Local News

Judge orders tech school to halt deceptive practices

Posted August 27, 2013 12:50 p.m. EDT

— A Superior Court Judge issued an order Monday to temporarily bar a for-profit educational company from advertising or offering any educational products or services in North Carolina.

Attorney General Roy Cooper said his office is seeking a permanent ban against Thomas Healthcare Institute Inc. and refunds for students.

“Students seeking to improve their skills and launch new careers instead found themselves out several hundred dollars with little or nothing to show for it,” Cooper

The North Carolina Board of Community Colleges revoked Thomas Healthcare Institute’s license to teach vocational classes in February for failure to meet required instructional and financial standards. Even without the required license, Thomas Healthcare Institute continued to advertise and offer vocational and exam preparation courses in Greensboro and Raleigh, according to a lawsuit filed by the Attorney General's Office..

A former instructor filed an affidavit with the lawsuit claiming that Thomas Healthcare Institute moved its Greensboro location from a rented room at Moses Cone Hospital to an Econo Lodge along Interstate 40 near Burlington in early 2013. The instructor, who taught phlebotomy and EKG courses, said the room was unsuitable for medical training and that students were upset about commuting to Burlington after paying for a course they believed would be taught in Greensboro. She said the company owner threatened her job when she complained, but she resigned when she learned the firm had lost its state license.

The lawsuit also alleges that some students weren't provided refunds after classes were canceled without notice.

“Always check out a trade school or vocational program thoroughly before you pay any money to enroll,” Cooper said. “Also, remember that your local community college may offer the training you need at a fraction of the cost.”