For much of the last year, community colleges and the Bush administration have, symbolically, been dancing cheek to cheek. Given what's in the Bush administration's 2006 budget proposal, they may spend the next few months fighting toe to toe.
Regulating diploma mills is a little like herding cats.
The institutions, which offer fraudulent degrees in exchange for cash and little or no academic work, crop up overnight and disappear nearly as fast, when consumer complaints rise or law enforcement officials catch the scent. State and federal lawmakers yearn to crack down on these "colleges," but because they're hard to define and hard to nail down, there's often little they can do.
Congress offered a first glimpse Wednesday at the new federal job training program for community colleges that President Bush unveiled more than a year ago. It came as members of a House of Representatives subcommittee approved a bill to renew the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.
Officials of two-year colleges generally liked what they saw.
As "60 Minutes" prepares to broadcast a potentially damaging report on for-profit colleges, the Career College Association has begun a public relations campaign aimed at dealing with "any fallout here in Washington or elsewhere," the group's president said in an e-mail to its members last week.