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Fast TrainSallie Mae scam

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J Review updated:

This comes from my personal experience in the 12-month MIS program. If you are going to do this you should know that the program is set up in a way that makes it almost impossible to acquire all of the certifications. It is purely a course designed for those who either do not have to work, or for those who work part time. This is totally opposite of what I was told because they claim the program is designed for anyone who has to work regardless of your hours. You decide...You work full-time from 9 - 5, and then class is from 6 - 10. You only have the weekends to study, and you have to balance that between family and Church. Now on top of that, add to the mix that you only have three weeks to complete each of these massive technological, detail heavy courses. The courses consist of Intro to computers, A+, Network +, Microsoft XP, MANY Microsoft Server 2003 courses, Security+, Wireless, CISCO, etc. The books from each course ranged between 436 – 916 pages, and came with CD ROMS of information. Needless to say that none of the courses ever completed the books. We were told that since the books are ours we will always have them as reference. Now this is not to put the school down. This is to help anyone who is considering this course to make an educated decision. I graduated, and passed these courses because some of my classmates and I got together and decided we were not going to allow this to defeat us. I have 100’s of hours worth of study material, practice exams, lab simulations, etc., and that is how we got the most out of this. However, you should understand that all of the material I have was not provided by the school. I had to acquire them myself. So please do not misunderstand. This is a great program in the sense that it will expose you to a lot of material that you will need if you plan to go further. You must, however, figure out how to navigate through the mess that they lay out in front of you. The “time frame per course” is a ridiculous joke. You must be very strong and maintain that strength.

I never attended the intro to computers class. I told them I was already familiar with computers, they gave me a test, and I passed it.

A+ Certification:
When you get to the A+ course they tell you that you will learn how to dismantle, a computer and put it back together. Unfortunately the instructor apparently never knew this because every time we asked a technical question he stated, "Google it"! He even went as far as to tell us that he is not here to hold anyone's hand. Most of it consisted of him breezing through 6 - 12 pages per day, and telling us to study for the quiz. Nothing was really taught in class. We had to take it upon ourselves to dismantle some of the computers, and put them back together. The second half of A+ was much better. A new instructor who understood how to impart knowledge to others took over. He actually had to go back over the first half, then his own half. He prepared us for the certification, and three of us passed the certification exam a week after the A+ portion ended.


Network+ Certification:
The Network+ course is where things begin to get heavy. This is a very detail oriented course. There are a lot of things in here that would have been easier to follow if the labs were actually in working condition. (more about that later) We were able to get through it, but only because the instructor had to bring his own material which was outside of the course curriculum. We did appreciate it though because his material actually helped us through, and it made it easier for us to understand the course material. Two of us passed the N+ shortly thereafter.

Microsoft XP and Server 2003:
Microsoft XP, and all of the Server 2003 marked the beginning of the decline. As techs know, and will tell you the best way to understand active directory, and all of the permissions in these programs is to actually do it hands on. From the first week I had to reinstall the OS, (Operating System) almost every day that I was in the 270, (XP), and 290 (Server 2003 Management) courses. As the courses went along we discovered that their entire network is infested with viruses, and malware/spyware. When I questioned how a school with an IT program cannot eradicate these infestations I never got a straight answer. Instead, I had to use one of my flash drives ONLY for the school. Now with these courses the wealth of information is so massive that it was not possible to “appropriately” prepare in 1 ½ weeks for the mid terms, and then 1 ½ weeks for the finals. We retained the same instructor, but he also stated that the school needs to rework the program to allow for appropriate time to retain all of the information. At one point we had a meeting The Security+ was pretty simple, and was very informative. You will realize that all of the Microsoft courses are tied together, and knowing one will help you in the other. For example; if you get a grasp of active directory it carries over into all of the MS courses. The major issue with the MS courses is the fact that we had no labs due to the equipment being faulty the entire time. No matter how often we complained, the school did nothing to rectify the situation. Once again the instructor had to find other ways to teach the lessons, and bring in materials from his own training and office.

Wireless:
Wireless is the simplest course. Some of you will no doubt find familiarity with many of the technologies just from what we are exposed to everyday. The instructor was good, and he gave us class projects to make certain the lessons sank in. We were not able to have any labs due to the equipment being faulty.

Cisco:
Cisco is what I called the “big dog” course. This was broken into two segments. This course is immensely detailed, and 6 weeks was nowhere near enough time to begin understanding the tremendous weight of Cisco. We did class projects, and a lot of interaction, but the main problem was that none of the Cisco equipment was operational. The instructor had to bring in software from when he attended a Cisco University in the Caribbean. That is a damn shame because that proves the school did not prepare us at all for Cisco. This instructor was excellent. He even had jobs outside of school that we could go on to utilize the skills in the real world.

Job Assistance Program:
This is non-existent. The commercials are flat out lies. They claim to have a job assistance program, but this is not the case. Consistently over 80% of the jobs listed on the board were for things not even taught at the school. Other than that the few I did see for the IT field were for people with extensive experience. This kind of makes it impossible for a student to get one of these jobs don’t you think? They called me ONCE for a job after I completed the year long course, but that never came through.

Summary:
All in all this school can be better. If they would repair the labs, and actually have equipment that would function so the students can receive the hands-on they were promised it would not be so bad. The fact is the system is set up like one big deceptive trap. They deceive you in the interview telling you about the wonderful programs, and promising job assistance, but fail to tell you there will be ZERO labs the entire year because they are all defective. The amount of viruses/spyware in the school network is reminiscent of the black plague. I do not understand how a school with an IT program has an endless issue with viruses. We complained, we wrote letters, and they did nothing. Once towards the end one of the directors came to the school telling us he understands we have issues. Well aside from ignoring the students concerns, he did very little to change anything. Funny enough we were told constantly throughout the year that we should really try to visit the Kendall campus because they have state of the art labs, and have all brand new computers. Apparently our money was helping fund the Kendall campus. This is not worth the $17, 000 they charge each student. We receive no hands-on unless we go out and do it ourselves. They did not even make an attempt to repair any of the labs, and they took accepted no responsibility for misleading, and deceptive practices to lure students into complete and utter nonsense. Just to give you an idea; some of the computers still had the Windows 98, and Windows 2000 labels on them. This was in 2007 people. Those programs are outdated, and obsolete so what did they do? They tried to install Windows XP on those systems. Ask anyone who has done the same, and they will tell you that it runs slow, and seems to either freeze or have a lot of errors. The humorous thing is that in the MS courses the books tell you the minimum requirements for Windows XP, and a lot of the equipment didn’t even meet those requirements.

Responses

  • M
      Apr 06, 2010

    I am glad I READ THESE reviews, because I went to get some information and I ended up signing an enrollment sheet, i was really scared by the way they "forced" me to sign and almost register in 1 hour, I must recognized that they have the best sales people in the market, they made me feel like i was a genius and that I only need to train in order to pass all my certification exams. IT'S REALLY a shame because they seem to offer what I need, at least in theory. Does any one lese have a suggestion or advice about any other school?

    0 Votes
  • P
      Apr 12, 2010

    I really dont understand, you are saying they forced you into signing up, you mean they held your hand and forced you into signing on the doted line, or you mean they put a gun to your head? thats what forcing someone means, and you are also saying they made you feel like the smartest person in the world? i think you are very stubid, because thats what you are saying about your self, i have a suggestion you can go to the stubid people school, because thats where you belong Macintosh Guy.

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  • S
      Apr 12, 2010

    It's funny on how this generation can't be LEADERS, and fall behind on being FOLLOWERS. I am a current student of this school, and they have been the best. Yes the classes are intense, but that's where dedication and time falls into place. I was never forced into signing anything, on the contrary, my advisor was great. They guided me, and helped me from the beginning to the end. The words that were used was, " The ball is on your court". And they were right. Nothing in life is perfect, but at least they do their best to help you. Every day I get a hello, how are you?, have a great week, do you need anything?, To even the words" Are you happy with your classes?". When and where will you get that treatment???? I suggest you take it upon yourself to be a man, and do what you want and do what you think is right...

    People like you Macintosh, use other peoples stories to feel better and not face it that they are losers. Can't face the music and see that you will be a nobody. Well, while you figure out what you are going to do... I will continue my studies and be employed a lot faster than you. Because all you seem to do, is sit in front of your Macintosh and complain about people that are trying to HELP YOU. Grow up buddy!!!

    Kindly,
    Smart Girl

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  • D
      Mar 04, 2011

    This school is a joke. Well to be fair the one in Jacksonville, FL is a joke. Only 1 or 2 of the teachers have the knowledge to be teaching about computers. I was the top student on the board, aced almost every test, and was always teaching the other students more than the teacher were. Our books were outdated, most of the class did not even get books until the classes were half way through. In one class we watched Transformers about 3-4 times. Teachers skipped over chapters they thought were to hard to explain. Job placement was a joke, no one out of any of my classes ever got a job with the help of fasttrain. Then about half of my class was not told or signed up for a Microsoft Office class which was a big part of your grade. One day before the report was due we were all handed a letter and a book. I was fortunate enough to know enough about Microsoft Office to pass it. The admissions staff was a joke. They tell you all these wonderful lies then say they never told you that. Also the financial aid is setup so they get all of your grant money some students that did not get approved for much paid less. Everyone in my class paid a different price for schooling.

    Glad to see your having good luck with your school Smart Girl 1004

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  • A
      May 06, 2011

    i didnt attend this school( never heard of it until my grown son told me about it) it just popped up in the mall over nite. a financial aid advisor told me that my son would have to take out a student loan because a pell grant will not cover the $22, 400 medical asst. program. but the catch is that the loan is in my name but he will have to be responsible for paying it back. now how does that work. if he default on the loan and i signed the loan application wouldnt the government come after me by garnishing my wages? let them tell it they wont. this school called me at least 3 different times requesting my tax information and each person told me something different.the staff at this school tells the students that they can get a job in a hospital as a medical asst. they couldnt be more wrong. medical assistance will not be hired at a hospital. i know because im a med asst. when i asked jose at the university mall location to tell me a few hospitals that med. asst. are hired at funny how he couldnt give me not one name, but this school guarantee these students that they canget a job working in the hospital. sound as though this school is a rip off, trying to get f/ a money. That Jose guy really got under my skin i was so close to going to that mall and tell every student in the medical asst. program dont waste your time or money, i hope anyone that read this, really do research on this school before signing any papers

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  • T
      May 14, 2011

    My personal experience:
    Fastttrain moved to the new location in the mall where it is now by the end of last year.For angrymom, Jose is basically a new associate.You really need to sit back them with the financial aid adviser

    I enter the one year computer program. You don't have to be Einstein but somebody that need to put their heart and soul to keep with those classes.This is not for somebody that wants to work and study, or lay back people.
    But some students are slow, they need to work, so they fall behind.The classes are not a walk in the cloud and the amount of information that you need to study everyday is massive.
    Now they make it a 1 1/2 program, associate degree ( it was a year program, not associate degree). In the IT field that doesn't count but the certifications.I finished several months ago and I am still taking the 9 certifications to be an IT professional, and i consider myself the most advantage of my class( with the 7th one right now.) And a lot of the material for the certs are not properly cover in the classes
    Without the certifications, or the experience, in the IT world you are nobody.

    There are a lot of drop off, as I said, it's not for everyone..Of 30 something students in the 2 shift ( day & night students) only 5 of us properly finished, and only 3 are behind the certs..The classes are not for lay back people at a regular school pace.
    Now with the good and the bad: I don't know if a 4 years program, with literature, math, English, etc, etc will be more better for one reason: In the IT world things changed extremely fast. I took for example Microsoft XP and Server 2003, and now they took it away and replaced them because it's outdated. So, if you take a 4 years program, only 25 % of the information ain't going to be outdated by the time you finished.
    Some of the classes that i had had excellent professors, but some of them don't, specially the director that was teaching servers 2008( infrastructure & active directory) that didn't prepare himself for the classes, never wanted to help you, m and was way more focus on his twitter, than teach.Needless to say, by the time I pass the certification for that, it was basically like teaching myself something very complicated.And the books for that programing classes were packed with mistakes ( a simple missing dot can crumble the whole process that you've been working for hours to add the frustration, so for that class, you are on your own)
    I've heard that they changed the teachers really fast, because they don't pay a lot.That's bad, because they take a big cut from you.
    They even discourage students that want to get a job, but with a good reason: You can keep the pace with the school and work.Prepare to put a lot of hours a day studying.And they tell you they can help you with information after you finish school to take the certifications..That's a lie
    So, let me explain my conclusion of this: FastTrain try to teach you and prepare you for one of the best paid job in America .They do that in a time record.But the information is so massive that you won't have time to swallow everything, but if you want to go to a 4 years university, most of what you study will be outdated.The key is not what you learn or fasttrain degree, but the professional certifications that you will need in the real life BY THE TIME you finish..And after you finish school you are on your own. So, I personally think it's better than the bachelor degree with outdated classes..

    This is not a perfect world, but I think it worth it, a lot, if you are aware that you will to sacrifice a lot of things, the intensity that you can expect, and ONLY if you are strong and have the mental discipline and resources to achieve your dreams.Like everything in life.

    0 Votes
  • Fast Train - Rip off
    United States

    Fast Train is the worst "school" anyone could ever possibly consider attending. The education sucked, the staff sucked (except for a select few) and the aftermath of being a student there SUCKS! WORST $$ I'VE EVER SPENT. Stupid, trashy, horrible organization. Waste of fricken money and time. TOTAL GARBAGE! Don't ever consider wasting your money on this government cheese filled place! This is the second year in a row (only been out of school for a year and a half) I've had to continuously call these ###ic excuses for life to obtain my 1098 for tax filing. Here it is the 17th of the month and I've tried calling them 15 times and always get the run around. "You need to call this person", then I call that person and get "you need to call this person", then call that person and get "they won't be in until 12", well, who else can I talk to? "You can talk to this person but they won't be in until 10". They have a career services department that is supposed to help you get placed in the field of your career training and that chick is an ABSOLUTE ###. She tried to revise my resume on several occasions with improper spellings and actually put Microsoft Office 7 and expected me to get a job in IT. That totally makes sense. Make me look like a idiot because you don't know what you're doing.

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