Students File Class Action Lawsuit Against Chicago School of Psychology for Misrepresenting Accreditation

By on November 14, 2012

A group of 40 students filed a class action lawsuit against The Chicago School of Psychology (TCS) alleging that TCS management lured them to the school’s new Los Angeles campus in 2008 by falsely assuring them that the new LA school was accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). 

According to the complaint, APA accreditation, without which the doctorate degree in Psychology has no value on the job market, had been presented to the students as having been obtained or in the process of being obtained by the management of the California school throughout the duration of their studies.  Only toward the end of their studies did the petitioners learn that not only did the school not have this accreditation, but had still not submitted its application for accreditation to the APA as late as June 27, 2011. 

According to the complaint, whenever students discussed the school’s accreditation with the president or an official of the Los Angeles campus, on the phone and during information meetings, the information received was deceptive.   During the first phone call, the rector led them to believe that the school was accredited.  During several meetings, Mrs Michelle Nealon-Woods (who was then the dean of the Los Angeles campus and who is now the president) and the faculty official, Dr. David Sitzer, confirmed that the accreditation would be ready before they obtain their degrees. 

In June 2012, the petitioners received a letter from Dr. Sitzer informing them that the school was not and would not be accredited in the near future. 

“APA accreditation is a determining factor for students.  The APA is the largest scientific and professional organization that represents the field of psychology in the United States.  Many employers, including the American federal government, state or local governments and hospitals do not hire anyone whose degree is not obtained from an APA-accredited institution.  My degree is worthless, all these years and money are lost.  I have to start all over if I want to live my dream.  I don’t know how I will be able to do that”, declared Mrs Shagun Sheena Sachdev, one of the students involved in the class action

The lawsuit thus seeks redress for the students in excess of $30 million and claims punitive damages for the conduct of the defendants claiming that it was intentional, fraudulent, malicious and oppressive. 

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