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Many of ITT's instructors have taught at the school for months without having their qualifications checked, as required by law, by the Education Department. This delay stemmed from laxness by the state and stalling by ITT Tech's director.

ITT salesmen, in standardized presentations to prospective students, routinely and improperly misrepresented vital features of the school's courses and completion and job-placement success.

Unlicensed by the state due to a loophole in the law, the salesmen are paid entirely by commission. For every student they enroll, the salesmen receive a $100 commission which is paid for by the student who is told the money is instead a "registration fee" like those paid at colleges.

School officials say that deception by ITT salesmen is "not a problem." However, the files of the state attorney general, the Education Department and the Better Business Bureau all contain complaints about deceptions by various ITT salesmen.

Three members of the Spotlight Team posed as prospective students and found that misrepresentation by ITT salesmen was the rule rather than the exception. Here are some examples:

Salesman Dexter Bishop told one caller seeking information about the mechanical drafting course that 80 percent of the course's graduates are placed in related jobs and that "just about everyone who starts the course finishes it."

In fact, only about three out of ten who enroll in the course have graduated, and only seven out of its 27 recent graduates, or 27 percent, have found jobs. Salesman George Zack promoted an electronic engineering class as having a dropout rate of between five to ten percent. In fact, the only figures the school has on the course indicate a dropout rate of more than 80 percent.

Salesman Edward Calamese started his pitch on the medical assistance course by stating that "all of the graduates" are placed in jobs. School figures provided The Globe indicate that only 50 percent of the course's graduates find jobs in the field.

Salesman Robert Sousa assuaged the prospective student's fears of dropping out of a dental assistant class by saying that "only one or two girls a class leave." In fact, 85 girls have dropped out of the school's five dental classes in the last two years, an average of 17 girls per class.

False statements by school salesmen are considered a serious enough problem for the state's Consumer Protection Act to prohibit specifically the misrepresentation of a course "in any . . . material respect," including the course's influence in obtaining employment for its students. Neither ITT nor any of its salesmen have ever been prosecuted under the law.

False statements are also considered serious by the ITT Tech official who oversees the Boston salesmen. The official, Francis C. Curran, told a prospective student he is constantly on guard for misrepresentation by his salesmen.

"If any of our men did not represent a course precisely, he wouldn't be with ITT," he said. In his next breath, Curran exaggerated the school's success in placing automotive graduates by almost 30 percent.

A fast-talking former salesman, Curran is now second in command at the school, holding the curiously interchangeable titles of director of marketing and director of admissions. He even narrates some of its television ads.

Curren admits to spurring on his sales force to recruit more students with such phrases as "Get the asses in the classes."

GLOBE. What does that mean?

CURRAN. It means 'students in the classes.' . . . Our philosophy here is to get students into the classes.

But there are never enough students for ITT Tech. They recently advertised for three new salesmen. A Spotlight Team reporter answered the ad and in an interview for the job by ITT sales supervisor Donald MacCalmon was given a rare view of what is expected of their salesmen. MacCalmon contradicted official statements later made by the school that salesmen are constantly briefed and provided the latest information on ITT courses.

"You don't need to know much about the course-just how much it costs and when classes begin," MacCalmon said. "You have a canned speech you use with every lead; it's orderly, it's consistent and what's best, it works."

In an interview with The Globe, school director Charles Feistkorn, who resigned shortly before publication, defended his operation of the six-year-old school: "We have a good school here and good courses. When you have an excellent product like this you don't need to misrepresent." And he boasted of an overall completion rate of 52 percent.

However, of the 3500 total students enrolled during the last three years at ITT, figures show that only about one out of three have completed the course. Its overall completion rate would be even lower were it not for its 50 percent success in training automotive repairmen at its garage in Chelsea.

Most startling is the fact that fewer than 15 percent of the 1400 students who have enrolled in its eight technical courses since 1970 have graduated, according to data in the school's latest report to the Education Department. The remainder either dropped out or failed to attend class.

Feistkorn also has defended the school's placement procedure. In 1971, he told the state that "each student" is interviewed by the school's Office of Student Affairs and its director, David Brockmeyer, on job opportunities.

This was false, many ITT graduates told The Globe. They had never been interviewed for job placement and said that Brockmeyer, a former semiprofessional football player, spent most of his time coaching the school's sports teams. The school says it has no record of placement statistics for much of Brockmeyer's tenure.

The present placement director, Victor Kissal, also has a background in sports. Before coming to ITT last March he was publicist for the Eastern Massachusetts Small Colleges Assn. At ITT, he is also responsible for sports, but he claims he has had time during the last year to place about 65 percent of its graduates.

His claim was deflated by a present ITT instructor who told The Globe: "I don't know what type of jobs these kids are being placed in. This school has no rapport with industry. The jobs certainly are not the 'high-paying' ones as advertised."

Far greater success in the training of students and placing of graduates has been experienced by the several public vocational institutes run by local communities or regions. At two of the schools, Quincy Vocational Technical School and the Blue Hills Technical Institute, courses similar in content but lower in cost than ITT's have completion and placement rates of up to 95 percent.

Some contrasts:

An architectural engineering course at Blue Hills Institute last year had 16 students start. Thirteen students, or 82 percent, graduated from the course. ITT's latest architectural engineering class had 77 students enrolled. Only seven graduated, or about 9 percent.

At Quincy Vocational Technical School, the latest electronics technology course had a 90 percent completion rate. The rate for the latest ITT course was 36 percent. Dental assistant courses at the Quincy school in the last three years have had a 92 percent completion rate, while the course at ITT has graduated less than half that percentage.

There are 28 such public schools in the state. All are nonprofit and maintain a limited enrollment. High school graduates seeking admission must show some capacity toward the field of study before acceptance. Such screening of prospective students is lacking at ITT Tech, several former and present instructors said. "The school looked at the prospective student not to see if he had the capacity to learn anything, but did he have the capacity to pay his tuition or his loan,' one former instructor said. "The school's philosophy was 'Sign the kid up. Tell him anything but get him signed up.'

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School Director Feistkorn said that each student is now given a qualification examination before being enrolled. But only a fraction are rejected, since the student must exhibit only an 80 IQ to pass.

Further, Feistkorn said, the decision to admit a student to the school was "not made by the salesman and it shouldn't be." However, he was unable to explain why the school's sales director, Frank Curran, is also its director of admissions.

More than half the communities in the state have no vocational institute for their high school students, and ITT Tech is trying to contract with them to provide the training. "We're out to get the public sector," Neil R. Cronin, recently retired president of ITT's Educational Services division told The Globe.

The recruitment drive, in the guise of public service, would bring hundreds of students into ITT. The school joined an association last year that hired a lobbyist and filed legislation which would have had the state pay for the high school students' tuition at ITT. The bill was killed, but could be revived in the future. However, the public did pay ITT Tech $62,353 last year to train 76 students sent to the school by the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC). Comr. Russell E. O'Connell of the MRC said his agency makes no official check of the quality of the schools before recommending them to students.

Prospective students are enticed to enroll at ITT by having their tuition paid by a federally-insured loan.

ITT salesmen were found to use the loan forms like personal calling cards. When a Globe reporter sought a loan, an ITT salesman improperly filled out the program's Federal forms.

The reporter gave a family income that made his eligibility for the entire program questionable, but salesman Alan Brown told him, "That's all right," and put down a lower income figure on the official form.

With the loans insured by the U.S. government, ITT enjoys a no-risk proposition. If a student defaults on his loan-that is, refuses to pay it back-the school simply waits 90 days and informs the Federal government. The government then reimburses the school the entire amount of the default. Five percent of all defaults in Massachusetts come from ITT students although more than 200 schools in the state participate in the program.

But cracks have begun to show in the program. The high amount of defaults coming from students from proprietary schools such as ITT has caused Federal education officials to reconsider the program.

The officials said there was a direct correlation between the quality of education provided by particular schools and the number of students who default. "As the education standard decreases, you'll find an increase in defaults," David Bayer, acting director of the program, said.

However, ITT corporate executives disagree. Neil Cronin, in an interview before quitting the firm, blamed ITT's high default rate on the high number of minority students who attend the schools. "And you know, the low groups, the low socio-economic kids come in and they're not inclined to pay. They are used to seeing the generations before them go on welfare."

It is not an accident that a high number of persons from lower economic classes attend ITT.

Last November the school made a blatant effort to recruit students from neighborhoods in Roxbury and the South End.

About 17,000 persons were informed they had been "selected" to take a test at ITT for "our special scholarship program." The entire campaign appears, however, to have been fraught with deception, as the "telegrams" were in fact plain letters sent through the mail.

The recipients of the phony telegrams had not been "selected" by any personal achievement but rather by their zip codes. The "special scholarship program" consisted of but four scholarships to the school. Only one has since been awarded. Weeks before, in late September, ITT began a similar recruiting drive by sending out phony telegrams with only the words "Call me," the phone number of the school, and a salesman's name on it.

The Better Business Bureau learned of the telegram, investigated and found its use was unfair, deceptive and against the state and Federal Consumer Protection laws. The BBB attorney expressed this opinion in a letter to ITT's lawyer.

Two weeks later the school sent out its second onslaught of phony telegrams exclaiming its "special scholarship program."

By law all such advertising and recruitment brochures must be submitted before being used to the state Education Department. But they were not-and Joseph DeRosa, the state official responsible for supervision of the trade school law, says he was therefore unable to check them for possible deception and misrepresentation.

DeRosa has not seen or approved many of the ads that ITT is supposed to file with him by law before using daily in newspapers like The Globe and nightly on television stations such as Channel 56.

Most of the ads tell of high-paying jobs waiting for graduates of ITT courses. "The jobs are waiting, the salary is good," states one ad for the heating and air-conditioning course. "One of these (173,000) new jobs can be yours if you start training now at ITT," states another for automotive mechanics. "If you'd like to become a dental assistant, ITT can make it happen," exclaims a third.

Incredibly, DeRosa says the "onus" is on ITT to submit its ads for clearance and he “hasn't got time" to monitor television and newspapers to see which ads the schools are running. There is a maximum fine of $500 for running ads before filing them, but ITT has never been questioned on the issue.

Nor was the school questioned by DeRosa last year when it failed to file its financial profit and loss statement as required by law. Feistkorn, the school's director, wrote that the statement was "very bulky" and could not be sent to DeRosa with ITT's license renewal application.

The "very bulky" statement-filed after The Globe threatened the Education Department with suit to obtain it-turned out to be one-page long.

But its contents showed that in 1972, ITT Tech had spent more than a quarter of a million dollars on advertising, promoting and selling its courses, almost $200 for every student it enrolled that year.

The school was also remiss in filing the names and qualifications of its teachers, as also required by law. The Globe found a pattern of ITT instructors teaching at the school for months at a time without their qualification being first submitted to the state. ITT Director Feistkorn blamed the failure on the school's former education director, who he said "was not good on detail."

However, last Sept. 4, Feistkorn himself wrote DeRosa that "pending your approval" the school was considering hiring a new instructor for its heating and air-conditioning class. In fact, the instructor had been teaching at the school for nearly a year, having been hired in November 1972.

The school's failure to file the teacher qualifications on time was upsetting to state Trade School Supervisor DeRosa.

"I admit it's a real bitch," he told The Globe. "They've really been dragging their feet on this one."


In single-file the young women walked quickly up to the stage to accept their diplomas. Dressed in crisp, white uniforms, each girl cradled in her arm a red rose, a fragile symbol of her graduation from ITT Tech.

The young women should have been about to enter the health professions because they had successfully completed their one-year course in medical or dental assistance. But for many the only thing the future would bring was a $2000 bill from the school.

The expert instructors, the modern equipment, the training programs, the countless well-paying jobs they had been promised by the school and its salesmen had wilted and disappeared as the roses would after that August graduation night.

One graduate recalls: "When I went up on the stage to receive my cap and diploma, I knew I was never going to wear it. When I got back to my seat, I took off my cap and I haven't worn it since. They didn't teach me anything, so how could I get a job?"

The medical and dental assistant courses attract 200 women a year to ITT Tech on Commonwealth avenue, Brighton.

No Federal or state agency approves any health assistance course, and ITT's courses have also not been accredited by professional societies evaluating the two fields. Yet, courses are a mainstay in ITT's big business of selling vocational education.

From interviews and personal experiences, the Globe Spotlight Team learned that misrepresentation by the school and its salesmen is a frequent occurrence in enrolling women in the courses.

An advertisement the school has been running on Boston television several times a week promotes its medical assistant course as including training at "one of the world's most respected private hospitals located right here in the Boston area." ITT salesmen identify the hospital as the Peter Bent Brigham in Roxbury. However, the school has no training program with the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital at the present time. For less than eight weeks last summer, several students were "volunteers" at the hospital, but the program was canceled by the hospital after reported unresponsiveness by the school and the students.

"It was one of the worst experiences of my life," Mrs. Jacquelynn Hunt, director of volunteers at the Brigham Hospital said of the program. "The ITT girls all thought they would be doing nurse's duties and when I told them it would be routine work, they lost all interest. The school led those girls astray." Months after the program had been discontinued by the hospital, the school was still running the ad on television and ITT salesman Edward Calamese was trumpeting it in this fashion: "You'll be working on the wards of the Peter Bent Brigham. You'll be giving shots, doing everything a nurse does."

The short-lived program has been used by the school for more than soliciting unwary young women. School Director Charles Feistkorn listed the working agreement with the hospital as a major reason to state officials to have the course approved for the subsidized training of veterans.

Approval from the Veterans Administration (VA) for the course had been denied last July after a review of the curriculum and facilities by a team of medical and dental experts. Feistkorn was upset by the rejection and appealed the decision.

At the August appeal hearing before VA Approval Agent James E. Burke and state Vice-Chancellor of the Board of Higher Education Graham R. Taylor, Feistkorn cited the hospital program and also claimed the school had a "registered nurse and a doctor on its staff." He is also quoted as saying he had been a superintendent of a public school system in Ohio before coming to ITT in Boston.

In fact, two of the impressive claims were inaccurate and a third was misleading. Feistkorn has never been a public school superintendent. There is no registered nurse on their staff, although Mrs. Elizabeth Murphy, chief medical instructor, is listed as one in the school's catalogue. She is only a licensed practical nurse which requires much less skill and training.

And the doctor Feistkorn boasted about is a graduate of a medical school in the Philippines who is not a registered physician in Massachusetts and cannot practice medicine here.

But the state officials checked none of the claims Feistkorn made at that August meeting, and two months later, on October 10, 1973, Burke told the school its medical assistant course was approved for veteran training.

In September, about a month before it received its veteran approval, the school was informed by Peter Bent Brigham that its training program was being discontinued.

Although he had used the hospital program as a major selling point at the meeting with state officials, Feistkorn did not inform them when the crucial program was disbanded in September. VA agent Burke did not learn of the action until told by The Globe.

Asked about Feistkorn's activities, Burke said, "I guess I shouldn't have taken him at his word. I took him at face value. I guess I was naive." (Feistkorn resigned as school director shortly before publication.)

Neither ITT course in medical or dental assistance is accredited by the professional associations in the two fields.

"The accreditors would have laughed in our face," a former dental assistant instructor said, "When I first came to the school, the girls were being taught without a formal curriculum They were being instructed on whatever came into the teacher's head"

With its dental assistant course unaccredited by the American Dental Assn., ITT graduates cannot take the exam to become certified professionals, it is a crippling disadvantage when the graduates go looking for jobs.

Of the 236 students who have enrolled in the courses in the last two years, only 52, or 22 percent, have found jobs. In stark contrast, Northeastern University's dental assistant course, which is accredited, has placed 85 percent of the 334 students it enrolled during the same period.

Moreover, like all of the 13 schools which offer accredited dental assistant courses in Massachusetts, Northeastern's program costs much less than ITT's


The contrasting statistics take on a tragic tone when interviewing the numerous ITT graduates who have been unable to find the jobs the school had promised on graduation.

"Everywhere I went looking for a job it was the same question, ‘Are you certified? What could I say?" one graduate said. "I guess I was fooled by their being part of a big corporation. Well, the course was expensive, but I got nothing out of it but a big bill which I couldn't pay off because I could not find a job."

One girl found her ITT training so unsatisfactory that after graduating she enrolled in Northeastern's course so she could find a job. She says she recently called her high school counselor and advised her not to recommend ITT Tech's dental assistant course to any students.

The word appears to be getting around. An official of the state Board of Dental Examiners told a prospective student recently to "stay away from unaccredited courses like ITT's."

What the course lacks in substance, the school and its salesmen try to make up for in their promotion.

"Calling All Girls," one ITT health assistance ad appearing in The Globe begins. "Why settle for a humdrum office and secretary's salary-when exciting

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