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School accused of fraud after accreditation lapse

If you are educating students, you do the best you can to make sure your programs are up to date. Sometimes, changes in the law require a short time before degrees or programs will be accredited. In lieu of a license, in that case, the school generally gives confirmation to those employers calling to discuss the student's potential job opportunity. If the school lies or doesn't get the program accredited, then a claim could be made, but when it's taking the right steps, then the school's legal team can fight back against allegations of fraud.

Former students of the University of Minnesota-Duluth have claimed that the school has been fraudulent, committing a white-collar crime against them by misrepresenting a teacher education program provided on site. The students reported that they had been involved in the Special Education and Integrated Elementary program, which started being offered in 2012. The program, known as IESE, claimed it would integrate two existing degree programs into one.

According to the school, there were changes to the accreditation processes in 2012 and 2013, which resulted in the IESE program failing to be accredited. The students claim they were not notified of this, so when they attempted to get jobs after graduation, they were denied employment.

The complaint filed by the students states that the school did try to help by providing a temporary license status to the students who had a pending job offer. The license expired in June 2015. Since then, the school has reported that all students who had successfully graduated from the programs at the school had been granted their full licenses. The Board of Teaching has allegedly been given all program updates, but the school has not reported if the classes are now accredited.

Source: SC Times, "Former UMD students accuse university of fraud," Vicki Ikeogu, Oct. 16, 2015

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