160.400 – Misrepresentation Policy

Date Revised: October 2019

POLICY
Maine Media College strives to provide accurate, honest, and clear information in its print, online, and oral presentations. Maine Media makes every effort to avoid misrepresentation in its communications to students and others. Employees are trained to avoid any form of misrepresentation as they communicate about Maine Media College and its activities.

Maine Media Workshops + College is prohibited under federal regulations (CFR title 34 sections 668.71-74) from making any false, erroneous, or misleading statement directly or indirectly to a student, prospective student, member of the public, accrediting agency, state agency, or the U.S. Department of Education.

Definitions
A misleading statement is defined as any statement that has the likelihood or tendency to deceive or confuse. A statement is any communication made in writing, visually, orally, or through other means.

Misrepresentation is defined as any false, erroneous or misleading statement made by an institution or one of its representatives directly or indirectly to a student, prospective student, family of either, accrediting agency, state agency, any members of the public, or the U.S. Department of Education. This includes the dissemination of a student endorsement or testimonial made under duress or because the school required the student to provide the endorsement to participate in a program.

The definition of misrepresentation applies to statements made by:

  • Maine Media College
  • A representative of Maine Media College, or
  • Any other institution, organization, or person with whom Maine Media  College has an agreement to provide educational programs or to provide marketing, advertising, recruiting, or admissions services.

Substantial misrepresentation is defined as “any misrepresentation on which the person to whom it was made could reasonably be expected to rely, or has reasonably relied, to that person’s detriment.”

Substantial misrepresentations are prohibited in all forms, including those made in any advertising or promotional materials or in the marketing or sale of courses or programs of instruction offered by Maine Media.

The regulatory provisions describe misrepresentation by the school itself, one of its representatives, or other related parties, with respect to:

  • Nature of the educational program
  • Nature of financial charges
  • Employability of graduates
  • Relationship with the Department of Education.

A Title IV eligible institution, its representatives, or any organization or person with whom the eligible institution has an agreement may not describe the eligible institution’s participation in the Title IV, Higher Education Act programs in a manner that suggests approval or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Education of the quality of its educational programs.

Nature of educational program (34 CFR 668.72)
Misrepresentation by a school of the nature of its educational program includes, but are not limited to false, erroneous, or misleading statements concerning:

  • the particular types, specific sources, nature, and extent of its accreditation;
  • whether a student may transfer course credits earned at the school to any other school;
  • whether successful completion of a course of instruction qualifies a student for acceptance into a labor union or similar organization or receipt of a local, state, or federal license or a non-government certification required as a precondition for employment or to perform certain functions;
  • whether its courses are recommended by vocational counselors, high schools, or employment agencies, or by governmental officials for government employment;
  • its size, location, facilities, or equipment;
  • the availability, frequency, and appropriateness of its courses and programs to the employment objectives that it states its programs are designed to meet;
  • the nature, age, and availability of its training devices or equipment and their appropriateness to the employment objectives that it states its programs and courses are designed to meet;
  • the number, availability, and qualifications, including the training and experience, of its faculty and other personnel;
  • the availability of part-time employment or other forms of financial assistance;
  • the nature and availability of any tutorial or specialized instruction, guidance and counseling, or other supplementary assistance it will provide its students before, during, or after the completion of a course;
  • the nature and extent of any prerequisites established for enrollment in any course; or
  • any matters required to be disclosed to prospective students under 34 CFR 668.43 (institutional information) and 34 CFR 668.46 (campus security information).

Nature of financial charges (34 CFR 668.73)
Misrepresentation by a school of the nature of its financial charges includes, but is not limited to, false, erroneous, or misleading statements concerning –

  • offers of scholarships to pay all or part of a course charge, unless a scholarship is actually used to reduce tuition charges that are applied to all students whether or not receiving a scholarship and are made known to the student in advance; or
  • whether a particular charge is the customary charge at the school for a course.

Employability of graduates(34 CFR 668.74)
Misrepresentation by a school regarding the employability of its graduates includes, but is not limited to, false, erroneous, or misleading statements

  • that the school is connected with any organization or is an employment agency or other agency providing authorized training leading directly to employment;
  • that the school maintains a placement service for graduates or will otherwise secure or assist its graduates to obtain employment, unless it provides the student with a clear and accurate description of the extent and nature of this service or assistance; or concerning government job market statistics in relation to the potential placement of its graduates.

Procedures
Maine Media College prohibits the use of statements that tend to misrepresent the academic programs or related admissions and financial aid procedures.

The Office of Marketing and Communication maintains electronic copies of all promotional materials, including official quotes and statements made by Maine Media personnel.

The Registrar & Director of Student Services is responsible for the training of personnel under their supervision regarding misrepresentation of admissions requirements and other Maine Media information.

The Director of Finance & Administration is responsible for the training of personnel under the director’s supervision regarding misrepresentation of Maine Media’s financial aid information.

Disciplinary Action
Any violation of this directive will be taken seriously, and Maine Media will ensure that it is not repeated. Any employee’s conduct resulting in disciplinary actions from misrepresentation activity will be documented in Human Resources and maintained in the employee’s personnel file.