In the second half of 2015, U.S. government education officials started to investigate Silicon Valley University in San Jose and Northwestern Polytechnic University in Fremont over their academic programs and procedures.
Northwestern Polytechnic University (Fremont) and Silicon Valley University (San Jose) are two important Bay Area institutions of higher education that have become the subjects of investigation by the U.S. government. The schools needed to react to media reports regarding the controversy over “scrutiny” by the U.S. government.
Both schools have posted alerts on their home pages to inform prospective students. On 21 December 2015, Air India had stopped 19 students from getting aboard the airline’s Hyderabad – San Francisco flight. This action was based on information that the airline had received from the U.S. Customs & Border Protection Agency.
Silicon Valley University claims it is accredited by ACICS (the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools), and the Virginia-based accreditation agency has indeed confirmed that Silicon Valley University was (after lengthy and elaborate due diligence procedures) accredited in 2003. The school’s accreditation is still supposed to be active, but an ACICS spokesperson said that the accreditation was only for the school’s academic programs.
Fact is that that the SVC website has some pretty glaring gaps. When you click on the ‘tuition and fees’ link you will be shown details on who to contact in case ‘California students who are attending a private post-secondary educational institution’ will loose their money ‘resulting from a school closing, or failing to meet its enrollment agreement obligations.’
The school is providing a phone number here (916-574-7720) that they say will connect you to the ‘Bureau for Private Post-secondary Education’, which will deal with repayment issues, but if you call that number you will hear the nest message: ‘Thank you for reaching the California Board of Psychology….’ Strange, isn’t it? No wonder there are lots of questions…..
Now Northwestern Polytechnic University. Also here, the school’s telephone lines are apparently knotted up, and not just one, they ALL are! If you try to reach each one of their listed office numbers, one by one, you’ll notice that they all have the same connect issue. Just let it ring til you get to the voicemail and you’ll be asked to record a message.
Then it tells you that recording is NOT possible! This happened with business office, the Admissions office, the administrative office, and the tuition & fees office. All calls were made on the same day (a weekday), and during regular working hours. Does this raise a red flag? Well, it sure is odd….
The SVU Website Comments Section
Local journalists in the Bay Area have begun to dig in on this story, and the official reactions from the two universities are – of course – pretty predictable: All is good, No problems whatsoever! The comments section on SVU’s website, though, paints quite a different picture. The public reviews focus mainly on two SVU issues, doubtful admission procedures, and Low cost.
The reviews also include several severe complaints about the school’s admission staff’s capabilities and commitment. Another returning issue in the comments section is severe anxiety over the mandatory paperwork at the school. Northwestern Polytechnic uses a totally different approach and says that all these news reports are ‘totally false.’