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Investigative Unit: Scathing audit at BRCC shows glaring problems

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BATON ROUGE- The results of an audit conducted by out of state investigators is complete, and it shows glaring problems need to be fixed at Baton Rouge Community College.

All of this stems from questionable credentials that were issued by BRCC involving a multi-million dollar federal grant that was supposed to help students learn a craft. Those crafts were for things like pipe fitting and welding. However, an Investigative Unit Report last August, revealed hundreds of those credentials are being called into question. The National Center for Construction Education and Research, or NCCER puts their name on credentials once work is completed.

One month ago, we introduced you to Vincent Lee. He is among one of the 400 students who went through the program and received a credential. Lee was certified by BRCC for pipe fitting, but he's legally blind.

An auditor reviewed at least 56 student records. Vincent Lee's was not one of them.

"With his handicap, he can't go out on a construction job and work," Instructor Jeff Almond said.

Almond was Lee's teacher.

"The school did him wrong by making him think he would be able to get a good job out there," Almond said.

Almond believes program leaders misled him. So we asked what the school's take was on certifying a blind student to be a pipe fitter.

"We can't comment on any specific student related matters," BRCC Spokesman Steven Mitchell said.

The auditors glaring issues mentioned in the reports show "proper oversight had not occurred to ensure that records were kept per NCCER policies and procedures." NCCER also ordered that all instructors involved get retrained.

Mitchell would not say if any employees would be disciplined. However, he did say that changes would be made starting with that retraining.

Typically NCCER audits programs once every three years. Because this audit was so concerning, auditors will be back in a couple of months to make sure BRCC complies with the organization's guidelines.



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