Summer Institute for the Gifted

Summer Institute for the Gifted gives the worst treatment an

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Published: 04 August 2017

Posted by: Joseph J. Walling

My kid went to attend SIG two years consecutively and each year we faced several petty problems with this camp. I used to pay $4,000 for three weeks of instruction and my child used to be told that the teacher is replaced. These people never even used the books they asked us to purchase in addition to the fees they already collected. I complained about multiple problems we had.

The first problem that occurred in the second year was that they would not give the required vitamins to my child unless I obtained a doctor’s (dentist) note for the same. In the previous year, the nurse kept the vitamins with herself and just returned them without giving any of it to him. In the second year, I was told about the requirement of this note after he had already joined the camp.

Your child will not have access to mail to send any letters home. I complained about the same in the first year. In the second year the camp director spoke to me and said that the kids have access to mailboxes in the entire campus. These people are not friendly to talk to and do not reply to questions easily. Why should a parent be forced to complain to get their child access to mail so they can send letters home. I used to be the only parent who was not allowed to help my child pack and bring his stuff down. It really felt retaliatory because I was supposed to be grateful about the fact that they allowed me to spend $4,000 a year for a three week camp.

In the first year, I made a complaint as I had made arrangements and borrowed a car to pick my child up at the set time. I received an email from the camp on the day, telling me that I had to come early because the camp wants our children out. The university expects them to vacate early. I had to go and pick up my child a day in advance, so that my child doesn’t feel like a burdon or unwanted on the last day. My child liked this camp and wanted to go, so I allowed him to go back even though it was miserable how they used to run things and how they always blamed the lower level employees for all those problems.

Now it is the second year and after I took my child for the courses, I was informed that the scheduled teacher for Medical Microbiology never came to teach and was replaced immediately. I have no idea of who taught my child or what their level of certification was. My child once told me that they did not use the textbook we were told to buy on campus. I complained because I, as a parent, paid all this money and still have no idea of what kind of instruction my kid received. All he could tell me was that the articles were photocopied and passed out to be discussed in the class. I called our camp head Hillary Jade, who just skirted the issue.

When she did not address my problems, I reached out to an employee that sent an email to me. He took notes, spent almost an hour on the phone with me and promised to direct my concerns where they will be addressed. Guess what? I never heard back from them after that! I then left a message for Barbara Swicord. She did not return my call and didn’t feel any remorse for the way the camp was conducted. With regards to the book on Medical Microbiology, she said that I can teach him medical microbiology myself instead. I don’t know what to say to this senseless woman! I certainly wouldn’t be paying them to teach him medical microbiology if I had to do it on my own. I do not need her institution to waste my money. She then came up with the amazing idea of selling the book for me. Really? Are you kidding me? I told her that I didn’t want to negotiate and that SIG will have to take back the book and refund me the full amount. In fact, they owe me 1/4 of the tuition fee back as the class didn’t seem to have been taught as it should have. She agreed to take the book back and issue a refund after that.

She also complained to me that I am the only parent who complains and I told her that perhaps the other parents don’t know enough about the treatment at this camp. She kept the book and never issued a refund for the same.
I am posting this story here because there are not many places I can post a formal complaint against this camp, stating this level of critisizm. On their Facebook account, comments have been disabled. So can Mrs. Swicord answer as to why aren’t the comments enabled?
This complaint is to show that SIG is so cheap to accept their wrongdoing. I would add additional complaints in the future if this issue does not get resolved at the earliest.

Public should know that if you do business with these people, it is extremely hard to get any kind of response or acknowledgment. She knew about the problems and still ignored the same. This pattern of conduct is very much disturbing for me and I wanted my grievance to be made public.

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