Submitted by Paul Fain on November 14, 2014 - 3:00am
The Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the University of Phoenix this week announced an alliance through which students at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) will be able to take online courses from the for-profit chain to supplement their on-campus studies. Phoenix and the scholarship fund will subsidize the online courses so participating students at HBCUs will not have to pay more than their usual, semester-based tuition and fees. "This opportunity will give HBCUs access to online learning not previously available,” said Johnny C. Taylor Jr., the fund's president and CEO, in a written statement.
Submitted by Paul Fain on November 7, 2014 - 3:00am
The for-profit sector's primary trade group on Thursday filed suit in federal court to block gainful employment regulations, which the U.S. Department of Education unveiled last week. A federal judge in 2012 halted a previous attempt by the Obama administration to enact rules for vocational programs at for-profits, community colleges and other institutions. The judge said the department failed to establish its reasoning behind one of the metrics. However, the judge also ruled that the department was within its rights with the overarching thrust of the regulations.
The new lawsuit from the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU) alleges that gainful employment "repeats and exacerbates" problems that led to its previous version being held up in court, calling the rules arbitrary. In a written statement, the department said it is confident that it is "within its legal authority in issuing gainful employment regulations that will protect students and taxpayers’ investments by bringing more accountability and transparency to career training programs."
Separately, a trade association representing for-profit colleges in New York filed its own federal lawsuit Thursday over the gainful employment regulations. That complaint by the Association of Proprietary Colleges echoes some of the arguments in the APSCU lawsuit: that the rule sets arbitrary standards and goes beyond the bounds of federal law.
But the New York lawsuit also raises issues about the rule that have not yet been litigated. For example, the group argues that the Obama administration's regulation conflicts with the standards for for-profit colleges set by New York state regulators. In addition, the group claims the rule violates its due process rights because its members could be stripped of federal aid on the basis of graduate earnings data that it would not be allowed to challenge. The group says that there are serious flaws in how the Education Department plans to obtain graduate earnings data from Social Security Administration.
On the latest "This Week,"Inside Higher Ed's free weekly news podcast, Ben Miller of the New America Foundation and Vickie Schray of Bridgepoint Education join Inside Higher Ed's Doug Lederman to discuss the new gainful employment regulations. Sign up here for notification of new editions of "This Week."
Submitted by Paul Fain on October 29, 2014 - 3:00am
Wisconsin's attorney general, J.B. Van Hollen, this week sued Corinthian Colleges over allegations that the for-profit chain engaged in "unfair, false, misleading and deceptive trade practices." The struggling Corinthian, which is trying to sell or close its 107 campuses, briefly operated an Everest College campus in Milwaukee. The lawsuit alleges that the campus, which closed after just two years, made false claims about job-placement rates.
Submitted by Paul Fain on October 16, 2014 - 3:00am
The relationship between federal policy and the skills gap is misunderstood, according to a new report from the New America Foundation. The paper looks at five "policy gaps" in the Higher Education Act, the law governing federal student aid programs, that could be closed to build stronger connections between learning and work. Those gaps include an excessive focus on institutional and internal indicators of quality; a lack of attention to student employment outcomes; and aid eligibility requirements that fall short of the needs of adult learners, according to the report, which was authored by Mary Alice McCarthy, a senior policy analyst at the foundation who previously worked for the U.S. Department of Labor and the Education Department.
Kaplan University is today unveiling a new "Open College" that is designed to let adult students earn a bachelor of science in professional studies by combining credits they've previously accumulated through prior learning with academic credit they earn taking open courses offered by Kaplan and other providers. OC@KU, as the fledgling institution is called, is the newest entrant in the hunt to create a $10,000 bachelor's degree. In Open College's case, such a goal could be attainable through its mix of prior learning, open courses, and Kaplan-provided assessments to help fill in gaps in learners' accumulated credits.
The CEO and others officials of Fast Train College, a for-profit chain in Florida that closed in 2012, have been indicted on charges of conspiracy and theft of government funds, The Miami Herald reported. The alleged conspiracy involved recruiting students without high school diplomas, enrolling them, and coaching them on how to obtain federal student aid for which they were ineligible. According to the indictment, the college received more than $6 million in this way. Those indicted could not be reached for comment.