College of DuPage (ECWd) –
On December 12, 2014, a group of nine students filed a Verified Complaint for Temporary Restraining Order, Preliminary and Permanent Injunction, and Other Relief based on Breach of Contract/Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Practices Act in DuPage County Circuit Court.
This complaint number 2014CH002222, names the College, and Drs Robert Breuder, Thomas Cameron, and Vickie Gukenberger as Defendants.
The first Count alleges Breach of Contract for discontinuing the Program Plaintiffs had originally entered, prior to Plaintiffs completing said program of instruction.
The second Count alleges violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Practices Act, in that Defendants failed to disclose to Plaintiffs that the Program was not approved/accredited prior to enrolling them, and accepted tuition payments while failing to disclose the Program’s non-accreditation status.
Plaintiff’s are simply requesting they be allowed to finish the Program they started, and be reimbursed their attorney fees.
Further information provided to us:
Nursing Students file suit against College of DuPage and Others for Breach of Contract
After successful completion of a rigorous Licensed Practical Nursing Program at College of DuPage, the students listed in the lawsuit with the exception of one previous ADN student who was readmitted. The students choose the College of DuPpage to complete their final year to become Registered Nurses, based on their positive, nurturing, and thorough experience of the Licensed Practical Nursing Program at the college.
In previous years, the transition program from LPN to RN with an Associate Degree in Nursing, were comprised of a full year (3 semesters). These students met all the extensive qualifications necessary for College of DuPage’s final transition program. This program was curtailed into only two semesters’, summer and fall.
In the summer semester, despite the college’s disorganization, all students were successful in passing the 8 week semester. Another issue that the students faced was the fact that the fall semester wasn’t approved by the State of Illinois therefore the students needed to wait to register for the Fall semester.
What would the students have done had the fall part of the program not been approved? How can an educational institution have a program and not have it ALL approved before the students start? Why would the college not disclose to the students that it was not yet approved before they began the program?
The beginning of fall semester many of the students raised concerns after the first exam when all students but 1 failed. Students expressed concerns first with the professor, and with no advice or guidance followed the chain of command to the faculty student advisor. In order to have their concerns heard by the Associate Dean of Nursing, Dr. Vickie Gukenberger, students were required to complete student concern forms detailing each student’s issues.
In response to all of the student concerns, Dr. Gukenberger, required all students to attend a mandatory meeting for all those who submitted student concern forms. As they were told in this meeting, there was no discussion, and the result was no resolution to the majority of student concerns. As the semester went on with continued effort from the students and NO change another concern letter was composed by the students and directed to the Dean of Health Sciences, Dr. Thomas Cameron.
Dr. Cameron set up another meeting with the students from the class where now 22 students of the 26 enrolled expressed their concerns with the class. One of the dean’s first questions to them was “How is it that I know nothing of this and that this is the first time I am hearing of this?” The students were wondering the same thing.
At that point in time at least half of the class was already failing. Basically, Dr. Cameron explained to the students that the college’s only solution to the students concerns were to offer the students half of their tuition back if they withdrew by the “official” drop date, those who wanted to keep trying were allowed to withdraw as late as the Friday before finals, but with no tuition reimbursement. Dr. Cameron then proceeded to explain that it is unheard of that colleges extended their withdrawal dates especially so close to the end of the semester. Many of the students continued on and refused to withdraw before the final exam.
As days went by, and the closer it got to the end of the semester, the Friday before the final exam, one of the instructors came to the classroom and students were told that since so many of the students were so close to passing they wanted to extend the drop date until after the final exam so students could make a decision whether to drop and not have their grade point average affected. Was this a mere coincide that 9 students had already filed a lawsuit the same day the college decided to extend the withdrawal date until after the final exam to make a decision?
It seems extremely unfair to have used these 26 students as guinea pigs for this one-time transition program, especially when nursing students pay upwards of double the costs of other students. According to the student we spoke with, these students sacrificed so much for this program, and the school failed the students. “They were not given a fair chance to succeed and were doomed from the beginning. Overall, the college failed these students. The students found this unacceptable and not in keeping with the college’s mission statements.”