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Students consider filing lawsuit against COD Sonography Program

Updated: March 25, 2013 6:38AM

Five former students say they are considering a lawsuit against the College of DuPage Sonography Program because of what they called favoritism to some students, bullying and inappropriate fees and charges.

“There were students that had things that were wrong (on their work) that were not marked wrong,” Liz Franke, one of the five, said of the alleged favoritism shown by Terrie Chez, coordinator of the Sonography Program.

Among the charges is that students were required to sign up for “DMIS:1111 Clinical Education,” but even though the students were required to pay full tuition and lab fees of $375, no classes were ever held and they were assigned arbitrary grades.

Franke said that the five who complained, including herself, Renee Daniel, Kari Conforti, Lyndsey Gabriel, and Meegan Sheppard, all were reimbursed for the non-existent class and had their grades removed after they took their case to Associate Dean for Heath and Biological Science Karen Solt.

But Franke said that the others in the program were simply out the money.

“All the numerous people that have remained in this program have not been reimbursed,” she said.

The five also said that Ciez played favorites and made a habit of belittling students she didn’t like.

“I’ve never been so talked down to and bullied in a class,” Franke said.

Attempts to reach Ciez by telephone and email were unsuccessful.

Solt, who the five students said was very helpful to them, only said that the college was investigating the matter and directed all inquiries to Communications Director Joe Moore.

But Moore also declined comment at this time.

“The college is looking into the claims,” he said.

Franke charged that Ciez, whether deliberately or not, was responsible for Daniel failing a practical exam by testing her for material that was never covered in the course work.

“They set her up to fail,” she said.

Contacted by telephone, Daniel confirmed Franke’s version of events.

Now she is looking for work to pay back the $24,000 in student loans she took out to complete the program.

After spending 20 years in marketing, Daniel saw the COD program as a new beginning.

“This was my chance to go to school and get a new career,” she said. “If I had known all this, I would have picked a different school.”

The five women are currently seeking legal representation.

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