Fired Prez Calls Out Chain College
SANTA ANA, Calif. (CN) - International Education Corp., a profit-seeking chain college, gives students final exams it knows they will fail, to keep federal and private tuition aid coming until it is used up, says a former campus president who claims he was fired for objecting.
Khalifa Alshammiry sued IEC Corp. dba International Education Corp., on Monday in Orange County Court.
Formed in 1996 as part of the United Electronics Institute's expanding operations, IEC is a private for-profit college that offers degrees in several fields of study, including business management, criminal justice and medical assisting. It has 17 campuses around the country, including Van Nuys, Chula Vista, and Fresno, Calif., and Morrow, Ga.
Alshammiry says he was hired in September 2009 as area president and was subsequently promoted to senior area president. He claims that IEC devised the final exam scam to keep its accreditation and keep the financial aid coming.
To remain accredited, IEC must ensure that at least 67 percent of its graduates have a job within a year of graduating, according to the complaint.
Since it knew what kind of employment opportunities awaited its students upon graduation, Alshammiry says, IEC deliberately overenrolled students, taught them a curriculum of standard difficulty, then devised a final exam it knew only a few students could pass, so it could maintain the 67 percent job placement rate necessary for accreditation.
"Simply stated, IEC created a curriculum that IEC knew would create a false sense of knowledge and ability in its students, which IEC knew would not prepare a significant percentage of its students to take and pass the final assessment, but that IEC also knew its students would not realize until a point in time after IEC would have received all of the federal financial aid-tuition and/or private loan disbursements from the students," the complaint states.
When Alshammiry learned this, he says, he complained to IEC executives and proposed another curriculum and final exam plan that would give every student a fair shot at graduating.
But IEC's executives, including CEO Fardad Fateri, told him he needed to go along with their plan and develop and submit a curriculum that followed its guidelines, according to the complaint.
Fateri is not a party to the complaint.
Alshammiry says that when he refused to cooperate, IEC fired him.
IEC did not return requests for comment by the close of business hours Thursday.
Alshammiry seeks $1,579,300 in general and special damages and $5,998,400 in punitive damages for wrongful termination, intentional infliction of emotional distress and breach of contract.
He is represented by Lara Abuzeid of Temecula.