Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Lawsuits: Career Colleges deceive students

Career Colleges are being sued all over the country.

Allegations ranging from deceiving students to not dispensing
their student's financial aid.

Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) "At their best, for-profit colleges provide flexible alternatives for students to pursue post-secondary education, but unfortunately, some have become highly profitable multi-state corporations while failing to provide the learning environment and career services that will enable their students to graduate and succeed."

Arne Duncan (US Secretary of  Education) “We will hold schools accountable for ensuring their students are not saddled with unmanageable student loan debt.”

June 21, 2013 - Missouri woman awarded $13 MILLION from Vatterott Colleges.  She was told that as a Medical Assistant, she would earn between $15 and $17 an hour.  She took out $20,000 in student loans to do so, and enrolled in the 60 week course.  As it turns out she was mistakenly(?) enrolled in the Medical Office Assistant Program (which DOESN'T EXIST in the real world, there is no certification for it) and to complete the Medical Assistant Program, it would take another 30 weeks and $10,000.  Although she only sued for $2 million, the jury awarded her $13 million.

May 13,  2013 - Massachusetts Attorney General launched an investigation into University of Phoenix, Kaplan, and Everest Colleges claiming their deceptive practices are leaving students saddled with debt.  This announcement comes after the laswsuit into Sullivan & Cogliano Training Centers, Inc.

May 30th, 2012 - American Career Colleges  faced a class action lawsuit alleging that the school accepted Federal Title IV loans that they didn't dispense, and hid that fact from students.  i.e. Tuition was $18,300 and they accepted on the student's behalf $32,500 in student loans.  In addition, they didn't meet Federal Loan requirements.

August 8, 2011 - Education Management Corporation was handed a subpoena from the Department of Justice and 4 states alleging through deceptive techniques they would have to return the $11 billion in student aid they collected in the previous 8 years.
They operate 105 schools under 5 names:
  • Art Institute
  • Argosy University
  • Brown Mackie College
  • South University.

There are more than 2,000 For-Profit Schools receiving 
$24 billion in Federal Title IV Loans each year.

Pursue a career as a Pharmacy Technician without loans and debt.
Online. Self-Paced. Interactive. Comprehensive.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Step 2 - Pass The PTCE

Step 2 - Pass the PTCE

What's the PTCE? 
The Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam.  

It is the most widely accepted aptitude tests regarding the competency of Pharmacy Technicians.  Most companies (like CVS, Walgreen, Kroger, etc.) require the PTCE regardless of the state that you live in (as they operate in most of the states listed below).

The following States require the PTCE:
Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming.

What's on the PTCE?
  • The PTCE contains 90 multiple-choice questions to be answered in 110 minutes. 
  • 10 of the 90 questions do not count toward candidates' scores. 
  • These 10 are generally new questions being piloted for possible inclusion on future versions of the PTCE. Candidates will not know which questions are unscored and are therefore encouraged to try their best and answer all questions. 
  • There is no penalty for guessing. 
  • A five minute tutorial will precede the start of the exam and a five minute exit survey will follow the exam, bringing the total test appointment to 120 minutes (two hours).

Currently the PTCE is made up of the following:
Assisting the Pharmacist in Serving Patients (66% of the Exam)

They do intend to switch the test up a bit, toward the end of this year (date undetermined):

How do I pass the PTCE?

See Step 1 - Training

Online Pharmacy Technician Training
The Definitive Guide to Pharmacy Technician Training.
Online. Self-Paced. Comprehensive.

Step 1 - Training

Step 1 - Training

3 Myths
#1 Myth:  You have to attend a formal institution's Pharmacy Technology Program to become a Pharmacy Tech.

Fact:  In most states, all that's required is for you to pass the PTCE (Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam).  You can sign up for it online at the PTCB (Pharmacy Technician Certification Board) website.

#2 Myth:  You can find everything you need to study for the PTCE online, for free.

Fact:  There are a bunch of websites that offer free study materials pertaining to the PTCE, but there are reasons that they are "Free".  They are riddled with errors, they are incomplete in scope, and they make money by putting ads all over their site.  Here's a screen-shot of all three of those things.

Darvocet was taken off the market in 2010 (3.5 years ago).
They admit you'll need to take some sort of course, and their info is incomplete.
There is an ad in the middle of their paragraph.

#3 Myth:  The externship element at a Pharmacy Technician School will help you get a job.

Fact: There is, at best, a remote chance that you'll be hired on at your externship site.  With only a certain number of positions available (maybe none), how would they hire you? or your classmate? or all of your other classmates?

Training Options

Textbooks - Amazon lists 102 "Pharmacy Technician Textbooks", most of which claim to be the end all be all in PT training.  I haven't seen all of them so I can't say that there isn't a good one in the bunch, but I can say there isn't one that I'd recommend.  That being said, you can pick one up for about $30.

Schools - If you do decide to attend any of these school PLEASE ask how long the instructor that teaches the program has been there.  I guarantee their response will be "less than a year but, [insert somewhat believable garbage here]".  Also before you decide to take all of those Title IV Federal Loans and refunds, ask how much you can expect to pay monthly after you graduate, more than 50% of Title IV loans are in default.  

There are 3 Tiers of Pharmacy Technician Schools.  I put them into tiers based on cost, you're just as likely to get a good education at one you'd attend for less as a bad education at one that you pay more.  The instructor makes all the difference. 
  • Tier 1 - These are local schools, probably at a professional center, that charge somewhere between $500 and $1000.  Usually a 2-4 week program.
  • Tier 2 - These are schools that are found locally, but owned nationally, that charge somewhere between $1500 and $3000.  Most of these schools accept Title IV Federal Loans.  Usually a 12-16 week program.
  • Tier 3 - These are schools that have national affiliation, and typically offer a wide variety of programs, maybe even a bachelor's degree in something unrelated to Pharmacy Technician Training.  All of these schools accept Title IV Federal Loans.  They charge between $10,000 and $26,000.  Usually a 12 to 24 month program.

It's not necessary to spend all of that money and time to go to school to become a Pharmacy Technician. RxTechExam.com has EVERYTHING you need to pass the National Examination.  It's definitely worth checking out.
Online Pharmacy Technician Training
The Definitive Guide to Pharmacy Technician Training.
Online. Self-Paced. Comprehensive.