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Coakley announces consent judgment with for-profit school

By Bryan Cohen | Nov 1, 2013

PLYMOUTH, Mass. (Legal Newsline) -- Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley on Thursday announced a $425,000 consent judgment with a Brockton for-profit school to resolve allegations it made misleading statements about job placement numbers and its training programs.

Coakley's office filed a complaint in April against Sullivan and Cogliano Training Centers Inc., alleging the school counted fast food and big box store jobs in its medical office job placement numbers.

The attorney general alleged that while S&C promoted that between 70 and 100 percent of graduates received medical office jobs, the proportion of employed graduates was actually less than 25 percent.

S&C also allegedly misled students by using the title "Medical Assistant" in its promotional materials despite never offering such a curriculum.

"We allege this for-profit school misrepresented job placement numbers and used misleading ads to solicit students, ultimately leaving graduates with large amounts of debt," Coakley said in a statement "We are pleased that this settlement will provide restitution to help students.

"We are continuing our investigation into the for-profit school industry to protect students and help ensure they are getting the benefits they are paying for."

Under the terms of the consent judgment, S&C must pay $425,000 in loan relief to impacted students, shut down its programs for Medical Office Assistant and Office Professional-Medical Concentration training, make internships available in the field of study to students whose courses require internships, disclose publicly that S&C teachers primarily do not teach, remove positions from its job placement figures at big box, fast food and similar non-office jobs, identify the minimum course completion times in its advertising and charge students as part of tuition or fees no more than what vendors actually charge for standard certification tests.

Coakley has significant concerns about the for-profit school industry's business model in Massachusetts and is currently conducting a comprehensive inquiry into the industry.

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