Kesha Weir and Devin Morrison hold up a letter they received from Nova Scotia Labour and Advanced Education stating that their student loans would be repaid after an investigation into their studies at Paisley College deemed they were not receiving proper instruction.
New Glasgow – Two local esthetic students who claimed they weren’t properly taught by the owner of Paisley College will have their student loans refunded.
Devin Morrison and Kesha Weir received a letter from Nova Scotia Labour and Advanced Education this week acknowledging that “the registered and approved esthetics curriculum was not being followed” by Paisley College’s owner and instructor Pam Hansen.
The labour department conducted an investigation after complaints were filed by Morrison and Weir in January. The investigation included a review of college documentation and communication with Hansen.
“The contract is deemed to be faulty because Paisley College did not deliver the approved curriculum,” states the labour department letter addressed to Morrison. “Therefore, your third-party funder, Student Assistance, will be refunded the tuition fees paid and cost of materials.”
A refunded payment of $6,173.25 must be issued to the Nova Scotia Minister of Finance by December 31, 2013.
“A year of my life has been wasted, but I want girls out there to know that some good can come out of this,” said Morrison. “ They can get their money back.”
The women complained that there was little to no formal instruction at Paisley College, with students given books to read, but no teaching. Students weren’t given as many tests as they were supposed to and the ones they did get, they marked themselves. She states that students were performing services for paying clients when not properly taught or not taught at all.
In an interview, Weir spoke of students being given clients to massage when they had never had any instruction on how to give a massage.
She also states that owner and instructor Hansen would have clients of her own booked for the entire period, which took her away from her responsibilities as an instructor.
Hansen offered no comment Wednesday on the labour department's decision, stating that she hasn’t seen such a letter.
However, in the past, she said her form of instruction wasn’t traditional, but as far as she knows it has always followed the guidelines. She claims she was blindsided when she heard that the students had lodged formal complaints and says they never talked to her about them first. She said every client who comes to the school knows they are being worked on by students who are learning and sign a waiver to that effect.
She told The News in August that the required amount of theory by the Department of Labour and Advanced Education is 40 per cent but that can come at any point in the course and didn’t have to be spread out evenly through the course. She said wants her students to learn by doing in an environment similar to what they’ll end up in.
In the letter, Nova Scotia Labour and Advanced Education states that the esthetics program at Paisley College is registered with the Private Career Colleges Division and the program must be delivered as per the approved curriculum which details numerous interactive lecture and activities throughout the program.
“The primary instructional program method noted in the program as registered is not self-directing learning,” it states.
Morrison and Weir both said they encourage anyone looking into schooling from a private career college to do some research first.
Both women say they are now moving on from the experience. Weir is still looking at gaining some more schooling in the esthetics field while Morrison will become a student of the Nova Scotia Community College’s cosmetology course in January.
“I will get my dream,” said Morrison.