Students sue college, claim breach of contract - Albuquerque Journal

Students sue college, claim breach of contract

Doña Ana Community College “didn’t live up to its end of the deal” with students by maintaining accreditation of its nursing program after being warned of problems, according to a class-action lawsuit filed in Las Cruces.

Students weren’t told of the change in the college status until August 2012, and the institution allegedly tried to cover up its failures, the lawsuit states.

Amy Avalos, one of eight named plaintiffs among an estimated 100 nursing students affected by the loss of accreditation, was in her final semester last August when the National League of Nursing Accreditation Commission announced the action. The school had been put on warning in March 2010, but warnings dated back to 2002 that the college lacked sufficient faculty with master’s degrees, according to the lawsuit.

In the lawsuit, filed in state court by Las Cruces attorneys Joleen Youngers and Larry Pickett, and Albuquerque attorney Rob Treinen, students contend the most desirable employers won’t hire graduates from nonaccredited programs. They also contend they will have to incur costs repeating some course work.

At the same time the college was on notice about accreditation problems, funding priorities shifted from instructor salaries to administrative salaries, the suit alleges, including a 58 percent increase in the director’s salary.

The complaint seeks money damages and attorney fees for class members based on the community college’s alleged breach of contract, failure to act in good faith and misrepresentations.


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