Another Perspective on Graduation Rates

When you think about gauging the value or quality of a higher education program, graduation rates seem an obvious part of any equation attempting to measure program success. Indeed, the fact that such a metric is not reflected in the current Gainful Employment rule is one of our harshest criticisms, as outlined here. We've commented on their importance as a success barometer in this blog earlier. The goal of Gainful Employment is, after all, to ensure that colleges offer quality educational programs that lead to gainful employment without excessive debt. We wholeheartedly agree…Read more …

Chronicle of Higher Ed Examines Gainful Employment Rule’s Shortcomings

As the Department of Education prepares to release its final draft of the Gainful Employment rule, the proprietary sector’s most ardent critics have been increasingly vocal, generating a barrage of negative press intended to sway decision-makers’ – and John and Jane Q. Public’s -- opinion. At times, said coverage has adopted an undeniably simplistic approach, decrying all proprietary colleges on philosophical grounds without any scrutiny of their performance or this complex and highly punitive rule. A handful of stories, however, scratch beneath the surface and seek to offer a more objective view. One…Read more …

The Cato Institute: “In Defense of For-Profit Colleges”

Earlier this month, the National Review posted a guest column from Neal McCluskey, the associate director of the Center for Educational Freedom at the public policy research organization The Cato Institute, titled simply enough "In Defense of For-Profit Colleges." In the piece, Mr. McCluskey outlines various reasons why attacks on for-profit colleges are biased and misguided. Regular readers of our own blog will undoubtedly have a sense of déjà vu reading them, as he makes points that we have touched on here ourselves. In commenting on completion rates at for-profit (proprietary) colleges versus public ones, he…Read more …

Lobbying for the Truth about Lobbying

There was a story posted this week on PoliticoPro, the subscription-based enhanced reporting sister site to Politico, that talked about the flurry of lobbying activity in Washington, D.C. as sides for and against the Department of Education’s proposed Gainful Employment Rule make their final, increased push to impact how the final rule will be shaped. Surprisingly, the article seemed to suggest that heightened lobbying activities by proprietary colleges are somehow unusual within the higher education space. A story by The Atlantic more than two-and-a-half years ago strongly indicates otherwise. In the January 2012…Read more …

Five Questions with Donna Stelling-Gurnett

Since taking the helm of APC as its Executive Director in March 2013, Donna Stelling-Gurnett has learned a lot about the state of higher education in New York and equally important, the productive contributions of APC's 23 proprietary college members. We recently caught up with Donna to ask her a few questions about what she's observed during the first 18 months in the proverbial corner office. Why were you drawn to the Executive Director (ED) role at APC? Having previously managed the day-to-day activities for a number of other member associations, it wasn't…Read more …

Measuring the Dollar Value of a College Degree (Second of Two Posts)

In a recent, related blog post, we talked about the widespread expert agreement that the best way to measure the value of a college degree is over an extended period of time. The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) has further quantified this position with a real-world study measuring salary outcomes over a period spanning two decades. In response to criticisms that its previous measurements of college degree salary outcomes within an 18- month to five-year period after graduation unfairly penalized liberal arts programs, the State Council of Higher Education for…Read more …

View from The Hill: The GE Rule’s “Potentially Devastating Consequences”

It’s rare to come across an opinion piece from someone outside the higher education community that argues so well against the "unintended consequences" of the Department of Education’s Gainful Employment Rule, and cautions so articulately against its misguided metrics. We were pleasantly surprised to read such a piece this week in Capitol Hill’s politically charged news source, The Hill. The article, “The Problem With The Administration’s ‘Good Intentions’ in Education”, is written by Harry C. Alford, the president and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, an outspoken critic of the GE…Read more …

Celebrating the Success of a Proprietary College Graduate

Proprietary colleges in New York and elsewhere around the country focus every day on delivering exceptional educational opportunities to students. For the vast majority of individuals who enroll in these programs, the experience is no doubt profoundly positive and life-changing. Take, for instance, James Robinson – a 30-year-old chef and culinary professional who has overcame years of homelessness and was chosen as one of 18 contestants on the currently airing season of celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsey’s popular TV show, “Hell’s Kitchen.” His story was recently brought to light in an article in the…Read more …