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Call Kurtis: My Career Courses Weren’t State Certified… Now What?

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Trisha Stonecipher paid for an education at Boston Reed College, only to learn the school she attended may not certify her for the job. Realizing her classmates may also be stuck, she called Kurtis to investigate.

Stonecipher thought taking classes from Boston Reed College would put her on the fast-track to becoming a phlebotomist, a blood-taker. But when the time came to get her certification, the State of California said not so fast.

Stonecipher, a stay-at-home mom for ten years, says she needs to get back into the working world.

“I need a job. I’m gonna get it! I’m gonna do this! And then I run into this,” said Stonecipher.

She’s talking about a hold-up with her state certification to become a phlebotomy technician.

She paid Boston Reed College $2,900 for classes held at Sierra College in Roseville. After 48 hours of class time and a 40 hour externship, California’s Department of Public Health told Stonecipher that Sierra College Location is not an approved phlebotomy school, and her certification was on hold.

“Oh my god! I was so mad,” said Stonecipher.

The Department of Public Health says Boston Reed never even applied to get the Sierra College site approved. So why did Sierra College offer it? A school spokesperson told us:

“… Boston Reed College contacted us and indicated that we were an approved site and could begin offering the phlebotomy program.”

Boston Reed didn’t answer our questions, only giving us a short statement that said in part:

“… we are working collaboratively and closely with the relevant California regulatory agencies to resolve the status of our phlebotomy program.”

“I think I deserve all of my tuition money back at this point,” said Stonecipher.

Boston Reed agreed, giving her a full refund after CBS13 got involved. And the State decided to approve her certification, allowing her to take the first step in her new career.

“I have dreams to go further than just phlebotomy,” said Stonecipher.

The Department of Public Health says Stonecipher’s classmates will get their phlebotomy certifications pushed through as well. It appears people who took the class before Stonecipher and got their state certification have nothing to worry about either.

A class that was slated to begin at Sierra College on June 16th has been postponed until late July. Boston Reed is still in the process of applying to get that location certified.

Sierra College’s statement to CBS13:

Sierra College Community Education contracts with Boston Reed College to provide the phlebotomy training. We submitted paperwork to Boston Reed College to become an approved Phlebotomy training site in January 2008. Boston Reed College has been approved by the California Department of Health Laboratory Field Services (LFS) since 2004. In the Spring of 2011 Boston Reed College contacted us and indicated that we were an approved site and could begin offering the Phlebotomy program. We offered our first class in fall 2011. Many students successfully completed the program and have become certified.

Out of the blue, we received per a communication from Boston Reed College on May 21 stating that due to changes by the Bureau for Private Post-Secondary (BPPE) – Boston Reed’s regulatory organization – LFS is currently reviewing training locations. The General Manager of Boston Reed assures us that the paperwork has been and continues to be in order and that they are working daily with the BPPE to resolve this issue. We have been told that this will happen very soon.

We are sorry this occurred and affected our hard working students, this has never happened to any of our contracted programs before. We will remain in constant contact with Boston Reed to ensure that this is resolved very quickly. We are sending out letters and emails to our students enrolled in the 6/16 class to let them know that the program may be delayed. We hope the matter is resolved before then.

-When did the Phlebotomy Technician program begin at the Sierra College Roseville location? We contracted with Boston Reed College to offer the first phlebotomy class in fall 2011

-Why were Boston Reed and Sierra College offering a program that doesn’t qualify its graduates to apply for their state certification?

Boston Reed College has been approved by the California Department of Health, Laboratory Field Services for phlebotomy training since 2004. We offered our first class in fall 2011. Many students successfully completed the program and were certified.

Boston Reed College is currently working with the regulatory agencies to resolve the status of their phlebotomy training. Sierra College was not aware of issues regarding certification but we have been assured that Boston Reed College will reach a resolution to this issue shortly.

-When did Boston Reed apply to get the Roseville site approved with the Dept. of Public Health Laboratory Field Services?

The Sierra College Community Education program submitted a request to Boston Reed College to become a certified phlebotomy training site in January 2008.

-Why is the partnership of Boston Reed and Sierra College still offering the Phlebotomy Technician program? I see another class is set to begin on June 16th. Will that class proceed if the state still hasn’t approved the site as a Phlebotomy school?

We would never knowingly place students in a situation where their ability to gain certification is questionable. When we contract for educational services we expect that those services will be provided. We are monitoring the situation and if necessary to provide the best possible learning environment and outcomes for students we will either postpone or cancel the June 16 phlebotomy class.

-What is the resolution Boston Reed and/or Sierra College is offering to Tricia Stonecipher?

Boston Reed College is working daily to resolve Tricia’s certification issue. Tricia’s training has proven to be excellent as demonstrated by her recent receipt of the national certification. Tricia’s certification issues should be resolved shortly.

-What do you plan to do for other students who may have already, or soon will be denied their state certification?

Boston Reed College will work closely with students and the regulatory agency to assure certification.

Boston Reed College’s statements to CBS13:

Boston Reed has provided quality allied health training programs in California for more than 20 years, having successfully trained over 100,000 students. Our customer service focus emphasizes putting our school partners and students first. Consistent with that goal, we are working collaboratively and closely with the relevant California regulatory agencies to resolve the status of our phlebotomy program. We are highly confident that we will resolve this matter shortly, and look forward to continuing to offer cost-effective educational solutions to help train future healthcare practitioners in California.

We have processed a full refund for Ms. Stonecipher on the behalf of Sierra College. At this time we believe the bigger issue is not necessarily the refund, but the granting of the phlebotomy technician certification so she may seek employment. It is for this reason we continue to work collaboratively and closely with the relevant California regulatory agencies to resolve the status of our phlebotomy program.

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