The Academy Of Learning advertises itself as a well reputable, recognized Computer & Business College.
My experience with this school has led me to believe it is anything but reputable.
Upon initial contact with the school, I sat down with their "Admissions Advisor" and discussed my chosen career path. After choosing two specific programs that each contained courses beneficial to my professional development, I proposed enrolling in individualized courses versus choosing a specific program. Their "Admissions Advisor" agreed that if I wasn't concerned with obtaining a diploma and merely wanted to upgrade my skills, choosing individualized courses would be the best way to do it.
My funding source for this training was with AB Works, a government training program that all schools are familiar with.
After leaving the office with a price quote, a few days went by when the Admissions Advisor contacted me and stated that it would be best for me to choose a specific program as that would be my best chance to be approved with my funding source. I agreed so I chose one of the two programs. I also stated that if I was having to choose a program then I should be given credit for courses or skills within the program that I had already acquired through other schools. I was told the Academy of Learning will only allow a student credit or recognition for courses already taken if the student pays to challenge a test and passes *** The Academy of Learning will only then issue a course credit which allows a student to take additional courses and not give him/her a reduction in their program cost. The additional courses is not part of your program outline nor is it required to obtain the diploma for that program.
This was upsetting to me as I had to pay to challenge a test for skills already paid for and acquired with other schools.
I met with the "Admissions Advisor" a second time to fill out the necessary paperwork to submit for funding. I was given the impression that this source of funding was often flexible with the school and we could easily adjust additional courses if need be.
After leaving the office I was presented with a job offer and I put the application on hold. One week went by and the job fell through so I proceeded with the funding application.
The funding source came back to me a few weeks later and stated that the course was approx. $1100 more then the amount they allow to be funded. Funding limits and guidelines is information that the Academy of Learning admissions advisor should have known when completing my application. I once again contacted the Academy of Learning and requested that I be given credit for courses already taken to reduce the program cost amount so it could get funding. They refused my request to issue credit to reduce the cost of the program.
I then requested that the Academy of Learning change my application to the second program that I had initially chosen as it was a lesser amount and funding could then get approved. They then all of a sudden denied my entire application and entrance to the school. They stated that I did not have the skills, training or work experience to be allowed into my second program choice. They also stated that "due to my indecisiveness they couldn't in good concise allow me into their school".
First of all their Admissions Advisor failed to even verify my prior work experience to see that I do in fact qualify for the second program of choice. She had a copy of my transcripts which shows that I do in fact have relevant training in this area already.
I stated that I did not agree to her decision with not allowing me into the program or their school as her information was incorrect. I then requested she recheck her information prior to the matter being escalated to management. She passed *** matter to the Academy of Learning customer service rep. in Edmonton who I was having to re explain the entire situation to. She passed ** off to corporate office in Toronto after seeing how upset I was with having to reiterate all the information. I received a phone message form the Toronto office although due to the tone in her voice I chose not to respond. They were clearly wasting more of my time without wanting to offer any solutions.
After a week went by my family offered to pay the additional course cost. I then contacted the Academy of Learning and requested they proceed with my initial application. They failed to respond.
Upon initial application with the Academy of Learning, all parties were informed that the funding deadline was April 1, 2014. Not only did the Academy of Learning waste 4+ weeks of my time, they may have also ruined my chances to meet this deadline and funding worth several thousands of dollars.
Either finish completing my application so I can receive funding and acceptance into the initial program, or compensate me for the damages due to the loss in funding from the delay and practices of The Academy of Learning.
The damages for loss of funding is $45,000 for just the tuition and and cost of living funding. Hardship has not yet been calculated into this.
***** ********* has applied for funding through Alberta Works to attend Academy of Learning as he has been accepted in our Web Design program. Alberta Works is a provincial funding program that assesses eligibility for financial support and suitability for chosen college program.
During the enrolment process, Mr. ********* inquired into more than one program option. It is required to be accepted into a specific program with specified program dates before a funding application can be submitted.
The college is waiting to learn of the outcome of Alberta Works' assessment or Mr. *********'s application.
(The consumer indicated he/she did not accept the response from the business.)
After the long delay from the Academy of Learning, Alberta Works had to change the start date of the Web Design program. When meeting with the Admissions adviser ****** ***** from the Academy of Learning, she had completed my application in January and entered the program start date of March 10, 2014 for the Webdesign program. It is clearly past March 10 and Alberta Works said it may be another four weeks before I hear back about my application. Regardless, the four+ week delay from the Academy of Learning is costing me $500 a week just for the cost of living. If I do not get approved before the April 1 deadline, It will have cost me alot more.($45,000+).
Entering a second choice program on an application is mandatory.
The Academy of learning should be compensating me as they delayed and interrupted my application when refusing me to their school in the first place. I am requesting $500 a week compensation starting March 10 until such time that I start the program.
Final Business Response
Points to clarify from the last response of the consumer:
- Academy of Learning Medicine Hat does not receive a set amount of money from Alberta Works, only tuition for programs delivered is paid for.
- Alberta Works grants funding to students for programs that are licensed, but does not grant funding for individual courses.
- Academy of Learning gives students credit for previous knowledge by allowing them to challenge exams for courses for which they feel they can achieve a 75% or better mark. This must be done in the first week of class. Credits are given for these courses and when the program is completed, students can take other courses which add up to the value of the courses challenged. These must be completed before the program end date.
-The consumer was allowed to start before any funding was received from Alberta Works with the understanding that all tuition would be forthcoming from both Alberta Works and the consumer, as Alberta Works did not cover the complete tuition value.
-The consumer was allowed to challenge the exams that he selected, and was provided with a course.
-The consumer knew that the remaining tuition payment was expected from him and a payment plan would be made for him to follow. At this time he made it clear that he did not plan to pay the remaining tuition, so he was terminated from the program.
-Alberta Works was notified and all money eventually received from them was returned.
-Academy of Learning did compromise by allowing the consumer to start the program in "good faith" that he would pay the remaining tuition and allowed him to challenge all selected exams and provided him with a course.
-The procedure for giving credit for previous knowledge by allowing for exam challenges and then providing courses for the this value is the same for all students including international and new immigrants.
-Academy of Learning cannot change the policy used by Alberta Works for determining acceptable programs and is not prepared to change its policy of giving credit for previous knowledge by allowing for exam challenges which has been in use for many years. Many students have been able to make use of this policy and have thus enhanced their programs with individualized course selection.
-No further compromise by Academy of Learning is possible as it is apparent that the consumer did not plan to pay the remaining tuition for the program enrolled in.
Final Consumer Response
Once again the Academy of learning fails to recognize the FACTS in this matter.
I had chosen the courses on January 6&7,2014 with their academic adviser ****** ****. 50% of the courses needed to bring my skills to a satisfactory level were in webdesign and 50% were in management.
At this time I was accepted into the school.
At this time both ****** and myself were aware of the April 1 deadline.
She was well informed Jan 6/7 that my school fees would be funded through Alberta Works.
It was her who advised me to change my chosen courses three days later.
At which time I chose webdesign.
She did not inform me that Alberta works only covers $15,000 on Jan 7 or on our next appointment the following week.
The soonest I was able to get an appointment with AB Works was Jan 20 although rescheduled to Jan 24 as I had secured employment.
Yes I delayed my application four days because of employment although compared to the three weeks in Jan. that the Academy of learning delayed my application and the four weeks in Feb. it's a pretty small comparison.
I resumed my school application when meeting with Alberta Works on Jan 24.
A week later Ab Works contacted me and stated my application would not be approved as they only fund up to $15,000.
That was three weeks wasted because of the Academy of Learning not informing me of these funding guidelines.
Communicating funding amounts, and guidelines fall under the duties of admissions adviser.
I contacted ****** about getting recognition for courses and skills I had already acquired which would reduce the course cost and get me approved for the program funding.
I was informed it would not be a financial reduction in the course cost if I proved I already had the skills but rather an academic credit for courses not even in my field of study.
I then requested to be put into the management program versus the webdesign as it would qualify for full funding.
The management program was part of the course load I initially signed up for on Jan 7.
It was one of the two programs that was on my application initially submitted to Alberta Works.
I requested that some of the courses I initially chose on Jan 7 be added to a new application for the management program as Alberta Works covers up to $15,000 and the management course was only $12,000.
On Feb 7 ****** denied my application entirely to the Academy of Learning school without any JUST reasoning.
By this time it was too late to seek an alternative school.
This caused yet another four week delay from the Academy of Learning.
It wasn't until I initiated this grievance that the Academy of Learning resumed my application.
After waiting for the Academy of Learning, Ab Works entered my application on March 6. An application that normally takes 4-6 weeks to process and which had an April 1 deadline.
On March 27, I had to contact all the parties involved in this ongoing investigation to initiate faster protocols as my program began on March 31. Luckily AB Works completed my application promptly.
It was completed within 3 weeks and they were able to get me into the program.
After 2 days in the school, I challenged and completed $1400 worth of courses that this school fails to give recognition for.
It was $1400 to prove that I already have these skills.
They have provided absolutely no value whatsoever for this $1400 in fees.
After 2.5 days in this school, the Academy of Learning has once again denied me admittance into their school.
Although they are receiving $15,000 from Ab Works for me to complete this program, they are still demanding more regardless of the mistakes and delays they made.
They refuse to take responsibility for the 7+ weeks they delayed my application, the extra expenses I had to pay from their delay, and further work and hardship they caused.
They fail to give recognition for the courses I have challenged and completed proving that I already have these skills.
I have been more than reasonable in my request that the Academy of Learning:
a) credit the $1400 worth of courses challenged to the difference in the course costs/ outstanding balance
b) credit $1500 towards the difference in the course costs/outstanding balance for the additional time, expense, and aggravation they caused in this matter with delaying my application .
I am having the school investigated for charging academic fees to students for skills a student already has. Students are not receiving any value for these fees the school charge as any additional course credit are outside of their program of study.
Furthermore I will be initiating legal proceedings against the school, their agents, and the gov. bodies that regulate the school.
This matter may eventually turn into a class action lawsuit.