Parent Company of Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Schools Under Scrutiny

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careered.com
CEC's website shows off happy graduates.
The corporation that runs fifteen culinary schools in the United States under the name Le Cordon Bleu, including a branch in St. Peters, is under scrutiny for possibly misrepresenting the employment rates of its graduates. (Here in St. Louis, the Chicago-based Career Education Corporation also operates several Sanford-Brown business schools as well as Missouri College, an institute for dental assistants.)

This fall the New York Attorney General's Office subpoenaed documents from the for-profit CEC to see if the company followed state laws regarding consumer protection, securities and finance.

Last week CEC admitted that its own internal review of career placement after graduation discovered that several of its schools used "improper placement determination practices." Specifically, only 13 of its 49 ACICS (Accrediting Counsel for Independent Colleges and Schools)-accredited institutions had acceptable numbers of graduates finding work after receiving a diploma from one of its schools. The ACICS requires that at least 65 percent of graduates find work in fields related to their study. Dipping below that benchmark can cost a school accreditation and its students access to federal loans.

In response, CEC this month announced the resignation of its CEO and stated that it's taking swift action to fix the problem. According to the company's website, the Le Cordon Bleu in the St. Louis region has fared better than many of CEC's other schools, placing 89 percent of its graduates in jobs related to their studies. Its four Sanford Brown Colleges in the metro area have more mixed results.

As Daily RFT reported last month, CEC and Sanford Brown recently have been slapped with more than a dozen lawsuits in federal court in St. Louis alleging that students here spent thousands of dollars on highly specialized training only to learn the course credits didn't transfer elsewhere and that there were extremely limited opportunities for employment in the fields they'd been studying.

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7 comments
ladydragon2000
ladydragon2000

Thats not the worst of it. At the Chicago campus they have open drug dealing in the classroom, 35:1 student to teacher ratio and financial aid reps that don't have a clue. I had financial aid for all of 2012 and 2013 and had to step out on my class because I didn't want to sit in a class room w/ drug dealers. When I tried to come back they told me I owed $4500 cause they sent my financial aid back and I couldn't access again, even though I was approved. It seems like it's too much of a proccess to get an eductation, it's starting to not be worth it.

course for chef
course for chef

It should be advisable to implement proper practiced in schools in order to sustain the good credibility of schools. and this good credibility for school matter's most at the head of the department like the cec. 

Occupystl
Occupystl

The article failed to specify that the 13 of 49 schools that failed to meet ACICS standards were health or art and design schools--not the Le Cordon Bleu Culinary schools so why drag their name through the mud?

Anrattateia
Anrattateia

what i dont understand is why CEC didnt cover up its discovery of unethical practices. if it was an internal matter why not do what most fat cat organizations do before they go broke? what makes CEC different?

High School Diploma
High School Diploma

In addition, accredited schools must weigh their own assessment of the quality of education and what is taught and how it is taught. Thanks for sharing.

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