BRENTWOOD, N.H. -- A man who went to Hesser College for a degree in computer network administration is suing the school, saying it falsely advertised a program that was not fully available.
In a lawsuit filed in Rockingham County Superior Court, Jeff LoPrinzi, 37, of Newmarket said the college repeatedly canceled classes, even after college officials signed a contract requiring them to complete his education.
LoPrinzi and his wife, Catherine, assert they suffered serious financial losses and emotional distress as a result. Hesser College argues that the LoPrinzis are responsible for any losses they suffered.
``I wanted to move on with my life. That was the whole idea of going to school," Jeff LoPrinzi told Foster's Daily Democrat. ``Now I can't get my diploma."
LoPrinzi began his network administration studies at the college's Portsmouth campus two years ago, after getting federal loans.
His first two semesters went well, then he was told the next courses he needed would not be available in Portsmouth because not enough students had signed up, he said. School officials said he could take the classes at the Salem campus and signed a contract guaranteeing he would get the courses he needed for his degree.
Meanwhile, LoPrinzi's job shifted to New Bedford, Mass. He spent five months living in a hotel and commuting to classes twice a week. He was frustrated by numerous class cancellations and early releases, but continued to do well, he said.
He began applying for jobs last summer and got a good offer from a company in North Carolina, pending completion of his degree by January 2006. In November, in anticipation of the move, Catherine LoPrinzi sold her hair salon in Exeter.
But then Hesser officials told LoPrinzi the last two classes he needed were not being offered and he should contact a former teacher about completing the work.
After a lawyer wrote the school on his behalf, a former teacher contacted LoPrinzi in December and offered to teach him one of the classes. LoPrinzi turned down the offer because the teacher had not taught the class before and was not certified in the subject, he said.
Two days later, a Hesser College employee called and said the school would make class arrangements. She promised a call back, but it never came, he said. In February, the LoPrinzis filed suit.
Betsy Turenne, spokeswoman for Hesser College, denied LoPrinzi's assertions.
``Hesser College has sought to accommodate Mr. LoPrinzi's educational goals as well as his lost wages, including offering him a financial settlement and several alternatives that would enable him to complete his coursework," Turenne said.
``Mr. LoPrinzi has repeatedly refused all of our accommodations and seeks a financial settlement which is in excess of what we believe is fair under the circumstances."
LoPrinzi said he is working now for a software company, but his wife remains unemployed. He said he has had to postpone repayment of his federal loans.
He would not say how much money he is seeking.
``First and foremost, I want the rest of my education so I can go get my own dollar amount, because I can make a lot more money doing [network administration] than what I am now," he said.