Wednesday
Jan182012

Illinois Attorney General Sues Westwood

Document:

Chicago Tribune, 1/18/12

Summary:

Sources indicate that the Illinois Attorney General plans to sue Westwood college for misleading students enrolled in criminal justice programs. The lawsuit "claims students who want to be police officers in Illinois need a degree from a school that is "regionally" accredited. Westwood is not, although it is nationally accredited." The suit claims that this problem leaves students in debt with no opportunity for employment in law enforcement in Illinois.

Monday
Jan092012

Everybody Lobbies Congress

Document:

American Enterprise Institute, 1/5/12

Summary:

Commentary about media coverage of for-profit education companies' lobbying spending during the recent round of regulations in 2010 and 2011. The author wrote, "All in all, thirteen traditional institutions spent more than $1 million in lobbying from 2010-2011, seven of whom were public systems funded with state tax dollars."

Monday
Jan092012

Nimble Critters or Agile Predators

Document:

National Bureau Of Economic Research, December 2011

Summary:

A recent study of private sector college student outcomes based on federal data that concludes that "for-profits leave students with far larger student loan debt burdens.  For-profit students end up with higher unemployment and “idleness” rates and lower earnings from employment six years after entering programs than do comparable students from other schools."

The report also indicated that "relative to community colleges and other public and private non-profits, for-profits educate a larger fraction of minority, disadvantaged, and older students, and they have greater success at retaining students in their first year and getting them to complete shorter degree and non-degree programs at the certificate and AA levels."

Thursday
Dec222011

Community Colleges Struggle with Job Training

Document:

University of Alabama Education Policy Center, December 2011

Summary:

This new report addresses the challenges faced by community colleges in reaching and providing job-related training to unemployed and underemployed workers in their local communities. Most of the challenges are related to declning funding during a period of persistenly high unemployment. As a result, "Colleges are pressured to offer noncredit 'quick training,' not higher cost programs in high demand technology-based majors, especially in large states."

Thursday
Dec222011

What Can We Learn From Law Schools?

Document:

Center for American Progress, December 2011

Summary:

Link to a report from the Center for American Progress that argues legal education provides a good research window into all of higher education: "with only 198 fully  ABA-approved law schools in operation, legal education is the bite-sized versionvof the phenomena that are forcing change in all of our colleges."

"And it describes the unpleasant surprise that awaits law students upon graduation: Tough a few lucky grads will make more than $130,000 per year, most new lawyers can expect annual salaries of around $63,000. With monthly loan payments near $1,000, graduates are fnding that membership in the legal profession is not the golden ticket they thought it would be."

Friday
Nov182011

Community College Students Can't Get Classes

Document:

Chronicle of Higher Education, 11/17/11

Summary:

News article covering the release of a new report based on a national survey of community college students conducted by the Pearson Foundation. The study found that 4 in 10 students could not register for the classes they wanted this fall. "Students who had the most difficulty with course enrollment were those attending part time and taking remedial courses."

Friday
Nov182011

GAO Report Argues Data Needed for Oversight of Online Programs

Document:

Government Accountability Office, November 2011

Summary:

This report assess the current state of governmental and accreditor oversight of distnace education. The report found many problems with this oversight, including the lack of separate standards for distance programs. Referring to federal oversight, the report stated the Department of "Education has increased its monitoring of distance education but lacks sufficient data to inform its oversight activities."

Friday
Nov182011

Much Needed Challenge to Low Quality Universities

Document:

The New Republic, 11/17/11

Summary:

Opinion piece from Kevin Carey of Education Sector that argues that online education will eventually transform higher education. Only some sectors of the industry will be transformed, however. "The institutions likely to get hit earliest and hardest include a lot of relatively non-selective regional four-year universities." Carey also suggested that for-profit institutions could fall victim to high qulaity online content: the major for-profits "have been successful primarily through innovations in marketing, business processes, harvesting federal financial aid dollars, and scale. Their actual educational programs, even those conducted online, are often quite traditional—and expensive."

Friday
Nov182011

Ratings Firm Labels Private-Sector Companies High Risk

Document:

Chronicle of Higher Education, 11/17/11

Summary:

Link to a story about a new report from GMI rated three major higher-education companies—the Apollo Group Inc., Corinthian Colleges Inc., and Education Management Corporatio as high risk holdings for investors. GMI based these ratings on corporate governance and financial accounting criteria.

Tuesday
Nov152011

Career Colleges Accused of Inflating Placement Rates

Document:

Chronicle of Higher Education, 11/13/11

Summary:

This news article covers recent legal and regulatory actions against private sector colleges including Career Education Corporation and National College in Kentucky. Several law schools have been involved in similar action as well. Most important, "[t]he lawsuits are also raising doubts about regulators' ability to detect job-placement fraud. In many of the recent cases involving for-profits, the alleged deception went unnoticed by the state agencies and accreditors overseeing the colleges."

Friday
Nov042011

Report: Colleges Not Disclosing Required Information

Document:

Education Sector, November 2011

Summary:

The report, "The Truth Behind Higher Education Disclosure Laws," presented results of survey work focused on scores of four-year institutions. The writers assert that "the large majority of colleges are in total noncompliance with some of the most widely cited provisions of HEOA."

Friday
Oct282011

Want Innovation? Remove Barriers.

Document:

Inside Higher Ed, 10/27/11

Summary:

Commentary by editor Doug Lederman arguing that there are clear reasons that true innovation has not touched higher education in the United States. "The real innovation – in price, in ease of use, in access – will occur when our colleges and universities face some real competition, and that will only come when we allow some new, entrepreneurial providers into the market." Lederman suggests creating a "demonstration program" allowing selected education providers to offer courses for credit and Title IV aid, even if they are not accredited.

Friday
Oct282011

Firefighters Need Advanced Degrees

Document:

USA Today, 10/27/11

Summary:

Article covering the increasing use of higher education credentials by firefighters seeking to advance to leadership positions. More schools offer degree programs tailored for the 336,000 career firefighters in the country.

Friday
Oct282011

Experimental Loan Policy

Document:

Inside Higher Ed, 10/28/11

Summary:

Link to an article covering an experimental program launched by the Department of Education allowing eight selected community colleges and private sector colleges to limit the amount their students can borrow in some federal loans. "Colleges accepted as experimental sites can try out changes to financial aid programs usually not otherwise permitted by the Higher Education Act."

Friday
Oct142011

Transformation of EDMC

Document:

Higher Ed Watch, 10/13/11

Summary:

Second in a series of articles about the growth of EDMC since private equity firms purchased the publicly traded company, made it private, and hired Todd Nelson from Apollo Group to run it.

Friday
Oct142011

Huffington Post Attacks EDMC

Document:

Huffington Post, 10/14/11

Summary:

A lengthy, rambling, and largely negative account of the transformation of EDMC since private equity firms acquired the company in 2007.

Thursday
Oct132011

Interactive Chart of Institutions Failing Federal Financial Test

Document:

Chronicle of Higher Education, 10/12/11

Summary:

This interactive chart includes data from "180 institutions that received a score below 1.5" on the federal financial responsibility test.

Thursday
Oct132011

Higher Ed Institutions Fail Federal Financial Test

Document:

Inside Higher Ed, 10/13/11

Summary:

More than 100 private non-profit colleges failed a disputed federal test of institutional "financial responsibility." Organizations such as NAICU and CIC plan to investigate the fairness of the test and downplay the importance of any institutions appearing on the list.

Thursday
Oct062011

New Higher Education Model

Document:

Inside Higher Education, 10//6/11

Summary:

This commentary by Jeb Bush and Jim Hunt, argues that in the face of evidence that "most degree-seeking individuals today no longer fit the traditional image of a college student who goes directly from high school to a four-year college or university, lives in a dormitory, eats in a dining hall, and walks from building to building for instruction," public colleges and universities must change and embrace the potential of online education. While the authors point out that online education is not a panacea, they view it as a fundamental part of a new business model for public-sector schools.

Thursday
Oct062011

Community Colleges Increased Completion

Document:

American Association of Community Colleges, October 2011

Summary:

This new report, authored by Christopher Mullin, found that "over the past 20 years, the percent increase in credentials awarded has been double the percent increase in enrollment. These findings are even more pronounced for students of color. Consistent with other research, actual rates of transfer for students are much higher than commonly reported as well."