This is an archive of a consumer complaint published against Ashworth College at Scamity.com on 12-Jun-15.
Business Details –
- Name: Ashworth College
- Address: 6625 The Corners Pkwy NW #500
- City: Norcross
- State: Georgia
- Country: United States
- Phone: 404-990-3751
- Website: www.ashworthcollege.edu/
Original Complaint against Ashworth College published at Scamity.com on 12-Jun-15 says, verbatim –
Specifically regarding Ashworth College’s online Substance Abuse Counselor certificate, Ashworth admits on its website that students should check with our states’ licensing boards about requirements for substance abuse counseling. On one of its urls the school writes, “As part of the Ashworth College Substance Abuse Counseling training program, all students participate in a 300-hour practicum in a supervised clinical setting. The clinical practicum is one of the prerequisites for anyone seeking a credential and/or licensing as a substance abuse counselor in most states.” But such a class is not offered by Ashworth. When I asked their representative, I was informed it’s my responsibility to find a practicum. So it’s possible to enroll in the Ashworth program, not find a practicum, and therefore not be eligible for licensure. Of course, youd be out your Ashworth fee. | On spending weeks at various state facilities looking for a practicum, I learned I’d have to be trainee-licensed through my state, which, you guessed it, requires me already to have a job in the field. Catch-22. On speaking with our state’s flagship training university that offers its own substance abuse program, I learned that nearly every legitimate school–from community colleges through graduate programs–offers the practicum through partner affiliations with various hospitals, treatment facilities, and other agencies. They’ve told me they do this because otherwise it is “virtually impossible” to acquire an internship in an era of record competition for them among even masters-degree qualified professional therapists with over a decade of experience whove been laid off as counseling psychology job offerings shrink in a shift away from salaried professionals to contract professionals. What did Ashworth’s representatives have to reply to all of this when I shared the news? Not their problem. They’d happily take my money, but my post-educational success is none of their concern. | Which brings me to another major problem I have with Ashworth. While I appreciate their programs cost much less than those at even most state schools, the value of a given program, there’s a strong case to be made, lies in its translatability into employment. I already pursed an undergraduate STEM degree only to find no jobs available on graduating from a well-ranked program with excellent grades and recommendations. After years working in an unrelated low-wage field, I did my due diligence, spoke with university program heads about marketability of different degrees, liaised with state and federal advisors and corporate representatives about career growth and demand in the USA, and after doing my homework chose to pursue a masters, also in the sciences. After two years and tremendous additional debt, I learned the majority of positions in my field had been outsourced, and the availability of positions in the US was at an all-time low. Colleges’ response to this very frequent predicament? Not their problem. Again, colleges and universities are happy to take your money, but your post-educational success, despite your excellent grades and test scores, isnt their concern. | And if you think a cheap online school like Ashworth is any different, think again. I just got off the phone with an Ashworth rep who kept interrupting me and speaking over me. She asserted that it’s not Ashworth’s responsibility to offer a curriculum in substance abuse counseling that addresses ANY state’s licensing requirements. I’ve spoken with CA, WA, OR, MA, IL, NH, and NY state boards, and each of them requires a practicum COURSE supervised by a faculty member who is also licensed in the field. Ashworth doesn’t offer such a course. All their work is online, and they have NO affiliations with any facilities that could provide states’ practica requirements. They couldnt even advise me on whom to speak to. And that also goes for their much-touted 300-hour practicum. Notice their wording doesn’t state you’d be PLACED in such a practicum, but rather that you participate in such a practicum–meaning you have to find one yourself. If you check job boards in psychology and counseling, jobs are dying in the field, and those that arrive to replace them are very low wage, but require significant certification–requiring, in turn, practica hours in a training facility. It doesnt take a PhD in economics to understand a major implication is that far better credentialed psychologists would be competing eventually for practica to acquire additional credentials for better employment options, and an Ashworth online student with no affiliation with a practicum organization is unlikely to win the coveted practicum. And this doesnt take into account university students at state and private accredited traditional (brick-and-mortar) schools that have a wealth of medical and social connections and therefore arrange students practica as part of their expensive degree programs. Ashworth simply doesn’t have the connections to do this, and an online degree anyone can complete without the university-backed connections to acquire the requisite institutional training is in essence superfluous. | I decided to write this review not so much because the last Ashworth agent I spoke with, who refused to give me the contact information for a supervisor, was condescending and factually uninformed on the very programs she’s supposed to be advising people like me considering laying down a chunk of cash for Ashworth, but because as a multi-degree holding student who’s an example of a mushrooming national community of “underemployed” college graduates who’re still responsible for back-breaking college loans, I’m fed up with colleges and universities profiting off students’ fears and hopes surrounding employment and financial survival. Ashworth agents have the temerity to tell you a lack of concordance between their certificates and state licensing requirements is not their concern. When I asked the latest Ashworth rep what states’ requirements Ashworth’s Substance Abuse Counselor program does in fact satisfy, she spat, “I don’t know. That’s not our responsibility.” Really? At the very least that type of institutional hubris should be a red flag to financially savvy students for whom a(nother) academic credential is a financial and time investment.