stated you experienced an issue during your internship and that not only were you not given support from the Goddard faculty, but you were dismissed from the program...? Seems odd to be dismissed for something you write off as a "normal part of the learning".

As for New York, they are notoriously strict with their laws in both counseling and education. My daughter graduated from an excellent college (outside of NY) and had to wait two years before she met all their silly requirements to have her license acknowedged.

Bottom line is, every student is responsible for checking the licensure requirements in the state in which they want to be licensed.

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