Annette Knoepke labored for nine years as a certified nursing assistant when she became intrigued by Globe University's medical administrative program.
Knoepke enjoyed caring for the infirmed confined to nursing homes. But her labor of love had occupationally flat lined. The St. Paul Johnson alum was looking to take home a larger paycheck.
Globe, school admissions' officials teased, had just the ticket. An associate's degree was not only one of its most popular programs, but graduates could expect to be paid well. According to the for-profit college's website, a grad with that degree can easily earn upward of $33,000 annually.
Knoepke bit. She worked full-time while raising two kids and shouldering a full course load. She thrived.
"My primary goal was to do my very best, work hard, and make my family and God proud," she tells City Pages. "Yes I was very busy. The teachers were excellent. They were always there for me. I loved my classes."
But her rude awakening wouldn't hit until after Knoepke graduated in 2010 with a two-year degree. She began searching for an administrative assistant's gig. Knoepke applied to hospitals, elder care facilities, and medical offices.
All said no thanks.
"There was no... need for my degree," she says.
Businesses also told Knoepke she required more experience and a bachelor's degree.
Six years later, she still works as a nursing assistant, making $10 an hour. All she has to show for her Globe degree is $40,000 in debt.
"Point blank it was the biggest mistake I ever made," says Knoepke. "I honestly feel going to college wasn't worth it. And if God would ask me if there was one thing I could erase from my life? I would say Globe.
"I wanted to give my children everything I possibly could. I trusted Globe and was saddened to see that my hard work took four years away from me and that's four years lost with my children I will never get back."
Minnesota's Office of Higher Education recently moved to pull Globe's authorization to operate after the school was found guilty of recruiting and marketing fraud. The school did not respond to repeated interview requests.