Posts Tagged ‘for profit school’

Hi, my name is Amy and I am a misfit. I’ve always been an outsider. I was different than the other kids in school, different than the other employees I’ve ever worked with, am different than the other moms at the PTA; I’ve always been “different”. Honestly I like it. I like that I see the world in ways that others do not or can’t; I like that my perspective is sometimes strange or colorful, that my understanding is often skewed from the norm. I am a misfit. Too, I was the kid that sat in the high school principal’s office anywhere from two to four days a week, labeled as the one who either “did it or knew who did it”, so I was always the first to be questioned. Looking back as an adult on my teen years, I was bored at school. I was brighter than most of my teachers and vocal about it, which of course they didn’t appreciate; leading to my principal telling me that he was going to put my name on his office door because I spent more time in his office than he did. Of course that was when I showed up, I missed some fifty odd days my senior year. I didn’t want to be there and they didn’t really want me there. Hi, my name is Amy and I am a misfit and trouble maker.

It is ironic that I’ve worked in education for the past 12 years. Something that I once fled from is now my passion in life. My joy comes from seeing students and graduates succeed, seeing them fulfill their dreams and reach their highest potential. I worked in the public college sector for over six years and guess what? My name is Amy and I am a misfit and trouble maker. I didn’t fit in. I tried, I really did. I bought the suits and tied scarves around my neck, found the perfect briefcase, smoozed the right people and worked myself into an anxiety ridden, panic attacked life. But my trouble maker self didn’t care about the suits or the scarves, she cared about the students and their needs, their goals and I was vocal about it. I took action. I took risks. And at one point in time was told to “slow down because I was making other employees look bad”.

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My trouble-making misfit self thought it was about the student and service to the public I represented (it still does); however my perspective was clearly different than that of my leadership who just wanted to maintain the status quo. So after six years of fighting the good fight, I headed out to find my island, which perhaps I might “fit in” on. The old adage about fitting a square into a hole meant for a circle is true. I was the square with ideas too big for their little circle.

For the past five years and 28 days I’ve worked in the private sector (for-profit) at a small private university. I am still a misfit of sorts and occasionally a trouble maker; but they (I’ll say loosely) like it. Sometimes when I think I am going to get yelled at, I get smiled at; sometimes it is a stern voice with half a crooked smile. The people working in the private sector have an entrepreneurial spirit, they are pioneers and not stuck in the “that’s the way we’ve always done it” mud. Ingenuity and creativeness is welcomed and rewarded; all squares are welcomed. We work with business and industry to make sure what we do is pertinent, we hold students accountable yet create an environment where they can flourish and we treat everyone like they are members of an extended family that crosses every imagined boundary. In the world of top ten universities, state funded schools and 100 year old institutions of higher learning the private sector schools are misfits. We like who we are and our graduates are proud of their alma mater, but the rest of the world doesn’t quite know what to think of us and looking from the outside in, can’t understand our passion or drive. The proposed Gainful Employment regulation before the DOE has further labeled us as misfits and trouble-makers when it couldn’t be further from the truth. Just because our financial/tax structure isn’t like everyone else (our colleges actually pay taxes too) does not lessen our passion to educate and mission to provide the workforce with trained workers for the present and future. In fact my university is family held and that family environment extends into our students lives and way past graduation.

When I look in the mirror I see our students. For the past five years I have worked a full time and a part time job, raised three kids as a single mom and have gone to school full time earning a BSBA and an MBA. This is not my sob story but it is a reflection of who our students are. Single parents, working adults, underserved populations, high school misfits, those who are afraid of college, people who have failed at other institutions and people who hit the age of 30 and realized that in order to build a brighter future you have to get off your @$$ and create the change you want to see in your life. Those who have never thought that they would ever be “college material”, never had anyone believe in them, or anyone to encourage them. Those that took that bold first step to enroll into college to build a future. Now I am not labeling our students and alumni as “misfits” but in many cases they are unique and different in comparison to the traditional college student at the traditional university.

I am angry. Not that anyone that can do anything about it cares, but I am angry. This gainful employment regulation is discrimination at its finest and it affects some of the people I care about most, the students and graduates I’ve watched flourish over the past five years and see great potential in for next millennium. It is going to further limit opportunities for sections of the population that already have limited opportunities. As a teacher and administrator I have supported students through cancer and illness, homelessness, abusive relationships, deaths, deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan and twists and turns that I could never imagine my life taking and many have made it through to the other side and declared “I am the first college graduate in my family”, they have set the bar for the people around them and reached that first rung in their career ladder story. With this gainful employment proposal we would not have had the opportunity to support many of them because our paths would have not crossed if the federal government told them they could not have the monetary support to support an education for a career they envision themselves in at the college of their choice.

The Gainful Employment proposal compares ratios of new graduate’s income to their school debt to see if the employment obtained is “gainful” within a certain time period. My thoughts about this are that no one starts their career where they want to see themselves. There is no magic job wand that makes dreams come true, it comes with hard work, networking and leveraging opportunities; education is the foundation. I’ll never forget the day a grad called to tell me that she had landed a job and had more than doubled her salary. My first thought was “WOW” doubled your salary that is incredible. After talking to her I found out that she is in Tennessee where the minimum wage at the time was $5.85 an hour and indeed landing a job at $12 and hour was more than doubling her salary; a door opened by her education and a huge success for her. She has since has found further success and has gone well beyond that first rung of her career ladder. I have to ask, “Would she have passed the gainful test?” That would depend on who you asked; the graduate would say yes. She would say that education changed her life.

My other issue with the GE proposal is that they are picking on only one sector of education. I am not going to into the statistics; there are a million blogs and reports you can gather those from. But rather I’ll tell you a story that proves my point. I was at a job fair when a man walked up the table and said, “I went to college and it didn’t do me any good”. So I asked him, “What degree did you earn? His reply was “General Education Associate Degree”. I will not name the school, but I ask you, how many of you have ever seen a job posting looking for someone with an associate degree in general education? This man’s state funded alma mater did him a great disservice in having him spend his money and time on a degree that is so non-specific that it led to no outcome whatsoever. On the other hand for-profit college’s educations teach specific skills that lead to specific careers in specific industries. Why isn’t the public sector, non-profits being held to the same standards? Why are we even entertaining this proposal that not only discriminates against a sector of education that does lead to employment but more importantly several demographic pools of citizens?

Hi, my name is Amy and I am a misfit and trouble maker who works for misfits who employ misfits who service unique learners on our little island that changes lives. I am angry. I am a career college graduate. I am a mom. I am a volunteer. I am a teacher. I am a voter. I am a supporter. I am blogger. I am an occasional troublemaker. I work in an industry that isn’t perfect but also isn’t bad. I am asking you, whoever you are, to oppose the gainful employment proposal. Write to your congress member and ask them to oppose it and ask them to approach it in a different way, a way that is fair and equal. The regulation needs to be postponed, rethought and then reapplied to the entire higher education industry.

I close with a quote from a fellow “trouble maker” and possible misfit, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” Whether we are talking about the staircase of life, the career ladder or stepping foot into a college classroom for the first time, faith in ourselves, a higher power, another person is what guides us. Right now my faith is on roughly 7000 students that my private sector, family owned university serves and I simply ask that gainful employment be revisited so that we can continue fostering success stories. The futures of future college graduates depend on it.

In your service,

Amy

From: http://herzingonline.wordpress.com/2010/09/23/private-sector-education-and-gainful-employment-welcome-to-the-island-of-misfits/

By Ronald L. Holt, Esq., Partner

The author is an attorney practicing in the Higher Education practice at the firm of Dunn & Davison, LLC.

On July 26, 2010, the U.S. Department of Education (“DOE”) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (the “GE NPRM”) that proposes a two-part ‘gainful employment’ test (the “GE Standards”) intended to be used to measure Title IV eligibility of the following academic programs:

(1) ALL Title IV eligible academic degree and non-degree programs offered by for profit institutions (excluding any liberal arts baccalaureate degree program); and

(2) All Title IV eligible non-degree programs offered by any nonprofit and public institutions (mostly community colleges).

Assuming the final version of the GE regulations is published by November 1, 2010, the regulation would become effective as of July 1, 2011. By its current terms, however, it will not apply to most programs until July 1, 2012 but on July 1, 2011 it will be applied to the lowest 5th percentile in performance of each kind of program (as explained in Part H below on page 11). The GE NPRM is published at 75 Federal Register 43615-43708 (July 26, 2010); it can be accessed at

http://www.ifap.ed.gov/fregisters/FR072610ProgramIntegrity.html

A separate NPRM, which was issued on June 18, 2010 and which covers a wide range of proposed new ‘integrity’ regulations, establishes new requirements for colleges to make disclosures to students and the DOE about various components of the GE Standards. For each program, the institution must annually report its CIP code (Classification of Instructional Programs), the SOC codes (standard occupational code) of occupations for which the program provides training, the graduates in the institution’s last fiscal year and the federal and private debt of those graduates. The institution also must disclose to all students: the cost of each program, the on-time graduation rate of each program, the median debt load for each program (as defined in the GE Standards), and the placement rate for each program beginning by June 30, 2013.
Click here to read entire article.
Email Ron at rholt@dunndavison.com.
By Caralee Adams on September 2, 2010

The proposed gainful-employments rules aimed at reigning in for-profit colleges may also affect other sectors of higher education, namely community colleges.

“Unfortunately, there is a high probability that community colleges will be swept along with the for-profits into a category that will subject the institutions to greater regulation and reporting requirements,” writes George Boggs, president and chief executive officer of the American Association of Community Colleges in a Sept. 2 update to board members.

AACC has joined with other higher education groups to submit letters of concern to the Department of Education’s proposed gainful-employment rules designed to crack down on abuses in the for-profit education industry.

Boggs urges community college leaders to take the time to contact the department prior to Sept. 9 for public comment to let the regulators know how the rules will affect their institutions and students. While the proposed regulations are complex, Boggs worries that the regulations would limit a college’s ability to respond quickly to the needs of its community by requiring federal approval of programs and would add costly reporting requirements.

AACC, along with several other associations, has signed a letter sent by the American Council on Education and has joined with the Association of Community College Trustees in sending a separate letter to the Department of Education.

In a conference call last month to go over the rules with the department, community college leaders learned that 30,000 of the 50,000 programs potentially covered by the gainful-employment rules were community college programs.

Much of the drive for more oversight was linked to the concern that for-profits were increasingly supported with federal student loans that graduates have not been able to repay. Community college leaders point to the 2008 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS) that shows just 5 percent of students in certificate programs at public 2-year certificate programs borrowed federal loans in 2008 compared with 77 percent at for-profits. About 84 percent of private for-profit students in certificate programs borrowed at all in 2008, compared with 21 percent at public 4-year institutions, 45 percent of those at private not-for-profits, and 9 percent at public two-year colleges.

While many feel community colleges will be required to abide by the proposed rules, if they are adopted, leaders in the field are hoping others will voice their concern in public comment ending next week.

Sandra Kurtinitis, president of The Community College of Baltimore County, says she initially had not paid close attention to the gainful-employment proposal because she didn’t think it would directly affect the school. But she is following it now as it might require some additional data collection on graduates and their jobs. While accountability is a good thing, Kurtinitis says response to graduate follow-up surveys is not high, and she thinks it would be a challenge to track students. With 74,000 students in 100 associate degree programs and 200 substantial certificate programs, being required to do this additional data collection would be very significant, says Kurtinitis.

The additional regulation would likely mean adding staff in the research office, which would be difficult as the college is beginning the year with $2.6 million less than last. “We would do it, of course. But it’s an unfortunate time to ramp up the energy to approach collecting the data,” she says. Kurtinitis says she hopes ACCT and others weighing in on the issue might make a difference, but for now, community colleges will have to wait and see.

The Department of Education has proposed a new regulation called “Gainful Employment” that will limit access to Title IV financial aid for approximately 360,000 career college students per year if they do not meet an arbitrary one-size-fits-all debt-to-income ratio.

The National Black Chamber of Commerce believes this rule would limit education and economic opportunities for thousands of African American and other minority students throughout the nation.

The chamber represents 95,000 Black-owned businesses with 190 affiliated chapters operating internationally to sustain Black communities through opportunity.  We recognize that opportunity is built largely on getting a good education and obtaining the skills necessary to gain employment.  That is why we believe the Gainful Employment rule would disproportionately impact minority, low-income, non-traditional and other underserved students who rely on Title IV financial aid to pay for higher education.

We are asking the Department of Education to rethink this rule because of the negative consequences it will have on Black students across the country. Write to the Department of Education and let them know that we are against this rule! Go to Regulations.gov and click on “Submit a Comment.”

http://www.nationalbcc.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1129:gainful-employment-will-limit-opportunities-for-black-students&catid=1:latest-news&Itemid=7