• Report: #672263
Complaint Review:

University of the Rockies

  • Submitted: Thu, December 16, 2010
  • Updated: Mon, June 03, 2013

  • Reported By: The Trooper — Julian California United States of America
University of the Rockies
555 E Pikes Peak Ave #108 Colorado Springs, Colorado United States of America

University of the Rockies Colorado School of Professional Psychology exorbitant cost, exploitation of ethnic minority students, misleading advisors, misrepresentation of degree value Colorado Springs, Colorado

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: Univesity of Rockies

*Consumer Comment: comment

*Consumer Comment: Good Qualities About University of the Rockies

*Consumer Comment: Unfair Practices

*Consumer Comment: Take responsibility

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Complaint Summary

There are a number of issues with this university that I detail in this narrative, but the most disturbing was the following. I observed that the University of the Rockies took advantage of a minority student who appeared to have learning disabilities and was incoherent throughout the Residency experience in Colorado in June 2010 as well as in online discussions. I observed that the university had admitted this student into a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) program for which she was observably not qualified and which will likely not benefit her after graduation. Given the expense of attending this for-profit college, I believe I was witness to the University of the Rockies taking advantage of a minority student with a cognitive disability in order to receive money from her. Other issues such as A grades for papers not yet received and a professors wife grading doctoral papers are relayed below. I have filed a complaint with the university, the Colorado Commission of Higher Education and the Colorado BBB. So far there has been no successful resolution.

Complaint Narrative

There are a number of issues with this university, but I wish only to detail the most disturbing in the following complaint. I attended one year at the University of the Rockies. My first academic advisor told me over the phone that I could become a clinical psychologist for the U.S. military after going through the organizational psychology doctoral program (PsyD). She misled me and other studentssome of whom disclosed their misgivings and doubts to me in private during the student Residency in Colorado Springs, CO in June 2010. (I have all the names of these students if needed.) Jessica either quit or was released and new person took over as my advisor.

When I started feeling uneasy about this school I looked into psychologist licensure and details further, at which time I finally asked my new advisor directly whether I could in fact become a clinical psychologist with this degree and she informed me that I could not become a clinical psychologist with this degree without going through a lot more hoops and courses, all of which is far more than just taking a few courses and sitting for a state licensure examination, as Jessica had suggested. Right about that time I saw an expose on Public Broadcasting System (PBS) about Bridgepoints ambiguous college degrees (Bridgepoint owns the University of the Rockies), deceptive program marketing and program misrepresentation. I quit the program at the University of the Rockies as a result. I am currently $23,000.00 in debt for just one year at the University of the Rockies for a degree that I was told by outside psychology professionals and military personnel is worthless. The U.S. Navy will not even look at my first year 4.00 GPA transcript from this university. The university sent me copies of my e-mails in which I clearly stated to my second advisor two things at this time (which the university "selectively" cherry-picked): (a) I do not want to be a civilian clinical psychologist, but a military clinical psychologist, and (b) I love the school thus far, but I need it to work for me.

I was misled and did not realize it until the time of the Residency. The PBS television expose is what made me investigate further and leave the school. I was shocked that they had so misled me and other students about the value of this degree for a clinical careeror any career for that matter. I challenged the university to prove otherwise. I requested from the university actual alumni testimony and contact information, so that I could call them and talk to them myself. My second advisor put me in touch with a Bridgepoint representative via e-mail. When I directly asked him about alumni contact information and their progress, I got the run-around. He could not give me the name of a single alumna from the organizational program that went on to pursue a career with an Organizational Psychology degree from the University of the Rockies, let alone as a clinical psychologist. This raised my previous suspicions further. I started to panic. I asked my second advisor to put me in touch with this gentleman, so she is witness to the fact that I did contact him. I did not save any of my e-mails in this regard, regrettably, but the university should have all of my correspondence with my two advisors on file. As well, they can speak with my second advisor or the newest advisor K.W. They went through three academic advisors in just over a year.

In addition to these issues, I spoke with one student who I was told received an A on a paper she had not yet turned in (she was turning it in late), a professor who told us in person that his wife corrected our papers, and witnessed a student who was incoherent in the online environment and at the Residency in our class sessions. She was clearly being taken advantage of and would not have qualified for a legitimate doctoral program. She was an unemployed immigrant who had come from Barbados, which she had told me and others at the resort where we stayed during our free time. The university had taken advantage of at least one ethnic minority in this case, a person who will likely not benefit from this program since she failed to participate at the level of all the other students in the program. The school appears to want a certain number of warm bodies in order to take their money. I was not the only student who voiced serious concerns about the integrity of the education provided by this school. For instance, my practicum subject was approved within just hours of submission, which I do not understand. It seems that it should have been taken more seriously than that.

Finally, the program enrollment statement I signed was ambiguous. It read: I understand that this program is not intended to prepare students for professional licensure or certification in any field, regardless of concentration. This is not what my initial enrollment advisor told me. She said it would prepare me for a career as a military psychologist with just a few additional courses and a licensure examination given that my masters degree was in military history. In fact, I wrote many reflective papers on this career choice, so obviously my advisor had led me to believe I could become a clinical psychologist for the U.S. military with this degree. The Navy told me in October 2010 that online degrees that are not APA accredited are not acceptablenot even for research. This is outrageous for the cost of just a single year at this university that is accredited by as prestigious a body as the Higher Learning Commission. I would like the Higher Learning Commission to take a second look at this institutions integrity, credibility and value, as it is clearly lacking in these three areas.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/16/2010 11:30 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/university-of-the-rockies/colorado-springs-colorado-80903-3612/university-of-the-rockies-colorado-school-of-professional-psychology-exorbitant-cost-expl-672263. 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

Univesity of Rockies

AUTHOR: barbara mercer - ()

 I am disabled and I have taken all but three classes to finish the program at UOR. I had to drop a class and they said it was okay. I tried to re enter and they said I owed 2, 000. I am on full finanacial aide which is forgiven becasue I am disabled. They would not turn the bill into finanacial aide. I contacted financial aide and they said it woould be paid if they would turn it in. They refused. They turned me in to a collection agency. I cannot pay the bill. So, now they won't give me my transcript, so my school career is over! I have talked to them numerous times and they do nothing but threaten me!

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#2 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Jeanski - ()

It’s been a while since I’ve done academic advising, but you might want to explore the Health Professions Scholarship that used to be offered by the military. Any local recruiter can point you to the right source of information. It used to be that once you were accepted into a Ph.D. or Psy.D. program they would pay the tuition and fees, and give you a small stipend to help with living expenses. You then have to serve in the military for x number of years as pay back.

Insofar as the UOR is concerned, their doctoral programs are not APA accredited. The Higher Learning Commission is not considered as reputable as the regional accrediting bodies (as suggested in response #2).

The requirements to be a clinical psychologist are pretty much the same regardless if you’re military or civilian, although if you choose the military route you’ll also have to meet the requirements for entry into the navy.  Again, the health professions recruiter can give you accurate information about that, and tell you what programs are acceptable.

To response #1 (NotTru), your writing skills are not those of one who is in college. I hope that you are just beginning your college career and will be taking English composition courses soon. However, you are giving the OP some pretty good advice and I hope he takes it.

To response #3: “I am appalled by your comment regarding a student with disabilities and believe that you have no right to determine whether a person can be successful if they have a disability.”

It doesn’t take a clinical degree to recognize that someone’s abilities are not up to par with the rest of the peer group. This is particularly obvious in written communication, which he describes as “incoherent”.  As my own students have pointed out in similar situations, this person is clearly not ready to participate at the required level.  The UOR is doing her a great disservice by allowing her to continue.

To the OP:  Good luck!

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#3 Consumer Comment

Good Qualities About University of the Rockies

AUTHOR: NotTru - ()

I am going to another University and I like the Master's Program that I see at UOR and I might transfer. I think maybe younger students are not as likely to keep up with all of the information that is coming to them by advisor's and may not be taking notes when speaking to people. Not saying that the complaints are lies, just saying that the follow-up process is very, very important in these schools.

They have thousands of people trying to attend and handle hundreds of thousands documents. Which I agree they should not loose. I write down what I am being told over the phone and who it is telling me the information with a date and time. Because this is my money that I'm spending [I have to pay it back] and I don't want any misinformation coming my way. So, I say that to say--keep up with your information write down who you're talking too. If that person changes and your speaking to someone else write it down when, where and why they said it.

Read the fine print and keep copies of everything. Also if you call and you have to phone them more than once; say this is my 2, 3 or 4th call when you leave a message. Do the same for email. At the top say; 2nd Email regards to admissions documents. That way they know you're keeping track and they are being tracked. That' just my advice. I want to do my Master's and Phd at the Rockies. We'll see how it goes. Think positive. Good luck!

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#4 Consumer Comment

Unfair Practices

AUTHOR: JER - (United States of America)

Whether a student is satisfied or unhappy with any university offering a degree in a field that requires licensure, it is extremely unfair and bad practice to lead or suggest in any way that the classes you are looking to take will benefit you in the future. I can't imagine anyone willing or otherwise wanting to place themselves financially responsible for schooling that will not lead them to the career of their choice. No school should ever offer paper weight degrees. Unfortunately, there are several so called universities out there that do the same. As it relates to the Rockies, they may disclose that the degree is basically worthless if you plan to seek a career in the field, charging for these programs and holding students responsible for the cost thereafter is unfair and should be evaluated by the legitamit accrediting agency. But there lyes the issue, legitamit accrediting agency. A rule of thumb that I found in my search for a university is to only go with Regionally accredited universities. They are supported by licensure and the credits are most likely transferable. All too often universities like the Rockies leave students with large student loan debt and no career to fall back on. I wish everyone success in their degree pursue and remember to do your research upfront regardless of how easy it is to get in the school.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Take responsibility

AUTHOR: Ella - (United States of America)

I heard about this report from another student who is in my class, and I thought I would just see what you had to say.  I feel the need to respond on behalf of the student population who is happy with the program at the University of the Rockies. In regards to your main complaint, in which you believed that the program would prepare you for clinical licensure and found out later that it would not, I see nothing but a person looking for a scapegoat  to blame for their own mistake. My original goal was to become a clinical psychologist. When I looked at the state requirements (as my advisor recommended), I realized that as a working parent, this would be impossible for me to accomplish by going to a campus program. I contacted the Board of Behavioral Sciences in my state, who did inform me that the program at UoR would not meet the licensure requirements. This is a step that you failed to take. You even mentioned that your advisor said you would need additional classes; did you bother to check with your state licensing board to check which classes you would have to take on top of the program?  Anyone with a background in psychology knows that you would need a clinical program to reach this goal. If you did not know, you should have researched the Board of Behavioral Sciences (or the appropriate board in your state) that actually awards the license.

In regards to your complaint about having multiple advisors, I do see your point because I have had multiple advisors, but if this is the worst thing that is true in your posts, I would say they are doing a pretty good job.  I also Jessica Enion as an advisor (think this might be the same one as you), and she told me in the middle of my first class that she was promoted to a management position at the university- it just showed that my advisor was well qualified and highly regarded. Since then, I too have had 2 other advisors, but they all seemed to have valid reasons for moving such as going on pregnancy leave or promotions. This is a part of life. If you expect for your hand to be held throughout the entire program, you should not have selected an online modality in the first place. 

I am appalled by your comment regarding a student with disabilities and believe that you have no right to determine whether a person can be successful if they have a disability. You say that a  erson with a mental disability should not hold a terminal degree and you are looking to become a PSYCHOLOGIST? A person who helps those to overcome obstacles to be productive in society? Who are you to make this determination? The university has an obligation to treat those with disabilities no different from those who do not according to the Americans with Disabilities Act. Clearly if she was in a doctoral program, she met the admissions requirement (correct me if I am wrong but this would mean having a 3.0 in a masters degree program).  I myself have severe dyslexia and have had great support from the universitys office of Access and Wellness. I was told as a child that I would never be successful in academics, and though it takes me a very long time to complete my assignments, my determination has enabled me to achieve my goals. You just sound like a very bitter person, who expected everything to be handed to you on a silver platter without doing your own work. I see you attacking an institution that I am proud to be associated with. I am 2 months from graduating, and I have already received positive feedback from an employer to work as a wellness coordinator in the preventative medicine unit of a hospital.

If you have the impression that you will be able to take shortcuts and become a clinical psychologist with this program, you should have done your own due-diligence to make sure that your investment was worth it. Would you purchase stocks or make investments without researching their history, projected growth, or ROI potential? If you are looking for alternatives to doing that type of an  intensive program where you can work in a similar environment helping people, the university of the Rockies has a wonderful program. I would encourage people to actually research or ask students who are happy with the program rather than taking one-sided views like this seriously. I am so glad that this was not posted before I started, because honestly it would have kept me from enrolling.  This program has truly changed my life in a positive way, and I honestly am sorry that you dont feel the same way. It is amazing that people can have such different experiences, and I do hope that you are able to reach your goal someday.
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