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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Education Law
Satisfied Customers: 19326
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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I just recently graduated from Sage Graduate School in

Customer Question

I just recently graduated from Sage Graduate School in Albany, NY. I spent the last 3 years in a full time LMHC program, putting myself into $91k in student loan debt. This past January, all I had left to complete was the second half of an internship and one last class and was due to graduate in May. In January, I had to leave my internship for a few weeks for a knee surgery. When I tried calling my internship to return post-surgery, they would not answer my calls. I found out from my school that I had been fired from my internship without given any explanation why. After this, the program director for my school program told me I had to either leave the program (a few months from graduating - with a 3.7 GPA) and complete a different program, or leave the school. I was given no other alternative and was not allowed to file a grievance with the school. I chose to just finish the other program, which required me to take an additional course. This new program only required 42 credits as it was only a two year program. Three and a half years after starting this program, I finally graduated, with 66 completed credits when the diploma they "gave me" only required 42. Also, the graduate program I was meant to graduate from would have allowed me to obtain my LMHC to sit down for NYS licensure to become a licensed therapist, but this new degree I was given is not qualified for licensure. Just because I was misfairly fired from an internship, I am now out 24 credits I didn't even need, an entire year and a half in both time and financial aid wasted, and now I am ineligible for licensure. And I was not even given an option to plead my case and stay in the program, as I would have been fine with re-doing an internship and just graduating a year late but I was now allowed to file for any grievance. I found out on the school website that when students are facing a potential threat to finishing any academic program, there is a formal grievance procedure through the school, though the program director did not allow me to do this. Is there anything I can do?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Education Law
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 11 months ago.

Hello: This isCustomer Welcome to JustAnswer! I am reviewing your post, and I will post my response very shortly. Thank you for your patience.

Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 11 months ago.

I am sorry to read about your difficulties.

You can still use the school grievance process to still file for formal grievance. If you do not know exactly how to do this, you need to ask for assistance from the Registra's office or the Dean of Students office.

Best wishes,

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I should still file a grievance with the school, even though I'm no longer a student? What will that do?
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 11 months ago.

To get a redress for the way your case was handled.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Right though they awarded me a diploma already. I don't think they can change that now. I want financial compensation for the thousands of dollars they made me waste.
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 11 months ago.

If you can prove your damages, you can proceed either with the grievance process or hire an Attorney to file lawsuit against the school.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
the school wont think it's strange that a former student is filing a grievance? I thought that was only for current students?
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 11 months ago.

You can file grievance against the school at any time for the way your case was handled. As previously stated, you can also file a lawsuit against the school if you choose to go through that route.

You can use the following sites to find local Attorneys who handle school law to assist you with the case:

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