Submitted by Paul Fain on December 13, 2013 - 3:00am
Late Wednesday the U.S. Department of Education released further revisions to its proposed gainful employment regulations, which would impose standards on vocational programs at for-profit institutions and community colleges. The new proposal dropped a loan repayment rate threshold that was added earlier in the negotiated rulemaking process, which is scheduled to conclude today.
The Education Department also released an analysis of how institutions would fare under the rules. Individual colleges were not named. The data showed that 13 percent of programs would fail under the standards. That number is more than double the amount that would have failed under the 2011 attempt to set gainful employment regulations.
Colorado's attorney general's office announced Thursday that the state has fined for-profit Argosy University $3.3 million for deceptive marketing, The Denver Post reported. The state found that the university led students to believe that it was seeking accreditation for two doctoral programs by the American Psychological Association, which was not the case. Further, students were unaware that they were unlikely to be able to become licensed psychologists in Colorado with their Argosy degrees. Most of the fine will be used to help former Argosy students with their loans. Argosy acknowledged the fine and, in a statement, said that "[a]t Argosy University, student achievement is our top priority, and we are committed to constant improvement."
Submitted by Paul Fain on December 3, 2013 - 3:00am
Local work force development organizations face numerous challenges as they seek to help employers fill some jobs that require skilled labor, according to a new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). Job seekers often do not have the money, transportation or child care options to be able to pursue suggested training, the report found. And many lack the basic skills needed to participate in training programs.
The report found that in 80 percent of local areas, employers had difficulty filling "middle skilled" jobs (such as welders, truck drivers or machinists) because the positions require more than a high school diploma but less than a four-year degree. Workers often lack the support to get that training, according to the GAO. To help deal with this problem the U.S. Department of Labor recommends the use of a "career pathways" approach, which combines job training with basic skills education and support services. But little is known about how broadly that approach is being used, the report said.
An article in The Miami Herald explores links between a for-profit college whose founder spent big on political contributions and a legislator who helped the college. Rep. Carlos Trujillo did legal work for the Dade Medical College and the Herald reported that his sister-in-law attends the college free. The Republican lawmaker also successfully sponsored legislation that loosened requirements in the state for physical therapy assistant programs -- a change in the law that allowed for a rapid expansion of the college's programs in the field. The measure became law as a last-minute amendment to a bill on another topic, and the newspaper reported that it could "ultimately boost Dade Medical’s revenues by millions of dollars." The newspaper also said that critics believe the state went too far, and may leave students at risk of enrolling in programs with "watered down standards." Trujillo said he did not know his sister-in-law's financial aid status, and denied any conflict of interest.
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/11/29/3787585/miami-lawmakers-in-law-gets-tuition.html#storylink=cpy
Submitted by Paul Fain on November 12, 2013 - 3:00am
Sylvia Manning, president of the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, has announced that she plans to retire in July, she confirmed in an email to Inside Higher Ed. From her post as leader of the nation's largest regional accreditor, Manning has been a high-profilevoice in the intensifying debate over accreditation. She is also widely credited with leading the commission's tougher approach on for-profit education. A search for her successor will be announced soon, Manning said.
Submitted by Paul Fain on November 5, 2013 - 3:00am
The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, which is the for-profit sector's primary trade group, announced today that it has hired Michael Dakduk as vice president of military and veterans affairs. Dakduk has been executive director of Student Veterans of America, a nonprofit organization with more than 900 chapter affiliates.
Strayer Education announced Thursday that it would close about 20 physical campuses, mostly in the Midwest, to cut costs in response to a 17 percent year-over-year enrollment drop that has sharply reduced its revenues. Strayer is the latest for-profit higher education provider (and among the last) to curtail its on-ground presence in the wake of the double whammy of a tough economy and increased regulatory oversight. The campus closures will affect about 5 percent of the company's roughly 50,000 students, Strayer said; those students will be encouraged to shift to the university's online programs, where most of them already study. (An email sent to students at the affected campuses said those who enrolled in spring courses would receive a $500 voucher toward the purchase of a new computer or mobile device.)
Strayer also said that it would cut its tuition price by about 20 percent effective in January.