As alumni from four separate colleges and having been employed by a career college for the past 6 ½ years I have a unique and valuable perspective. At age 15 I started at the University of Saint Thomas, a private four year college, then transferred to the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, a public 4 year college, then enrolled at High-Tech Institute – Minnesota (now Anthem), a career college. Later on I went back and completed an online program with Anthem College Online. Each of these schools provided enrichment in my education and all of them have helped to some degree in my professional life. For someone in their early 30’s I’ve had a successful life in the private sector, public sector and within education. I’ve also held 3 different public offices at levels in my community, metropolitan area around Minneapolis / Saint Paul and at the state level. The education I received at Anthem College granted me an opportunity to enter the workforce in the field of radiology where I quickly rose to a management level. About 6 years ago I came back to the career college where I’ve worked in a variety of roles as an instructor, externship evaluator and coordinator, and currently am employed as a career services advisor. None of this would have been possible without the career college education I had received. The position I currently hold as a career advisor helping people find work can be one of the most rewarding positions. What is rewarding is watching someone for the first time in their life entering a profession or career rather than a job; someone that was homeless while in school finally reach the point of receiving their first paycheck; having a graduate I taught in a classroom several years ago call and let me know they received a promotion to be a clinic manager. Career colleges, like Anthem, work toward the end goal of having that graduate gain employment in their field of study and advisors like me work to no end to make certain that opportunities are presented to a prepared graduate. I mentioned earlier about holding public office and noted that for a reason. I did so because I also understand what politics is about. It is sad that this proposed policy from our president is more about politics and not people. This policy will destroy all career colleges under a cover of regulation that only has isolated instances of abuse. The president has a history of supporting public institutions over private institutions on this topic and others. What he fails to realize is that it is not necessary to destroy career colleges as a whole that are doing great things for our citizens, often the poorest in our country. Those are the same citizens that we need to have in the workforce to bring this nation to the great place we all want it to be. Career colleges help them reach these goals and dreams. Career colleges often provide the foundation to the healthcare industry. Without medical assistants, x-ray technicians, surgical technicians, medical billing coders and other allied health professionals our physicians wouldn’t be able to handle the number of patients they have today. The federal bureau of labor and statistics sites dramatic shortfalls of staff in all these areas in the coming future with baby boomers retiring and not enough people to replace their positions and the expected growth with their healthcare needs. We need our leaders to find ways to guide people into these fields and reward schools that are bringing highly qualified staff into these positions rather than build barricades. Should this policy see the light of day I will be fortunate enough to find employment with the diverse and extensive background I have. I am doubtful of finding opportunity to directly see success for so many as I am fortunate enough to see today and am even sadder for those who would be stripped of ever reaching their American dream.

Eric L, Anthem College Graduate

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