DENVER (CN) - CollegeAmerica, which claims to be "known for its high educational standards," provides students with defective equipment, clueless teachers and helpless administrators, a former student claims in court.
Schimar Mora sued the Center for Excellence in Higher Education dba CollegeAmerica in Denver County Court. She claims the profit-seeking chain college defrauded her of $65,000 for a worthless bachelor's degree. When she asked for an itemized accounting of her tuition expenses, she says, a college official gave her a number on a "sticky note."
Mora claims CollegeAmerica officials persuaded her to enroll - twice - by lying about the school's degree programs and the career opportunities available to its graduates.
The complaints states: "In June 2007, Ms. Mora became interested in attending CollegeAmerica at its Fort Collins campus.
"She was told that CollegeAmerica offered a quality education designed for people who work.
"She was told that she needed to obtain at least an associates degree in order to train either as a pharmacy technician or as a radiology technician.
"She was told that CollegeAmerica offered a program which would ultimately qualify her to work either as a radiology technician, limited scope, or as a pharmacy technician.
"Ms. Mora enrolled with CollegeAmerica in June 2007 to become a radiology technician, limited scope.
"Ms. Mora's specific degree program was called a Medical Specialties Associates Degree. However, she wanted to be able to become certified as a radiology technician, limited scope. She was not told that her degree was as a medical assistant until after she had signed her enrollment agreement and paid her tuition.
"The radiology classes offered by CollegeAmerica, however, were substandard. The X-ray machines that the students used in class were out of date, and often did not even work.
"Further, the teachers did not know how to operate the machines.
"In October 2008, after attending CollegeAmerica for a year, Ms. Mora learned that the Fort Collins campus of CollegeAmerica did not offer a radiology program and that the classes offered would not prepare her for the certification examination for a radiology technician limited scope.
"Rather than terminating her study at CollegeAmerica and wasting the money that had she had already paid them for tuition, Ms. Mora thereafter changed her program of study to pharmacy assistance.
"Ms. Mora then learned that the pharmacy assistant program would not train her to be a pharmacy technician.
"She graduated with an associate's degree in medical specialties in October 2008.
"This degree allowed Ms. Mora to work as a medical assistant - something for which no degree is required.
"She sought job placement assistance from CollegeAmerica. Although they had job opportunities for medical assistants, they did not have any job opportunities for pharmacy assistants.
"Without the help of CollegeAmerica, Ms. Mora found a job working as a pharmacy technician at Walgreens. She also learned that she did not need an associate's degree in order to work in the pharmacy at Walgreens, but that Walgreens would train her."
When Mora complained, she says, school officials told her "that if she did not want to waste the time and money that she spent at CollegeAmerica, she would need to complete their bachelor's program."
Mora says she took the administrators' advice, only to be frustrated by another year of spectacular ineptitude.