Concorde Career Colleges Called a Boondoggle


     SANTA ANA, Calif. (CN) – Concorde Career Colleges lured respiratory therapy students to pay $40,000 tuition by boasting a 95 percent job placement rate within 6 months of graduation, but its real placement rate in that time frame is “zero percent,” eight students claim in a class action.
     Lead plaintiff Nolan King and his seven co-plaintiffs claim they each paid $40,000 to enroll in Concorde’s respiratory therapy program because Concorde claimed 95 percent of the program’s students found full-time jobs “within six months of graduating.”
     “(B)ut in reality, 0 percent of graduates from that respiratory therapy program have such jobs within 6 months of graduation,” the complaint states in Orange County Court.
     This is the latest in a string of lawsuits and class actions against profit-seeking chain colleges such as Concorde. Congress’ General Accountability Office found widespread fraud in recruitment for such colleges.
     In this class action, the students also claim that Concorde lied about its certification: “Defendants made false claims to the named plaintiffs and the plaintiff class that the college had all the proper certifications and the reputation necessary for graduates of the Respiratory
     Therapy Program at the college to obtain full-time employment as a respiratory therapist within 6 months of graduation, but in reality the college did not have all such necessary certifications, and when graduates of the program sought a respiratory therapist position, they found out too late that their degree is essentially useless because the college’s Respiratory Therapy Program is widely discounted and otherwise unrecognized in the real world,” the complaint states.
     The class claims that Concorde promised to give them a “performance fact sheet” before they enrolled, the college’s completion, placement and licensing rates and its graduates’ average salaries, but it never gave them the data.
     They seek $40,000 in restitution for each named plaintiff and for each of the estimated 150 class members, plus punitive damages for breach of contract, deceit, negligent misrepresentation and business code violations.
     They are represented by Mark Mazda of Irvine.
     Concorde Career Colleges is a Delaware corporation founded in 1988 and headquartered in Mission, Kan., according to its website. It claims to offer more than 20 nationally accredited vocational healthcare programs such as nursing, massage therapy and dental hygiene at 16 campuses in eight states, including four campuses in California, according to its web page, checked this morning.
     The company states on its website that its mission is to prepare “committed students for successful employment in a rewarding healthcare profession through high-caliber training, real world experience and student-centered support.”

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