Minnesota Attorney General's Office
1400 Bremer Tower
445 Minnesota Street
St. Paul, MN 55101
M - F 8 am - 5 pm
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
MINNESOTA ATTORNEY GENERAL LORI SWANSON AND HERZING UNIVERSITY REACH SETTLEMENT OVER LACK OF ACCREDITATION OF MEDICAL ASSISTANT ASSOCIATE DEGREE PROGRAM
Attorney General Lori Swanson and Herzing University, a for-profit college based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, entered into a settlement today arising out of Herzing’s lack of accreditation for its two-year medical assistant associate degree program in Minnesota, which impacts the ability of students to obtain the Certified Medical Assistant certification, which is preferred by many employers.
“Students need full and accurate information about the accreditation of a program, which can impact professional licensure and job prospects,” said Swanson.
Herzing has offered an accredited medical assistant diploma program at its Crystal, Minnesota campus for many years. In 2011, Herzing began to offer a two-year associate degree in clinical medical assisting at its Crystal campus. To be eligible to sit for the Certified Medical Assistant (“CMA”) exam and obtain the certification preferred by many employers, a student must graduate from a medical assistant program that is programmatically accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (“CAAHEP”) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (“ABHES”). Herzing’s two-year degree program was not accredited by either organization.
The settlement contains an injunction that applies to all programs Herzing offers in Minnesota in which a program’s accreditation status may impact a student’s ability to obtain professional licensure or certification in their field of study. Specifically, Herzing must:
- fully disclose to students the programmatic accreditation of any program it offers in Minnesota;
- fully disclose to students the effect on licensure or certification if they are attending a program that is not programmatically accredited;
- accurately disclose in all advertisements and communications with prospective students the programmatic accreditation and the prospective student’s ability to obtain necessary licensure or certification upon graduation; and
- prominently display on its website the programmatic accreditation of its programs and explain the impact that a lack of programmatic accreditation has on a student’s ability to obtain necessary licensures or certifications.
The settlement offers four options to students who enrolled in the unaccredited two-year medical assisting degree program at Herzing:
- Forfeit their credits and receive a full refund of all tuition and living expenses;
- Enroll at another institution and receive a full refund of all tuition and corresponding living expenses for all credits that do not transfer;
- Receive a $7,500 credit and continue their studies at Herzing and obtain the credentials needed to sit for the CMA exam (at no additional cost);
- Choose none of these options and pursue any other private remedy on their own.
Herzing fully cooperated with the State’s investigation.
People may obtain the Office’s publication, For-Profit Colleges: Do Your Homework online at www.ag.state.mn.us. People may report complaints to the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office by calling: (651) 296 3353 or (800) 657 3787. Individuals may also download a Complaint Form from the Attorney General’s Office website at www.ag.state.mn.us, and mail the completed form to the Attorney General’s Office at: 1400 Bremer Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101 2131.