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I found myself unemployed and desperate in 2011 after my temp contract was not renewed. In my desperation, I turned to Charter College in Canyon Country, CA for an opportunity.

The admissions counselor, whose name I cannot remember and was gone within two months of my agreeing to join this 'school', told me that they had an excellent graduation rate, excellent job placement and that my credits were transferable. These are all sweet words to get you to sign your life away, but none of them are true. The former accreditation they had was national, not regional, meaning the credits earned could not be used to further your education with another college (Unless they happened to trick you into staying with them for an associate degree). Their graduation rate is lackluster (46%) and their job placement successes even less so.

I signed onto the paralegal program. The first noticeable problem was their interchanging of paralegal and legal assistant. In California, they are not synonymous; a legal assistant is a title needing no certification to perform administrative work whereas a paralegal has very specific criteria by law to perform certain legal work under supervision of an attorney. The college does not have an American Bar Association approval, and with the US DoE pulling their accreditation body (ACICS) they no longer have any ability to legally perform this program.

At the time of this writing, they have removed paralegal studies from the campus but curiously still offer it online. I passed my courses with a 4.0, perfect attendance and was on the dean's list and honors society. They pulled some strings for my externship and I worked under a great attorney. However, post graduation, all support from the campus stopped.

Their job placement support? They would send a list of links from Indeed or Monster. I can do that myself. They do not appear to have any working relationships with law offices nearby or even seem to talk to them, and asking for help finding a job would get you pointed to the computer lab to job hunt for yourself.

Despite graduating top of the class, I never got a paralegal job, or any job at any law office. The certification I earned is not worth the paper it is printed on as evidenced by the lack of response from any prospective job. This farce of a school cost me a year of my time, too much money, and destroyed my relationship due to stress and hardship. With the credits earned being non-transferable, any effort to further any interest I had in law would have to start over.

I have submitted papers with the DoE to request my student loans be dismissed due to the blatant misrepresentations made by Charter College, and hope that others, at least in the paralegal program, will do the same. Hopefully, enough complaints will tip the scales a bit further and end this horrible place for good.

Product or Service Mentioned: Charter College Program.

Reason of review: Not as described.

Monetary Loss: $14000.

Preferred solution: Full refund.

I liked: Teachers.

I didn't like: Waste of money and time, Horrible school.

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Brandi A.

We’re proud of the hard work you did to earn a 4.0 GPA and finish top of your Paralegal Studies class. We also understand your frustration.

We know that the job search can be difficult, especially for recent graduates with only externship experience. While we’re glad that you enjoyed your externship and found it beneficial, we know that our graduates often need assistance utilizing what they’ve learned in the classroom and on their externship experiences – and we’re here to offer that extra help.

We’re sorry that you didn’t receive the job placement support you were hoping for then, but we’re certainly happy to provide help now. Please reach out to your campus for assistance.

We no longer offer our Paralegal Certificate program or our legal assistant diploma program, on campus or online, but our Career Services Team can still provide resume assistance, interview preparation and more.

In regards to our accreditation, while our former accreditor, ACICS, is under scrutiny with the US DoE, Charter College is not. We have a long history of maintaining high standards in our curriculum and in the quality of our faculty. Charter College continues to be recognized by the DoE as an accredited institution.

We acknowledge your aggravations with your current employment situations, but we hope you will reach out to your campus for assistance. Several years may have passed, but you’ll always be part of the Charter College Community.

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