The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU) today criticized a Senate Committee Chairman’s report on the growth of service members and veterans attending private sector colleges and universities. APSCU said the report is looking at the issue from the wrong end of the telescope.
According to APSCU President Harris Miller, "The rapid growth of servicemembers, veterans and their families in higher education is a very positive development that should be celebrated, not denigrated. We are disappointed that others apparently think otherwise. We have no argument that every military and veteran student seeking a quality higher education deserves just that. Any problems in the delivery of that education deserve to be addressed thoroughly and completely. However, the ability of PSCUs to grow to add the capacity demanded by veterans and servicemembers is a testament to our sector’s dedication to educating those who have chosen service to our country. When it was time for institutions to sign up for the ‘Yellow Ribbon’ program, for instance, our schools were and are the leaders in higher education."
Miller continued, "Congress has given those who serve their country a valuable educational benefit. These students have the opportunity to select the form of education that best suits their needs and interests, and they are fully capable of doing so, just as they were capable of choosing to join our voluntary military. Attending private sector colleges and universities provides these students with the flexible, concentrated and immersive education that prepares them to be competitive in the workplace."
Miller-Motte College graduate and U.S. Army veteran Angela Avellino of Cary, NC, agrees: "When my Army career came to an end, I entered the civilian workforce. As I decided to pursue a career that would provide greater personal satisfaction, I started looking for more education, first at community college and then at a career college. I am thoroughly pleased with the education I received and have no doubt that my degree in massage therapy put me on the track to a fulfilling career in spa management."
Marine Corps veteran Will Sampson also credits a private sector college education for contributing to his success: "While I was on active duty, ECPI College of Technology provided me with the opportunity for higher education. This education allowed me to be more competitive when I entered the job market after completing my active duty commitment. I am currently employed by East Carolina Bank as Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer. Without the choice of a school with flexible hours I would have missed out on a great education and on the opportunities which led to my current career."
Just 4.2 percent of higher education students today have any military experience whatsoever. Career colleges have a higher percentage of those with military service (6.1 percent) than any other branch of postsecondary education. Looking across all types of higher education institutions, PSCUs educate 12.4 percent of undergraduate servicemember and veteran students and 12 percent of all students in higher education.
About APSCU: The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities is a voluntary membership organization of accredited, private postsecondary schools, institutes, colleges and universities that provide career-specific educational programs. APSCU has more than 1,800 members that educate and support over one million students each year for employment in over 200 occupational fields. APSCU member institutions provide the full range of higher education programs: master’s and doctoral degree programs, two- and four-year associate and baccalaureate degree programs, and short-term certificate and diploma programs. Visit APSCU at www.apscu.org or follow us on Twitter: apscunow. On September 22, 2010, APSCU changed its name from the Career College Association.