The Chubb Institute / Terrible everything
I made the mistake of enrolling in The Chubb Institute in July of 2006 for the Computer Networking and Security program that started in August 2006. My first meeting with an admissions rep seemed to good to be true which should have caused a red flag to be raised, but i always see the glass as half full, not half empty so i paid little mind to it.
Behind the scenes, the admissions reps are running around, greeting everybody with a smile saying how fantastic the place is, how happy they are to be there and were saying the same thing about the students and what a wise decision it is to go there.
On my first tour of the campus, my rep spent more time telling me about the 'student life' rather than about the program itself, priding the school on the cafeteria and the rooftop where students spend more time smoking cigarettes and mingling then being in the classroom.
Walking through the halls i poked my head in a few classrooms, where the students seemed to be more like zombies in front of a computer terminal rather than being taught. Teachers were sitting in the front of the classroom and to be honest with you, the only reason I knew they were teachers was because they were wearing ties and collared shirts, rather than t-shirts and shorts.
Fast forward to my second visit... a brief one that involved a placement exam that included 17 questions. None of them had any relevance to computers, they were all about reading a paragraph or two and answering questions about the excerpt. I can remember one in detail that was about a girl and her grandmother baking and the ingredients needed to make whatever it was... i believe it was cookies... lol. My son who was 4 at the time and was just learning how to read would have scored a passing grade on the 'exam' and still for some reason I decided to pursue my education figuring if I didn't continue then and there, there was no guarantee I was ever going to go back to school, so like an idiot I kept on with the school.
Three weeks later was the beginning of my Chubb 'experience'. Orientation day was quick and painless. There was about 35 students for four programs. We all introduced ourselves and why we were there and after about one hour we all had lunch and was dismissed to return on Monday for the start of our classes... this is where the fun began.
Monday morning I remember standing in the lobby of the school since I had no idea where our class room was (we weren't assigned one yet). I wasn't alone. I can remember six or seven other students were there with me since they had no idea where we were to go either and about 15 minutes after class was supposed to begin we were greeted by a student service rep who had us follow her to an empty room where our teacher was waiting for us. Long story short the rest of the 17 students in my class moseyed their way in late, sat down, got our text books for the first class along with the course sylabus and we began class.
Two or three hours into our first class another teacher in the CNS department called a few of the students out of our class to inform them of the new dress code that is going to be strictly enforced and how they were in violation of that policy and the next time they came to school without a collared shirt they would be sent home to change.
Fast forward to Thursday, the day before our first test. I was an exception to this since I actually spent hours a night studying, but for the students who chose not to, they received a 'freebie'. The teacher stood in the front of the class and said 'ok everybody, review time... grab a pen and a piece of paper to write some things down... when i say i would remember this if I were you, I would... remember this... if I were you.' There was about 25 'I would remember these' said, and to my surprise there was 25 questions on the test. To save whoever is going to read this a lot of time, this was the practice for every test taken throughout the entire program... EVERY SINGLE TEST so it's no wonder why students can graduate with a 3.0 and higher. I don't remember much about the A+ software class we took in the second month of the program but i remember the answers to the final were A, B, D, D, C, B, A and so on.
My third month/third course was interesting... Forensics. Our software required a series of batch files to be inputted in order to be compatible with the Operating System we were using (most forensics programs are used with DOS and windows 98 and we were using XP). Surprisingly enough there was one person who knew what those batch files were... the director of the CNS program and she was fired the day our course started because the network for the entire school went down. It wasn't her fault, the person to blame was the schools network administrator for not being able to keep it up and running but the higher up's needed to point the finger at someone, so she was asked to leave. Needless to say that course was a wash but we all received A's for the course... YAY!
Networking was the fourth course/fourth month and was actually one of the best classes offered. No special software was needed so there was no problems with the labs assigned and the teacher we had for that course (our third teacher for four courses) actually knew what he was talking about.
He wasn't a certified teacher, but had over 20 years experience in the business and was MCSE certified so being able to teach us the material wasn't a problem for him. Learning the material wasn't hard either since he made class interesting and fun. The only problem with him was he cared enough to tell us how the computer world worked with certifications and degrees, and since Chubb didn't offer vouchers to students for free like other schools it was difficult for students such as myself to obtain them. Chubb did offer vouchers at a 'discounted' price, but at the same token most of them weren't valid so the students that did invest hundreds of dollars on them wasted more money than just on the tuition alone.
The sixth month, halfway through the program was interesting for my class since halfway through we had no teacher. The gentleman who lead us from Networking until Advanced Server (the current month being mentioned) felt it was in his best interest to leave the school for personal reasons, which was understood since most teachers careers lasted about 3 or 4 months anyways, so anything after that was a 'bonus' for the students who were there.
Two or three days without a teacher the labs we were doing didn't work (they actually caused the network in the school to crash on a daily basis) so all we could do anyway was read the text book. I actually took initiative and decided to stand at the podium and teach the rest of the class... a student myself and without the 'I'd remember this if I were you' method I was able to teach the other students in the class and everybody passed. I do believe the lowest grade in the class was an 84%. Not bad figuring not only did I have NO teaching experience and no work experience... just the ability to make a bunch of computer mumble jumble jargain plain old english so everybody in the class that couldn't understand what a DHCP relay agent would know what it was after my colorful metaphors and interesting ways of breaking things down.
Month Seven... Exchange Server. LOL. The only 'exchanges' were between the new teacher and a few students. After a few racial remarks one student actually left the school because of what was said to him, and by this time a class that started with 17 students, was bumped up to 35 2 months in has now dwindled down to about twelve or thirteen. The remaining students started thinking the ones that left were much better off than the ones there, but since there was a clause in the contracts with the tuition, none of it would be reimbursed, so if we left, we would still be responsible to pay 100% of what was owed. Long story short the term 'Reinstall Monday' was... reinstall monday. Since nobody knew how to administer an Exchange Server, none of the labs worked and at the end of every week the teacher said, 'We'll start fresh next week guys, ok?' lol.
The same teacher for Exchange was also our teacher for the next two months, Linux and Advanced Linux. One student took a leave of absence for two months saying if ____ was going to teach the courses, he will just wait to take those courses at the end of his program. Since that student still had a few months left after the two courses skipped he figured that teacher would no longer be there teaching... That statement was accurate.
After those few months skipped that teacher in fact no longer taught at Chubb Institute. He is now the program director! One source I spoke with said it was the only way to get him out of the class room without firing him. See Chubb fires teachers who are competent and pushes other teachers away and keeps the 'teachers' who are completely under qualified for reasons never explained.
Two courses and two months after our Linux jokes was Cisco and Advanced Cisco. Cisco was actually incredible! We had a new teacher to the school who was CCNA and CCNP certified so he knew what he was talking about. Only problem with the class was the labs because the school didn't want to pay for the key to activate the software for it so what we could do on it was limited...
Two months left... Advanced Cisco and Security. The teacher for Cisco was teaching another class, so we had the honor of being taught by one of the biggest nightmares to ever walk through the halls of Chubb. Unfortunately names can't be mentioned but anybody who went to chubb whether in the CNS dept or another program knows who I am talking about because they have heard his voice throughout the halls on a daily basis. Not for teaching loudly but for starting arguments with most every student he 'taught'.
The day before Advanced Cisco started he limped his way into our class, looked at me and asked if I was going to be in his class on Monday. I said yes and he laughed. He told me he was looking forward to teaching me since I was 'clown' and he will enjoy whipping me into shape. I thought he meant figuratively but soon enough I realized he was speaking literally.
He was more encapsulated with talking about the Marines and his old 'war days' than teaching us how to secure a Cisco implemented network. He disregarded the schools sylabus for the course and made his own labs up and any lab that didn't work he told us to read a news article about something computer relevant and write a one page excerpt giving our opinion on it. Nobody said anything to him about it in fear of our lives literally since he had no problem getting within inches of our faces threatening us with violence... the rest of the course was a blur so lets just move on to our final horror story. Security.
The beginning of our security class was a continuance of Advance Cisco. Any lab that didn't work meant another reading assignment. One of the students in my class finally spoke up and nearly knocked our teacher off his seat. He stood up and began yelling at the class saying if we didn't comply he would have no problem failing the entire class. I stood up to defend the only girl in our class (the one who spoke up in the first place) and instead of discussing the situation in a mature manner, the teacher tried to entise me in a physical altercation.
This is the second time that happened to me personally with this teacher, and probably the fourth or fifth time in total he tried to resort to violence with students so another student in our class spoke out and advised me to bring it to the attention of the director of education and Chubb.
We tried on numerous occasions to contact the director but he was never in the building, and with a week or two left until we graduated we just figured it wasn't worth our time to cause a ripple since we will be gone soon enough. It was finally brought to the directors attention from an employee in the building since that person heard everything that happened and when we were approached about it, the director asked if there was any other problems we had with the program.
Other problems were brought up like no computers to work on in the hardware labs, no labs actually worked, some students never received networking kits and other students received text books a week or two after classes started. I never heard responses for some of the gripes but one that stuck out was about the books. His (the dir) response was, 'well, you received books for 2 out of three classes, that's not that bad. it's more than half.' lol. what if the school only received more than half of the tuition, but not all of it?
There are so many other problems I had with Chubb and unfortunately right now I can't think of them all but another we all had in our program was with job placement. I had four interviews with one company who never called me back, and other companies calling me for teleresearch and sales jobs. I had a technical education in computers so why should I take a job selling email making cold calls to people? Simple. the person in job placement had no contacts with companies relevant to what we went to school for, she had a friend that worked for a temp agency that gave her all her leads to businesses, but that was supposed to be a secret that leaked out to student by mistake.
Right now I make more money working in a supermarket than any job I could have gotten at Chubb Instutute. I know that because the one company I interviewed with would have paid me $12.00 an hour doing help desk that i wasn't qualified for, $10.00 an hour making cold calls for selling email and my favorite was $9.00 an hour doing teleresearch! Awesome! How can I afford to pay back $17, 000.00 dollars worth of loans if I can't even afford a buss pass to get to work?
I would never ever ever recommend to anybody to attend any technical school. If you can't afford to go to a four year college and get a computer science degree... go online, look at a few schools cirriculums and just buy text books at a book store relevant to what you want to learn or get the dummy books, like A+ for dummies or net+ for dummies. A student in my class did that with A+ software, didn't use the text book, just read over that one, got his A+ certification and aced the course and could've same thousands and thousands of dollars.
I have not paid a nickel back to Chubb nor will I. I know that sounds bad and is a little embarrassing to say, but I would rather work under the table at a pizza shop delivering pies for cash so my wages can't get garnished than pay them anything. It was a complete waste and that is all I can say.
I hope you found everything I mentioned very entertaining and informative. It is all 100% true. Save your time and money, just go to a community college to start and when you can transfer to another school. DON'T GO TO CHUBB!!!