CHICAGO (CN) – The Illinois School of Health Careers defrauded students by charging $13,750 tuition for classes that did not qualify them to take state boards, as promised, as the school’s program was not approved by the state, a class action claims in Cook County Court. Most students were “low-income residents of the Chicagoland area,” according to the complaint.
The class also sued the Illinois School of Health Careers’ corporate parent, Forefront Education, a Delaware corporation.
Students say the school charged them $13,750 for a 32-week Patient Care Technician Program. The school also offers a dental assistant program, and a medical assistant program and claims to be “accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools,” the complaint states.
The class claims the school promised that its classes are taught by expert instructors, that the Patient Care Technician (PCT) program is approved by the Illinois State Board of Education and that graduates will be prepared for professional careers.
ISHC also promised that it had contracts with hospitals and that students could complete externships near their homes, as a requirement of the PCT program, the students say.
In reality, the class claims, ISHC did not give them firsthand training experience and did not qualify them to take the state board exams to become Certified Nursing Assistants.
ISHC did not contract with any hospitals, but gave students a chance to work only at one nursing facility far from where most the students lived.
They say that the PTC program could not be completed in 32 weeks, and it was deficient anyway.
“Because graduates of ISHC’s PCT Program cannot become CNAs, were not provided with adequate instruction from qualified faculty, were not given adequate instruction or training of the clinical skills advertised by [the school], and could not perform externships in hospitals, PCT Program graduates are not, and cannot be, qualified to work in the careers represented by [ISHC],” according to the complaint.
They program cost each student $13,750 in tuition, for which they used “personal funds, student loans and/or federal grants.”
“Additionally, ISHC’s Certified Nursing Assistant program has never been approved by the Illinois Department of Health, so PCT Program graduates cannot become Certified Nursing Assistants, as promised by defendants,” according to the complaint.
The students demand disgorgement and damages for fraud, deceptive trade, unjust enrichment and breach of contract. They also want the school enjoined from collecting tuition or student loan payments.
Their lead counsel is Thomas Zimmerman Jr.