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Sonography Students Charge Bullying, Fraud

February 27, 2013
Written by: , Filed in: Medical Ethics, Obstetric Ultrasound
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Five former students in the College of DuPage’s sonography program have accused the program of fraudulent practices, favoritism, and bullying. Among other things, they say, the college charged tuition and issued grades for a course that didn’t exist.

The former students submitted their complaints to the College of DuPage Board of Trustees and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), according to mysuburbanlife, an online news publication covering the western suburbs of Chicago. mysuburbanlife said it was quoting a news release from the women. The women are also threatening to sue.

College of DuPage is a two-year community college in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, just west of Chicago. The CAAHEP, headquartered in Clearwater, Florida, is a national accreditor of postsecondary allied health programs.

The five women were all enrolled in the sonography program in fall 2012. They complained that program leaders played favorites, said some specific students wouldn’t pass even before final exams were given, and bullied students.

They also said the program took money and issued grades for a nonexistent class called DMIS:111—Clinical Education. When they complained, they said, the program refunded their money and removed the grades from their transcripts. Students who did not speak up, the five women said, received neither refunds nor the removal of grades.

Liz Franke, 33, of Lombard, Illinois, one of the five complainants, said she was dropped from the program after making a mistake in her practical exam at the end of the semester. She said she thought that was unfair:

The thing that I don’t understand is, why were we not allowed to make a mistake in an educational setting? We’re learning. We have to learn our skill, learn our trade.

Franke said she left a 10-year career in marketing to pursue sonography because of an ultrasound she received while pregnant with her son. The sonographer noticed a fetal kidney defect. Her son was treated and today is healthy.

“Our ultimate goal is to shine a light on the leadership of the program and force them to do an overhaul of the leadership of the program,” she said.

Joe Moore, associate vice president of marketing and communications for College of DuPage, said the college was investigating the former students’ claims.

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