Complaint Review: Florida Career College - Nationwide
Florida Career College IEC - International Education Corporation Telling it Like it Is Nationwide
*REBUTTAL Individual responds: Florida career college
This is a message for anyone considering attending Florida Career College, regardless of campus or program. These facts are true and correct as of the date of this article, 6/11/ 2015. On August 21, 2014, Education Training Corporation, the former parent company of Florida Career College, filed for bankruptcy, after securing the sale of the Florida Career College campuses to a company from California. On August 22, 2014, all Florida Career College campuses commenced operations under the new corporate umbrella of IEC, International Education Corporation. After obtaining applicable accreditation and governmental approvals, on March 10, 2015, all Florida Career Colleges fully adopted the IEC model, resulting in a number of changes for the students. These changes were instituted in spite of student protest, and with no regard whatsoever as to how they would affect the students’ lives. Students who desired to continue their education at FCC were faced with the requirement of signing a new enrollment agreement, in essence, totally disregarding the legally binding contract they had previously entered into with FCC, or facing the possibility of being stuck with non-transferable credits and Federal loan debt that they may not be able to pay back if they do not complete their education. The first change I would like to talk about is the CLASS SCHEDULE. Classes were extended by 4 hours per week, under the guise of “shorter program completion times”. This meant the morning students would now attend classes Monday through Friday, rather than just Monday through Thursday. The pitfalls: 1) Many of our students had jobs on Fridays, and either had to quit their jobs or lost their jobs because their employers could not accommodate their new class schedule. 2) Many of our students who own automobiles (many of them use public transportation) sometimes do not have the money to pay for gas to get to school. Having to come to class five days a week instead of four represented an insurmountable hardship for many. Administration was deaf to the students’ pleas and hardships. The evening session was changed from 6:00 to 10:00 PM to 5:30 to 10:30 PM, Monday through Thursday. The pitfalls: 1) Many of our students work until 5:00 PM, and some have to wait for partners or relatives, who also work until 5:00, to arrive at their homes to take care of their children, so they can attend evening classes. Many of these students were lucky to make it to class by 6:00, let alone 5:30. The result is that many, if not all of the instructors, had to change their method of teaching to accommodate the hard working late comers by having the students who arrived on time work on assignments and such between 5:30 and 6:00, and then start teaching at 6:00 PM. 2) Public transportation stops at specific times, forcing many of the evening students to leave early and miss anywhere from one hour to thirty minutes of class, which again forced instructors to accommodate them by stopping lectures early, while the students that stayed essentially got to work on their homework assignments at school. In essence, students got one hour of homework done at school, but the actual teaching/learning time was not extended. 3) Even though the classes were now longer in order to achieve the “shorter program completion times”, many of the courses were combined, the result being that many of the subjects that were being taught under the old curriculum were dropped, so the students were no longer learning things they were learning under the old curriculum. The second change I would like to talk about is SWITCHING FROM A NON-ATTENDANCE TAKING INSTITUTION TO AN ATTENDANCE TAKING INSTITUTION. Under the IEC model, any student who misses more than 25% of class time in any given module (a module is four weeks long or 80 hours) would automatically fail the class. This posed a problem particularly for evening students who could not arrive on time due to work schedules or had to leave early due to public transportation schedules. To make a long story short, the first module that FCC officially was an attendance taking institution, approximately 10% of the students failed because they missed over 25% of the total number of hours in a module. Had it not been for the attendance taking rule, all of these students would have passed their classes and moved on to the next class. Instead, they came to class at the beginning of the next module only to find out that they had to repeat the class. Some of these students were straight A students, and some of them would have actually graduated that module, had it not been for the new attendance taking rule. This issue is compounded by the fact that, since the class had been offered the previous module, and there is a specific sequence in which classes are offered, it could be several modules before the student can retake the specific class, and in some instances, graduate! This meant that some of the students, if the particular class was a prerequisite for more advanced classes, would not have a class available to them for several modules. The third subject I would like to touch on is that, even though each module lasts four weeks, the IEC model dictates that NEW STUDENTS START EVERY TWO WEEKS, basically creating two sets of classes that go on at the same time, with start dates that are two weeks apart. The pitfalls: 1) Sometimes the number of students that start in any given program is so small (1, 2, or 3) that instead of hiring an instructor to teach these brand new students, they put them in the same class with other more advanced students. This creates a problem in that the new students don’t have the knowledge of the subject matter that the more advanced students have already learned, putting the new students at a disadvantage and holding the more advanced students back while the instructor brings the new students up to speed. 2) Sometimes not only are new students scheduled to join more advanced students, but they are scheduled for a totally different class than the other students are, forcing the instructor to teach two classes in the same room and at the same time! 3) Sometimes, again because of the small number of students per start, instructors will have three different classes in the same room at the same time! 4) And sometimes, to make matters worse, an “A” module student is placed in a “B” module classroom, which means that they are already two weeks behind, and that after only two weeks of instruction, the “B” module will end, leaving the “A” module student without an instructor! Not related to curriculum, but still impacting the quality of education and services, some of the campuses, in an effort to reduce their budgets, have recently eliminated the position of the person that assists students in the LIBRARY with doing research for their assignments, etc. They typically would assign one or more instructors to cover the library, the issue being that since instructors are teaching, there is no one to assist students while classes are in session, but only after classes have ended. Instructors also have a number of other duties to complete, so they are not completely focused on helping the students in this manner. Next, I would like to address PLACEMENTS. 1) Placing graduates is a very competitive “sport” (yes, noticed that I said “sport”). The placement departments from the different campuses compete against each other constantly, based on the percentage of “graduating students” that they place, and they get rewarded for their performance. In order to place as many “graduating students” as possible, they sometimes place students in less than desirable working environments. When the student who has already graduated is forced to quit due to the negative working conditions, usually involving illegal activities, discrimination, and/or sexual advances, and comes back to the placement department to ask for assistance in securing a job in a more normal environment, they are faced with the comment that “our students who are getting ready to graduate are our top priority; here is a list of job search engines you can use to find a job”. The reason for this is that students who have already graduated do not count towards the department’s monthly ratings; only the students who are getting ready to graduate do, therefore, they have no interest in assisting the graduates. 2) If you happen to be an A student who has language barriers (many of FCC students come from different countries and speak different primary languages), you may be hard to place, yet, you will still have student loans that you will have to pay back. 3) If you happen to be a student who just barely gets by and graduates with a C average, you may be hard to place, yet, you will still have student loans that you will have to pay back. 4) If you happen to be an ATB student (a student who was able to attend college by qualifying for the “Ability to Benefit” program, but does not have a High School diploma or a GED), you may be hard to place due to the fact that the majority of employers require a High School diploma, even if you have a college diploma, yet, you will still have student loans that you will have to pay back. 5) If you happen to be a convicted felon (many of our students fall into this category) and you did not choose your program carefully (Admissions will enroll you in whatever program you want to enroll in, without regard to factors that may affect employability), you may not be employable in your chosen field, yet, you will still have student loans that you will have to pay back. The next thing I am going to point out is that unless a student can pay cash for the gap between their tuition and the amount (of the tuition) covered by the Federal student loan(s) they qualify for, the student will need to MAKE MONTHLY PAYMENTS TO PAY BACK THE ADDITIONAL LOAN WHILE ENROLLED IN SCHOOL. This is not new since IEC, but a lot of students sign up thinking that they won’t have to make payments until after graduation, only to find out that they do. Last but not least, I would like to address CREDIT TRANSFERS. There are two types of accreditation: national and regional. Typically, a regionally accredited school does not accept credits from a nationally accredited school and vice-versa. The final decision as to whether credits earned at FCC will be accepted by another educational institution rests solely on the institution that the student intends to transfer to (receiving institution). This is something that is usually misunderstood. FCC has no control over which institutions will accept their credits or not. I hope this has been enlightening and helpful to anyone considering attending Florida Career College.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/11/2015 11:56 AM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/florida-career-college/nationwide/florida-career-college-iec-international-education-corporation-telling-it-like-it-is-na-1234975. 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content
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