• Report: #389127
Complaint Review:

Institute For Integrative Nutrition

  • Submitted: Fri, November 07, 2008
  • Updated: Thu, June 07, 2012

  • Reported By:Harrisburg Pennsylvania
Institute For Integrative Nutrition
3 East 28 St, Floor 12 New York, New York U.S.A.

Institute For Integrative Nutrition - IIN I Got a Raw Deal from IIN New York New York

*Consumer Comment: Not worth the money

*Author of original report: Now I'm Being Sued!

*General Comment: Clear Cut Case....

*General Comment: IIN Education Recognized for College Credits

*Consumer Comment: Institute is Not for Everyone

*Consumer Comment: Both sides

*Consumer Comment: It Seems Very Clear

*Consumer Comment: Integrative Institute isn't even ACCREDITED so even if you'd finished you don't get a real degree - just a waste

*Author of original report: Ok...

*Consumer Comment: Your own fault

*General Comment: The "credentials" seem misleading.

*Author of original report: Did You Read my Complaint?

*Consumer Comment: RE: Institute for Integrative Nutrition

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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.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/07/2008 11:06 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/institute-for-integrative-nutrition/new-york-new-york-10016/institute-for-integrative-nutrition-iin-i-got-a-raw-deal-from-iin-new-york-new-york-389127. 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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#1 Consumer Comment

Not worth the money

AUTHOR: kchrista - ()

I was enrolled in the September 2014 class at IIN. I made it through 12 weeks of the program. The information on the different theories is great but nothing that you couldn't research on your own but searching the topic on Google. For the $5k cost of the program and the information I was receiving I decided to cut my losses and withdraw from the program today. I do think it is a little bit strange that all the tests are open book and the quizzes you can take as many times as you want. You can definitely make up the information for the health histories required for graduation. I have seen many positive reviews of IIN and I think that if you do not mind the fact that the there is no accreditation then this might work for you. I feel that they teach the same marketing strategies as you would use working for a network marketing company. If you dig really deep into the internet you will find many unsatisfied students but you really have to dig deep. I don't want to bash IIN at all I just want to leave an honest review of my experience to help people decide if it will be a good fit for them. Bottom line is that it was not worth my money or time to continue because it would not help my career or achieve my goals I have for my future. The return investment is not there in my situation.

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#2 Author of original report

Now I'm Being Sued!

AUTHOR: Jon - ()

Years after writing this online review, how does Integrative Nutrition officially react to my issue with them? Not by reaching out to me to seek understanding-no, they have slapped me with a lawsuit if I don't remove this review.

Trying to suppress my right to free speech I believe is shameless and I stand by my review as being true and factual. I believe that this is a terrible way to deal with disgruntled customers, especially from a company that promotes caring and compassion. I am now hearing that as a person who has issues with Integrative Nutrition, that I am hardly alone in having received this kind of treatment.

I consider that attending Integrative Nutrition has been the biggest waste of time and money in my entire life, and now I'm being sued for saying so! What a disappointment...
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#3 General Comment

Clear Cut Case....

AUTHOR: lippy - (United States of America)

....of you making a mistake, not fulfilling your obligations and not taking responsibility for your actions (or, in this case, non-action).  It's not a matter of how good the school is, how valuable the certifications are, how much you learn about different things, etc.  These are all matters for a different debate.  All that is up for discussion is that you messed up and are not 'man enough' to admit your mistakes and want to blame the world. 

The fact is, we have a huge obesity problem in America and many diseases result from eating unhealthy foods.  ANY knowledge at all to help others is valuable.  And, how you convey that knowledge is just as important.  It seems this is where the school has value.  I'm a Personal Trainer.  I have no nutrition background and have not attended IIN. 

But, it does not take a lot to help people in this area as most have no clue at all and will value your advice.  And, the fact that you attended IIN ALLOWS you to give advice.  As a Personal Trainer any advice I give has to be qualified with the statement that I am not able to give advice in nutrition, however......  So, to me, this school serves a great purpose.  And you, my friend are crying sour grapes.  Man up!!
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#4 General Comment

IIN Education Recognized for College Credits

AUTHOR: Laura J - (United States of America)

Hello All,

I have been looking into the Health Coach program at the IIN and have been sitting on the fence about it.  I have spoken to a representative twice and am leaning towards enrolling in the program.  I just received this email recently from Joshua Rosenthal of the IIN:

As you know, I started Integrative Nutrition with a small group of dedicated students aligned with one simple idea:  if I could change what people ate, I could help change the world.
Today, we are proudly celebrating 20 years and have graduated a community of thousands of passionate people like you who are making a real differencein countless lives worldwide.
And now, our programs are being recognized as a valuable part of an undergraduate education.
The National College Credit Recommendation Service has established a recommendation for 29 college credits for Integrative Nutritions Health Coach Training Program, and 11 college credits for the Immersion Program. Thats 40 credits total for both programs.
The National College Credit Recommendation Service is an internationally recognized organization that partners with over 1500 colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada. With this additional credential, you can now use your Integrative Nutrition education to help fulfill part of your undergraduate degree requirements, continue your professional development career, and even boost your salary.
You can learn more about the details of the credit recommendation from the National College Credit Recommendation Service on a special webinar on Thursday, March 8 at 11am EST - join us by registering here.
Health Coaches are needed now more than ever before. If youre ready to transform your passion into a career where you can make a healthy impacton hundreds of lives, now is the time to join us.
To your health, happiness, and success,

Joshua Rosenthal
Founder and Director, Integrative Nutrition

Please, if you are a student or graduate of this course, I'd really like to know if you think it's an easy course that anyone can pass or is it challenging, fulfilling, and do you actually learn something that you can use to help others and make a living off of?  I agree that it seems to be all good reviews on this place, except for here of course.  I really hope to make a decision in the next few months and any additional feedback from real students...positive or negative, would be highly appreciated! 
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#5 Consumer Comment

Institute is Not for Everyone

AUTHOR: sierralux - (United States of America)

I agree with the "credentials seem misleading" person and I also understand where the doctor is coming from too. I have decided to enroll in the school as a supplement to my education. They offer a lot of classes on subjects that are not in mainstream education so how could they be accredited? Are life coach schools accredited? I also think they refer to themselves as an institute not a college.

I won't be qualified to perform the job of a dietician or nutritionalist but I will put my newfound knowledge and coaching skills to use in the food and beverage industry. I also see lots of positive feedback from real students who love the program and transformed their own lives during their time in school. There must be something good about it.

One thing I have learned myself is that you need a good support team to live a healthy lifestyle so there is need for Health Counsellors. As long as the end user knows these coaches are not dietitians or nutritionalists, I don't see the problem with it. I would tell my clients to consult with their doctor before choosing their diet plan.

So, as the going says, it is what it is.
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#6 Consumer Comment

Both sides

AUTHOR: coolrunning - (United States of America)

I am currently attending IIN as well I have a degree from an accredited college.  When I went to college I never had a professor "remind" me if I had failed to complete an assignment or take a test.   College professors are extremely busy and they expect college students to be adult about their education.  They may have posted a retake date for a missed test but that was it - if you showed to retake great if not your loss.  Accredited or not, an institution is not required to pamper you through to success that is your responsibility.  And just because IIN offers $1,000 for referrals how much recruiting do colleges do?  How much do they pamper and pay athletic recruits?  Institutions accredited or not are a business the more enrolled students the more tuition and funds for the school and they press hard to increase enrollment no matter who they are.  IIN has treated me very well - I've found an amazing extremely supportive staff.  Of course no one is perfect and it is unfortunate that someone had a bad experience - however they are a BBB - Accredited business with an A+ rating with many successful students.  With any organization do your research call graduates, check out BBB rating, and any other sources you can find when choosing.  With online courses provided by any institution know the commitment you will have to make and ensure you can full fill it to meet your goals.
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#7 Consumer Comment

It Seems Very Clear

AUTHOR: BlueJeans - (United States of America)

I've read the  complaint and the rebuttals and comments.  It seems very  clear to me that the complaintant just failed to monitor her own course requirements and is possibly looking for someone to blame for her own lack of responsibility.

The other comments, "its not an accredited school..."  etal, also seem very immature and 'whining'.  Hand holding didn't seem to be one of the benefits offered by the IIN...I looked and didn't find that in the transcript. 

As far as accreditation goes...it seems the better choice for those who deem that as 'important' to somehow get into medical school, spending thousands more to hang a shingle, prescribe drugs that require a page of warnings and spend your weekends and evenings on the golf course.

I meet more graduates from accreditated universities in the unemployment line than those who have life skills and a good work ethic these days.
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#8 Consumer Comment

Integrative Institute isn't even ACCREDITED so even if you'd finished you don't get a real degree - just a waste

AUTHOR: Doc with real degree - (United States of America)

Just lost my whole report but bottom line is it doesn't matter anyway because their courses ARE NOT ACCREDITED!!!

-Columbia cut off all ties with them-

-They are getting rid of their campus

-They are not a real accredited university

- speakers have complained they have canceled checks to them before speaker could deposit-

- go find a real college and don't waste your money

- do a simple google search on them to find the truth and Yelp doesn't count as most reviews are written by students (who is going to give one star to a place they paid a bunch of money to!? of course they are going to say it's a good school. who says the school i went to sucked. they want a job! go find a real school.

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#9 Author of original report


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

Nascar Girl,

You are welcome to your opinion, but it doesn't change the fact that I wasn't given what I was promised and the school wouldn't even discuss it. That's more than my opinion, that's the facts, whether you want to believe it or not.
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#10 Consumer Comment

Your own fault

AUTHOR: Nascar Girl - (United States of America)

I don't believe it is the schools responsibility to have to tell you to take your tests. The very first lesson you take is on time management and organization. Why was taking your test not scheduled in your day timer or other scheduling system. I think you are giving a bad rap to a school and it was your fault you didn't take the test on time in the first place. For all we know, this could have been going on the whole time you were registered and maybe they got sick of having to constantly do your work for you.
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#11 General Comment

The "credentials" seem misleading.

AUTHOR: NYConsultant81 - (United States of America)

Im not sure how Chasina could possibly know what phone calls or emails Jon received, but I guess it is none of my business.  And while I appreciate that she has prevented me from having to form cohesive thoughts or draw my own conclusions by telling me what I should believe, Id prefer to consider all the facts.

Id like to point out that I am not a current student or graduate of IIN. However, I recently came across a website of a graduate that contained nutritional advice that I found questionable. So I decided to take a look at IIN.  I am not going to comment on the curriculum or the content of the program because it would be pure speculation.  I do find it ironic that in her lengthy defense of the school, Chasina states that the test was short, easy, and open book. And she points out that they passed you despite the fact that you did not complete the very basic requirements.  It certainly doesn't sound very challenging.  What I find most troubling is that the website (particularly the page regarding credentials) seems misleading.

I did a little research and here is what I found.

The IIN website states that the program provides the following credentials:

(1) A diploma from IIN - However IIN is not an accredited institution recognized by the U.S. Office of Education (or anyone else that offers accreditation that I am aware of), so its courses cant be used toward degree requirements at standard colleges. However the diploma is fancy looking.

(2) Qualification for national board certification by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners - However on the AADA (certifying organization) website, under FAQ it states Q - Who is eligible to apply for board certification? A Any doctor or practitioner that practices drugless therapies or methodologies. Essentially anyone that fills out the forms and pays the $300 fee. Also provides a fancy diploma. 

(3) CEU credits through SUNY Purchase - However CEU credits are also available for free from a number of websites that provide online classes about everything from getting over a breakup to animal tracks. Or, it is possible to earn CEU credits at cheerleading camp. However, SUNY Purchase gives a fancy diploma.

Images of all three diplomas are prominently displayed on the IIN website, in case you want to get an idea of what your wall will look like after you graduate.

The website also states that the school is licensed to operate" under the terms of the education law of the State of New York. I find this somewhat misleading because the school is not accredited. I did find that it is licensed in the NY database as a proprietary school, although oddly the record states that the school was established 10/26/2009. The only individual listed under administrative positions or institutional contacts is the founder, Joshua Rosenthal.

Id like to point out that per Jon's posting, Columbia partnered with IIN in 2007 and Columbia terminated the relationship in early 2008.

Jon, I am glad you enjoyed it.  It wasn't a total waste.  And if the experience is interesting and people enjoy it, I guess it is a success.  But I do feel the school is providing misleading information about the supposed "credentials" it bestows. 

Just one question.  You said you don't understand all the zealotry behind IIN, but you also pointed out that they pay graduates $1,000 for referring new people.  Really?  ;) 

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#12 Author of original report

Did You Read my Complaint?

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


Did you even read my complaint? I DO acknowledge my mistake in not taking the test. Too bad no one at IIN would even discuss the mistakes in electronic records and notification. If they had, I  wouldn't have resorted to filing this complaint. Turning your back on your customers is very bad service IMO.

I certainly agree with you that the tests were simple, in fact I found the whole program to be very simple. How can a Health Counselor receive almost no training in anatomy and physiology?

I don't understand all the zealotry behind IIN. Fun yes, serious education, no. For me it was a mostly a waste of time and money.

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#13 Consumer Comment

RE: Institute for Integrative Nutrition

AUTHOR: Chasina - (United States of America)

Dear Jon,

I'm sorry to hear you had an unpleasant outcome from your time at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.  As a former student of IIN and current owner of a private health counseling practice, I feel it necessary to repond to your allegations since it does attempt to tarnish the reputation of a school to thousands of alumni.

First, I acknowledge that I did not know you during your time at the school, nor did I hear first hand what any IIN or Columbia representatives said to you or the tone in which they said it. 

What I CAN report, though, is that during my entire learning experience while studying health counseling, and in any contact I have had with the school and the employees of it in the 3 years since I've graduated, never has anyone used a tone of voice or exhibited anything even remotely resembling "callous treatment" as you have described.  In fact, I always joked that there must be something in the water that makes them all have such a calm, comforting, and compassionate demeanor and tone. 

I do not believe you got this treatment, but am convinced that due to the fact that you made a mistake and have not accepted your responsibility in the mistake, you have adopted the time old tradition of blame and perhaps convinced yourself of a few white lies.

I won't argue with how many notices you got to take your test, because that is silly.  The fundamental question you need to ask yourself and anyone reading your report should ask themselves is, "Why should a school have to remind you x number of times to take a test, and if you don't get those reminders and, therefore don't take your test, should they then argue incessantly on your behalf with the ivy league institution that, while offering extra accreditation is it's own separate entity, and had cleary laid out requirements to get said extra accreditation?"

Also, being a former student of IIN, I and countless others can attest to the fact that you were not only reminded through email (which I admit can be overlooked if you have a busy inbox) when a test was issued and needed to be taken, but also on the online student forum, by your personal counselor who you worked with over the phone, by Joshua Rosenthal many, many times in class, and it was plastered throughout your syllabus and handouts in your class folder.  In fact, it got annoying to me how many times they mentioned in class that you had x amount of days to complete a test and reminded us of how many people had not completed it yet.  All I kept thinking was "how could anyone not have taken such a short, easy, open book test by now?"

Can you acknowledge that it was very understanding of them to have passed you despite the fact that you had not completed your requirements?  Throughout my four years as an undergraduate, and my three years of graduate school,  I never saw a professor or administrator pass a student if they had not fulfilled the requirements (i.e. handing in all papers, taking tests, attendance if applicable) of a class.  Instead you either get failed or the more generous "I" for incomplete.  It does not matter the money you already paid for the credits or that you may have done everything else. And why is that?  Because, as an adult, it is your responsibility to fulfill your obligations, and if you don't you suffer some sort of consequence.

**I encourage anyone reading Jon's rip off report to regard it as an inaccurate smear and a result of anger from someone not accepting responsibility for a mistake that was incredibly difficult to make.


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