Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a lawsuit against for-profit Westwood College Wednesday, alleging the criminal justice degrees they awarded to Chicago-area students didn't qualify them for jobs in the field.
According to Madigan's suit, the Denver-based college, which has four campuses in the Chicago area, promised students jobs at agencies that don't accept Westwood's degrees, the Associated Press reports. Westwood's criminal justice certifications are nationally, but not regionally, accredited.
Madigan says she's also concerned about the high tuition cost, according to ABC Chicago. Graduating Westwood students frequently default on their loans after contending with the school's poor job-placement rates.
Madigan writes in the lawsuit, according to the Chicago Tribune:
"Many Illinois students who tried to better themselves through a criminal justice education at Westwood now find themselves saddled with more than $50,000 in student loans, and no way to pursue a law enforcement job because their Westwood education was not regionally accredited and therefore was not recognized by other regionally accredited colleges or law enforcement employers, such as the Chicago Police Department, the Illinois State Police and many suburban police departments."
A Westwood spokesperson said the school has hundreds of graduates working in criminal justice in Illinois, and is cooperating to "resolve any outstanding issues" with the Attorney General, NBC Chicago reports.
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