Nearly three dozen Everest College students are furious they haven't received the medical certifications they paid for. The Hayward California students who attend a branch of Corinthian College refused to go to class until they get some answers.
Whether they attend class or not, the students have to pay $100.
Some of the students have been attending school for eight months. Three weeks ago they found out that the college does not supply them with a certificate they were told they would get, in order to obtain the medical positions they want.
The students are all studying medical assisting and they paid $16,000 for an eight-month course. They were told the credits earned at the school do not transfer to any community or four-year college and that has many of them angry.
Corinthian/Everest is a notorious diploma mill that preys on low-income students. It recently settled a $6.5 million lawsuit with the state of California.
Now Corinthian's Haywood, California campus is in revolt.
Corinthian/Everest will open a campus in Milwaukee next year. The Redevelopment Authority of Milwaukee provided it with $11 million in interest free bonds, the city's Board of Zoning Appeals approved a zoning variance to allow Corinthian/Everest to set up shop, and the Milwaukee Journal editorial Board urged BOZA approval.
Is Milwaukee really so desperate that we court any investment? And what will the Journal Sentinel and the City do when Corinthian's Milwaukee students are left with mountains of debt and broken dreams?
"So say I want to go out and get me a job in the medical field right now I can't. I don't have a diploma to present to them that says I've officially graduated," Everest College student Kiara Dunbar said." I graduated in December. I finished my externship in the middle of December. It is March now, you are supposed to get a diploma at least two weeks after you grad out. You have to grad out within three days or it's like you never came."
"I haven't gotten a phone call to say, you know, to say it's taking a while or anything," Everest College student Nakita Dunbar said.
Eduardo Hernandez was after a credential that would lead to a job and will now have to pay for another school.
"It says we are not accredited by the AAMA. If you go looking for jobs in certain hospitals they will tell you right up front they will not accept anyone not accredited by the AAMA," he said.
That's what students are being told by the American Association for Medical Assistants. They claim to have found out about the accreditation problem after they were deep into the program and had paid their non-refundable tuition
And Veronica Munson, teacher who was fired, says she was told to keep students in the dark.
"Every director of education told us 'do not discuss that [accreditation] with the students," she said.
After four years at the college, she was fired after taking students off campus to lunch -- a trip she says she had permission for from her supervisor.
ABC7 talked to the state Medical Assistant's Education Review Board and found the Hayward Campus is one of several Everest operates in California that the board say is not accredited to credential medical assistants. In a statement to ABC7 Everest College writes: "Everest College-Hayward maintains quality standards and is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCC), a national accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education."
The AAMA told ABC7 that the accreditation the college mentions is one that is given to any career school or college in order to operate. It doesn't mean they can certify medical assistance.