+ confessions of a red-headed stepchild: sally struthers would not approve

Monday, June 14, 2004

sally struthers would not approve

Do you remember those old Sally Struthers' commercials where you could train at home for an exciting new career in just a few short weeks? Sally has moved on to helping starving children in Africa and after my stint at a career school I am happy to say that I have moved on too, only not on to another scam. For the last three years I worked for a career school, lets just say that their name was BCTI. While working there I was continually subjected to unethical and illegal practices. During a time when employment is hard to come by I couldn't do much more than speak my mind, since I really needed the paycheck. Below is an excerpt from a letter I wrote upon leaving BCTI. I mailed it to the Oregon Department of Education, ACCET (the accrediting agency for BCTI), the Federal Department of Education, the District Attorney and too many other agencies to count.

“A man in his seventies rides the bus to school each night to attend a computer school and when asked what he came to learn you will be shocked to hear that he wants to be a math teacher. He graduated from Lewis and Clark College in the 60s and already received a master’s degree in mathematics. Some students wonder how he finds his way each night because he can’t even remember the name of a classmate he has seen 5 hours a night, 5 nights a week, for over 100 class days, in a class with less than ten students. This man is over halfway through the program and can’t even use the first program introduced 100 class days ago. If you asked him which computer programs he has learned he can’t mention even 1 of the 5 that have been taught. No one knows if he suffers from a brain injury or Alzheimer’s but the obvious is that he should not be enrolled in school being charged for an education he is not capable of receiving.”

Of the twenty or so addresses emailed I only received two replies. Both showed little interest in helping see this situation get investigated.

I went to this man’s graduation last Friday. I was surprised that they used the term “honorary” in the ceremony when he was presented with his certificate. I heard from another employee of BCTI that ACCET gave them quite a scare a few days prior and BCTI decided not to charge him for his education. I am happy that I was able to accomplish that, but who is to say this won’t happen again?

In the mean time we can harass the shit out of them through the Contact Us page and ask them for more information regarding any of the following interesting subjects:

· Charging 10 thousand dollars for 7 ½ months of education.

· Used car lot interest rates on student loans, those not eligible for federal or state assistance are always eligible for a BCTI loan!

· Enrolling students who don’t speak English with no bilingual instructors on staff.

· Enrolling students who don’t read and write when the curriculum requires these skills.

· Encouraging instructors to give students 100% credit for just an attempt to do the work.

· Offering enrollment incentives for dropouts when students who enrolled the same day yet never dropped are not offered the same discount. This is a violation of ODE Private Career School Statute 581-045-0009.

· Firing an employee after she filed a workers compensation claim.

· Firing employees right before eliminating their positions all together, making them ineligible for unemployment.

· Burning through staff so quickly that in two years over 100% of the staff has changed.

And a quote from a letter written by a BCTI graduate prior to graduation:

“An me trial that has review about the paper and copies are for more people to see and different kinds of responses to the materials are outstanding and the intention are the best for getting things done. A review show everything the in what’s going on and have a better idea of what is need and not necessary for the company.”

All I can say is she received 100% for this assignment and has a ten thousand dollar school loan.