A former director of a satellite college campus location in Cheyenne, Wyoming, is suing the organization, alleging wide-scale fraud.
Debbi Potts says she quit her job in 2012 after she was asked to lie on official documents so that the college could receive accreditation. In her lawsuit, she also claims that the Center for Excellence in Higher Education (CEHE) illegally recouped millions of dollars in federal funds. Potts is seeking monetary compensation and attorney’s fees.
Founded in 2006, CEHE is a nonprofit organization that is now part of a network that includes Steven-Henager College, College America and California College San Diego. Potts worked for the organization from 2009 to 2012, serving as director of the Cheyenne satellite center. According to federal records, CEHE received hundreds of millions of dollars of funding through the Title IV, but Potts claims the organization should not have been eligible for that money.
After stepping down from her position, Potts reported these violations to the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. She says that she was retaliated against when CEHE filed a lawsuit against her, alleging that she had violated a contract.
Online and career colleges have been under the microscope in recent years, with some reports showing that students who seek degrees from these programs are actually worse off than if they had never gone to school in the first place.
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