• Report: #201247
Complaint Review:

Westwood College/Alta Colleges

  • Submitted: Sat, July 15, 2006
  • Updated: Wed, September 22, 2010

  • Reported By:Dallas Texas
Westwood College/Alta Colleges
8390 LBJ Freeway Dallas, Texas U.S.A.

Westwood College/Alta Colleges Liars, cheaters, business (not an educational institute), check financial aid, credits, and HOW GOOD YOUR INSTRUCTORS ACTUALLY ARE, ARE THEY ACCREDITED, DO THEY HAVE EXPERIENCE???? THE ANSWER IS YES, EXPERIENCE AT Fast Food! Dallas Texas

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Former Employee Inside Information

*Consumer Suggestion: Facebook Group to Fight Back

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: You've got to be kidding me.....

*UPDATE Employee: Accepting credits from other institutions


*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Sure it's accredited......

*UPDATE Employee: Westwood College IS accredited, of course...

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: I think TxGirl is one of the many who have been brainwashed by Westwood.

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Westwood sure does change lives..but for the wrose

*UPDATE Employee: Do your research!

*Consumer Comment: Did they recently lose their accreditation?

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Hello, As a brief intro to ripoffreport.com we will begin with a short intro to our campus at Westwood College in Dallas, Texas.

This school has been under class action law suits for over 2 years, at this campus alone. The entire company has always been under fire because:

1. They do not have any type of accreditation. The accreditation they do have, is equal to your high school or even elementary school. But remember, high school's are usually public and free! Westwood College is 35,000, and you are not getting s**t! You goto school everyday to surf on the internet, if your computer works. I am in the Network Program and I hate my program director, J GONZALEZ. I will not include my race, nor my close friends, but J GONZALEZ will only teach to the hispanic students, hince his last name. He wants to talk to all of his students about how bad the school is, including all the latest gossip (he said, she said bs), and how much he is going to teach us. BUT HE NEVER TEACHES US xxxxxx! EXCEPT HOW TO WRITE EMAILS TO CORPORATE.

2. Check your financial aid, and stay with it! If you notice, there are a lot of kids starting "Independant Studies". What are these you ask? An independant study is what you can do from your home. And it's what a lot of students are doing, because the school does not have enough money nor instructors to put you in an actual class room environment. YOU ARE STILL CHARGED THE SAME! You are charged well over $4,500 per term, YES, even if you are at home studying, they are charging you for the same price as being in a real class! Is that fair? NO!!

3. Investigate this school, in Dallas Texas, for kids in school but have not taken the accuplacer test, wonderlic test, or even paid for their application to the school.

Why is this happening do you ask? Well in the admissions department, they are required to make their quota. And that's exactly what is happening, that xxx in admissions is pulling in kids left and right. Most of these students are not qualified for a school like this. And when we say qualified we mean, financially! A xxx from Europe, that does not speak any English, can attend Westwood, as long as they can afford it. But most of these students E Southwell is pulling in, are not students of any type. A good 75% of the students that start do not finish because they cannot afford the school!

Also, investigate why the school is under such a strange employment turn over rate. Where are all these directors, instructors, and other people going? The answer: To better jobs that actually educate students, THAT'S WHERE!

A college will actually educate a student and will help that studen succeed.

Most honest people will not try and school you on your resume with lots of colors and pictures on it! xxxx you career development at Westwood College, Dallas Texas!

W Martin, a former Westwood ICB graduate, is now working as a CDS employee...woo h*o if she would only find my friends a job, instead of bs them on their resume. We bring a resume, and ever time she says it's not good enough. She tries to place pictures on our resumes!!! ?? what is wrong with this picture?

And not to mention their director, M Ramsey. Who has a bachelors in Ministry, not business nor anything to do with finding jobs for professionals.

Westwood College Career Development is a department of people who look thru the newspaper, that's right. You are considered a director of career development if you too can pick up a newspaper and point and say, I'm going to put this student at this xxxx job, meaning it's not a job in the field of study!!!

We say, fight back students! There will be more to come!! I graduate in 2 more terms, and trust me I will keep digging for more information. Believe it or not, most of this information was provided by our program director. So, trust me, by graduation we will have more. I'm intrested in the type of job they try and find me.

DO NOT EVER GOTO THIS SCHOOL! This is only a tradeschool for medical assistants, and nothing else. Investigate Instructors? And do not listen to those xxx in Admissions.

Dallas, Texas

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/15/2006 01:52 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/westwood-collegealta-colleges/dallas-texas-75243/westwood-collegealta-colleges-liars-cheaters-business-not-an-educational-institute-c-201247. 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 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Former Employee Inside Information

AUTHOR: Coolhandluke - (United States of America)

I am a former employee of Westwoood College. I am here to ask all of you to not trust anything your admission advisors tell you. They will lie to you or at the very least stretch the truth so far out you can't recognize it anymore. They are not looking out for your best interest. We as human beings base all of our actions on two criteria.

 1) Because it feels good

2) Because it hurts

The people working at Westwood College are not bad people. They have so much pressure on them to bring students its ridiculous. Its about as high stress sales job as you will ever find. (Which is why they run through so many admission advisors) All sales meetings are masked with changing lives slogans and helping students succeed. However the actions of the company and management are that of NOT caring about the employee or the student. The company only cares about new enrollments or new students the advisor is bringing in. They only care about the advisor hitting your weekly numbers. If a student stays at the school for 21 days it is considered a success. Most advisors at the company dont last 90 days because of the high pressure sales quota required to keep the job. They dont get paid commission on students, but what they do get to do is still have a job the next week if they meet their numbers. There salary is directly tied to how many students they bring in. NOT how many students succeed, NOT how many of their students graduate. But directly tied to how many students they bring into the school on a weekly and monthly basis. The salary is tied to how many starts new students they bring in for the next month. As long as student can get financial aide and can pay for the school the advisor will tell them anything to get them to last for 21 days so they still have a job. This company is just as harsh to their advisors as they are to the students. I will be contacting Higher Education here in Colorado and share my knowledge of the school and plead with them to kick them out of Colorado for the benefit of the state. I worked for the company for 2 years and was one of their top admission advisors. I truly believed in the company until I started doing my own research and seeing what the school was really about. I highly doubt any of the advisors at the school have ever been around to see any of "their" students actually graduate. This school is in the process of losing their national accreditation nationwide. Here in Colorado they are about to get kicked out of the state for their aggressive recruiting practices and false claims. Do you and your kids a favor, do your research and do not trust anyone at this school.

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#2 Consumer Suggestion

Facebook Group to Fight Back

AUTHOR: Jill Estes - Consumer Warning Network - (U.S.A.)

My name is Jill Estes and I am a lawyer with a consumer advocacy group in Tampa, FL. We have begun an investigation into Westwood College and Westwood College Online. Our research is potentially leading to a class action lawsuit, but while we pursue the legal avenues, we've created a forum for all prior Westwood students to share their stories and to warn other students or potential students about the college's practices. I saw your post on (((Redacted)))and thought you would be interested in answering this rallying cry. If you are a Facebook user, please join the group "Warnings about Westwood College!" and share your story. We'll use this forum to provide updates if a case is filed as well as to find stories to highlight in any investigative pieces that we do. Please also share this site with any other former or current Westwood students that you know. The more people that participate, the louder your voices will be heard!

Jillian Estes, Esq.
Consumer Warning Network

CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report.
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#3 UPDATE EX-employee responds

You've got to be kidding me.....

AUTHOR: J.r. - (U.S.A.)

Wow, what a joke! Comparing Westwood to Harvard is certainly something I never heard before. If Westwood is comparable to Harvard, then answer me this. Why is Westwood scrambling for students while Harvard is strict on their criteria have no problems enrolling students? Believe me, I know, I was an admissions representative at Westwood. I remember calling prospective students 5+ times a day just to try to get them possibly enrolled there so that I can keep my job. Do you think that Harvard has that problem? Heck No!
When it comes down to it, Westwood will accept anyone that is breathing as long as they have a GED or high school diploma, whereas Harvard has very strict qualifications for you to even apply let alone get accepted. I know that you work for Westwood and have a biased opinion, but PLEASE let's not compare Ivy League schools to mediocre washed-down so called "colleges."
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#4 UPDATE Employee

Accepting credits from other institutions

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

Whether or not school "B" accepts credits from school "A" has NOTHING to do with whether or not school "A" is a good school or a bad school. Different schools sometimes have different curriculums and different courses within those curriculums. It is ENTIRELY up to the accepting school to determine whether or not they will or will not accept another schools credits. Sometimes they will accept credits because the particular course taught at the other school matches what they teach exactly. Sometimes they cannot accept the credit because the course, although a GOOD course taught at a GOOD school, simply does not match what is taught in THEIR curriculum. Sometimes a school does not accept a credit because they want to SELL their course anyway, even though the other course reasonably matched their own.

Interesting to note: Westwood was NOT allowed to accept a course from Southern Methodist University, because the course objectives did not match, even though the courses were titled the same... also,...

A Westwood Computer Networking associate's degree graduate applied at HARVARD UNIVERSITY, BOSTON, MASS. to continue into their bachelor's program, and HARVARD ACCEPTED EVERY SINGLE WESTWOOD CREDIT.

Westwood is fully accredited and always has been with ACICS and the Texas education department. Some of the Westwood campuses are alread HLC accredited, which is regional accreditation (Like Princeton University, SMU, Cornell, Stanford, M.I.T., and others. The Dallas campus has aready been investigated and has been awarded full candidacy for HLC accreditation also.

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#5 Consumer Comment


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

The only reason that these overpriced schools are in existence, is to get the people that are too dumb for community college. GO TO COMMUNITY COLLEGE FOR A PROGRAM THAT IS NOT REQUIRING A DEGREE, unless you are in Louisiana, and you can attend the free Louisiana Technical College, campuses in most 1 horse towns in La. All you pay for are your books and perhaps small fees of a couple of hundred dollars. See advice below from a different thread:

I was raised in Louisiana and have resided in Texas for the last 18 years. I attended college and Vo Tech Education in both states. Although I am unfamiliar with the other 48 states educational systems, let me explain something about the difference in public Vo -Tech Education and a private career technical school.
Louisiana is a notoriously poor state. Louisiana has public Vocational and Technical schools there because community college was pretty much non existent there until the mid 90's. Some examples of this are the following schools I am familiar with. TH Harris Vo Tech, Opelousas, Louisiana and Lafayette Regional Technical, in Lafayette, Louisiana. Lets say a person is interested in taking something like Medical/Nursing/Pharmacy Assistant, Aircraft Mechanic, NDT, Business Office/Secretarial they pay a small tuition, say 200.00 for a quarter and pay for all their own books, and supplies. Student aid is offered.
All the instructors are definitely cerfified. The schools are run by the state public education system so they know that they cannot charge a person 25,000 to become a Nurse Assistant whose average wages are 9.00 an hour. My ex husband attended the public vo tech school in Lafayette, Louisiana and took Electronics Technology. When all was said and done he had paid approx. total 3,000 in tuition and another 1000 in books and supplies, and places like ITT Tech are charging people 50,000. It's a BIG SCAM!!! MY ex got an excellent post secondary education and even the opportunity to work for NASA.
I do not know if other states have public vo tech education, however if a person wants to major in Criminal Justice go to either a 2 or 4 year college because if one wants to become a police officer, they will need at least 60 credit hours from either a 2 0r 4 year state college, not a private career school. Now if a person wants to take something like Sound & Recording Engineer they can attend a specialty private career school because most 2 year colleges or public vo tech schools will not offer this. But even with that said, still investigate the school and do your homework and stay on top of things and then you won't get a big SCAM!! If people would just investigate their state's employment web pages, average wages are stated for various careers and those wages are not some uninformed sales recruiter making a bogus sales pitch saying someone can earn 15.00 an hour as a nursing assistant.

I have attended community college (Texas) 4 year college (Louisiana) and a for profit career school on line, however those studies were more about personal enrichment and additional knowledge, more than transferring credit courses. When I transferred my college credit from Louisiana I had 25 credit hours, Texas only accepted 15 and I had to take a CLEP test to test out of the rest of my English courses. If every future student in the US would accept this advice, they would all be much better off and for profit career schools with heavy handed sales tactics would be curbed down to very specialty schools and education for more common careers would shift exclusively to community colleges and public vo tech schools if offered in their state.
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#6 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Sure it's accredited......

AUTHOR: J.r. - (U.S.A.)

Indeed, you are correct that this school is NATIONALLY accredited. However, you forgot to mention that this school is not REGIONALLY accredited, meaning that if a student tries to transfer their credits to a local college or university, it's NOT going to happen. Students at this college are paying 75K for a bachelor's degree that can't even transfer to a different college if they so chose. What does this tell you about Westwood?
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#7 UPDATE Employee

Westwood College IS accredited, of course...

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

Westwood College in Dallas is and always has been an accredited college. It is accredited by the ACICS and the state of Texas, which both accedit other colleges in Texas. You cannot give out college degrees unless you are accredited any more than you can make up and print your own drivers licenses.

All of the actual instructors at Westwood come from actual industry experience. I myself teach Computer Network Engineering and have over 30 years of experience in Computer Programming and Telecom. I spent 10 years working for Nortel in both land line and cellular telecommunication and as a troubleshooting engineer in the Nortel ETAS Region 1 group.

I have been with the college in Dallas since the day it opened its doors. Not all instructors are great instructors and not all instructors are bad instructors, but the point is that if a student does not want to learn the material, there is nothing ANY instructor can do for them. No one can MAKE them learn. However, if the student DOES want to learn the material, there is nothing we can do to stop the student. If the students want to spend all of their time playing on the internet, it is the student's fault, not the instructor's or the school's fault. You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink. We get a lot of students who are young enough, smart enough, and strong enough to learn the material, but they just aren't MAN enough to do so. There comes a time when you have to stop whimpering and sucking your thumb, put away your toys, grow up, and take your life seriously and do the work. We are not here to be your Mommy and Daddy.

Certain things were said about J. Gonzales. He is no longer with Westwood. He recently got a job with AT&T in engineering. He was a GREAT program director, and managed the department VERY well. He worked his students very hard, including the lazy ones. He has more certifications and accreditations than his students will probably EVER see. He has his MCSE, CCNA, A+ and several others. Many students do NOT like the fast, hard pace at which he drove his students to learn this extremely complex material. Many of them did not like the demanding high standards that he set for them. Many other of his students, however, DO praise him as one of the BEST instructors they have ever had BECAUSE he drives them to succeed. And, those students DO succeed in the industry.
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#8 UPDATE EX-employee responds

I think TxGirl is one of the many who have been brainwashed by Westwood.

AUTHOR: Mkdenver1 - (U.S.A.)

JJ nails it dead on. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if he/she and I were coworkers at one time since he/she pointed out several things I had to suffer through.

Look around the internet. It's not just here on ror.com that all the Westwood complaints are posted. There are big lawsuits going on for pretty much every campus across the country, even for their online education.

As an ex-employee of WOL, I can say the only reason I stayed a year and a half there was for one thing: a paycheck. After my first three months, I was deeply questioning what I was selling. I felt extremely uncomfortable telling people who made just $25k/year with horrible credit that they can afford this without any issues. And those who could afford Westwood's education may as well take their money to a REAL institution! During one of my enrollments, one of the students I signed up said they went to a Payday Loan store to get $100 to pay for the enrollment. Of course, I had to say they did a great job in doing that and it was a great decision, when in fact it was one of the worse things a student could do and I had an absolutely sick feeling in me after that.

They will make you believe you'll only be paying $150/month. Well, $150/month doesn't make much of a dent in a $70k education that is so watered down you may as well go to an elementary school for the same type of education.

About the only thing I did like about WOL was the fact they sent actual textbooks to all students. I'm at another college right now taking online and it's like pulling teeth to get a real textbook and most of the time it's impossible. I hate e-books! That's about the only thing I don't like about my current college I'm attending.

So folks, if you have the guts to attend (or work for) Westwood, just really be careful on who you're dealing with. Be aware of the admissions reps who "do what it takes" to get students; any students. Don't believe much of anything they say. Odds are they're just trying to keep their job by screwing students blue.
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#9 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Westwood sure does change lives..but for the wrose

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

This school is nothing but a joke. In all my life I have never seen such a greedy and immoral company that could care less about their employees and just care about getting people to sign up. This school takes advantage of people who want to better themselves and wants them to sign up for a 75K useless degree that most employers know nothing about. Look at all the negative responses from people who have went to school here. They are in debt and can't find jobs! Txgirl, do you really feel like you are helping people?
I highly doubt Westwood will ever obtain regional accredidation. Yes, they are a candidate, but that means they have to prove themselves. Quite honestly, Westwood has nothing to show. As far as turnover goes, I have never seen such high turnover at a job, especially in admissions. Westwood treats their admissions people like slaves and cares only about getting people to sign up and start. The selling powerpoint slides that you are trained on are misleading.

For example, Westwood claims that they have been around since the 1950s, but Colorado state incorporation records indicate the current owner began business in 1986. Likewise, Westwood claims that 83% of their graduates find jobs, however, that is based of off 2005 statistics if you look closely on their website.
If anyone is still considering becoming a student for this school. Please check out this link below and this site as well to see how other people have become negatively affected by this school. (((ROR redacted)))

sorry, allowing you to give a competitors name would instigate others to just file against their competition, to only come back later to suggest their company your comments on this policy are welcome! CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report.

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#10 UPDATE Employee

Do your research!

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

I would like to post a few comments in regard to this posting.

First, Westwood's instructors most hold a Master's degree in the subject they are taking with the exception of the medical programs and they are only hired if they have a medical education coupled with experience in the field. There is a strenuous hiring process with background checks so only the most qualified get through. Make sure that who ever is feeding these lies to you isn't just holding a grudge.

Second, Westwood actually does hold accreditation with ACICS which gives the school nationwide accreditation. The school is audited frequently, making sure that all rules are abided by. The school is also getting candidacy for HLC accreditation which puts the school on the same playing field as UNT, UTA, and other local college. It's called Regional Accreditation and they are well on their way to obtaining this. Again, it's requires heavy preparation, and the school really has to impress them to get this type of accreditation. And Westwood IS a candidate!

Third, Independent Studies have nothing to do with the school not having enough money or instructors. Students are usually in independent study classes because somewhere along the way, the student didn't follow his or her course plan causing them to get off of their education track. This can be caused by failing a class, getting dropped due to poor attendence or switching from days to nights and vice versa. There is no point in making a student and a teacher sit in a class for three hours with one or two students. Think about it. I know when I was in college, I paid extra money to do independent studies because I could do the work at my own pace.

Fourth, a student can't get accepted until they test. End of story. Also, if they haven't paid the full application and registration fee up front, then it's charged to their account - they'll wind up paying it one way or another.

Fifth, people go to school so that they will graduate with a better life for themselves. If a student can't afford it, that is one more reason to get an education - FOR A BETTER LIFE!! And schools can't discriminate on who wants to go there. They have to let EVERYONE in and do everything in their power to help that student succeed. Wouldn't you want someone to give you a chance if that were you? And don't quote statistics you can't back up. If 75% of the students quit, a school couldn't stay open.

Employees leave for several reasons, not just because they find better jobs. Some instructors only teach certain courses and if that particular course isn't offered or it's offered at a time that doesn't work with their schedule, then they really don't have a choice. This is most of the turnover. I hope everyone uses their current jobs for stepping stones. I like to believe that there is always something better out there.

As far as resumes go, I'm glad someone is there to help guide students. It is the Advisor's job to help let the students know what the employers are looking for. How might one know what the empoyers are looking for you might ask? Because they develop relationships with them. If you tell the Advisor that you want a particular job that he or she found in the newspaper, I promise you that they are getting on the phone or email to build relationships with that employer so you can get an interview with them. If you knew how many resumes companies get when they post jobs, then you would be happy you have someone like this on your side.

As far as resume help goes, you want yours to stand out! Do what the Advisor says and see how may interviews you get! Better yet, you and your friends should keep your resumes the way you have them and see how many calls you get...my bet is that there won't be too many! You'll see that they know what they're talkign about! Director of CDS is one of the most stressful jobs on campus. They get audited frequently and have numbers they have to meet too-they will go above and beyond to help you get a job. You shold understand something else, too. Their job is NOT to find you a job. Their job is to ASSIST you in finding your OWN job. If you're two terms away from graduating you should already be looking anyway.

Westwood is a great choice for many students and I have seen so many lives changed for the better. I will never forget the student who called me crying on the phone because she landed a CAD job with a major retailer - she told me she could finally afford the wedding that she and her fiance were looking forward to one day-as well as planning for a family. She told me that she was looking forward to getting her own place and moving out of her parents' house since she was making good money now. I've personally seen the joy that education brings students. You should talk to your Director of Education or Executive Director if you are having problems. No one at this school wants students to graduate without feeling a sense of accomplishment.
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#11 Consumer Comment

Did they recently lose their accreditation?

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

You say that the school is not properly accredited ... did they recently lose their accreditation? A little research shows that they were NEVER fully accredited. Numerous schools around the country are not accredited and are able to legally operate -- those who do not like this choose to go to other schools instead.

As for your claim about "independent study" being a rip off too ... EVERY school charges either the same amount or MORE to take a class online. Whether or not you are in a real "classroom environment" as you say, has nothing to do with it. If it is a credit-bearing course, you have to pay to take it!

Your complaints overall sound as if they are stemming from lack of individual research and understanding about how colleges in general, and this particular institution, work.
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