Heard: Whistleblower Pops Lid On Deceit At EDMC Schools
By Wired Academic on November 27, 2012
Cost of Education, Domestic, Education Quality, Ethics, For-Profit, Friend, Fraud, or Fishy, Gainful Employment, Lawsuits & Legal, Minorities, Regulatory, Required, Retention Rates, Student Loans, Universities & Colleges
Mark Greenblatt at ABC News filed an report about an Education Management Corp. – EDMC – whistleblower who says the company is lying about its job-placement rates. It’s another sign of For-profit colleges caring too much about their shareholders and not enough about their customers or their regulators (i.e. the federal government). As always, we welcome students to share their opinions and stories in the comments section below or to email our staff with the same.
Jason Sobek says he left his job as admissions supervisor at the nation’s second-largest operator of for-profit colleges — the Education Management Corp., or EDMC — on good terms. But after he quit, Sobek filed a whistle-blower lawsuit against this provider of post-secondary education, alleging its marketing materials deceived prospective students by falsely inflating job placement statistics at its many campuses around the country. “They manipulated the job placement rates by counting students working in a job that they did not need the degree for,” Sobek told ABC News. “In my opinion, it’s a wretched fraud.”
Before he left EDMC, a publicly traded for-profit corporation that operates such colleges as the Art Institutes, Brown Mackie College, Argosy University and South University Online, Sobek downloaded a trove of data and documents, which, he alleges, support his claims.
Sobek gave ABC News an exclusive look at one of the internal nationwide job placement databases at EDMC, which shows the degrees students received upon graduation and what jobs (if any) they obtained. Sobek says the database also stated whether the job could be counted as “related” to their degree for the purpose of marketing job placement success rates to potential students. Sobek claims the data reveal a pattern of fraudulently counting students as landing great jobs to create a false impression for future students. “It is intentional. It’s the business model,” he says. Sarah Fisher, a graduate of EDMC’s business management program at Brown Mackie College in South Bend, Ind., says she believes the school made her false promises. “They told me I’d be making $35,000 to $40,000 a year,” she says.
To help pay her way through school, Fisher, a single mother, took a job at Walmart making $16,000 a year. She took the job long before she graduated, but Brown Mackie College still counted that customer service job as “related” to her business management degree….
Via ABC News
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