There have been several stories in national news media recently about a very small number of career colleges who have been accused of questionable enrollment practices. Education Corporation of America CEO Tom Moore and Career College Association President and CEO Harris Miller have both issued strong statements in reaction to this coverage.
Both point out that the U.S. Department of Education and their approved accrediting agencies are investigating these allegations and will deal with anyone who violates the very strict regulations that govern career colleges. However, they also note that there are hundreds of career colleges–including the ECA schools–serving millions of students, and that they are meeting and exceeding the standards and requirements of their accrediting agencies and the government. No ECA schools were a part of the allegations.
Moore says, "Our schools and our membership organization, the Career College Association, welcome and encourage strong oversight and strict enforcement of all standards and regulations. We have a strong internal compliance program that monitors activities of all employees, have clearly communicated policies, and regularly ‘mystery shop’ ourselves to assure we are following all guidelines and regulations. All employees are required to work within our code of conduct and business ethics."
"Even if the problems cited in the (news stories) are limited to a few individuals at a few institutions, we can have zero tolerance for bad behavior," said Miller. "As educators, our commitment must always be to put students first, even if that means taking action against individual employees or institutions that color outside the lines. We understand that employees can make mistakes, but it is up to employers to take the set of comprehensive and multifaceted preventative and corrective actions that minimize the risk of such problems and correct those that occur.
The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools–the accrediting agency for all Education Corporation of America schools–has issued a statement announcing that the agency is working with the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, "developing information and analysis to inform members of Congress about the rigor and thoroughness of quality assurance applied to institutions we accredit." It was testimony before this Senate committee that resulted in the most recent news coverage.
"Our motto is ‘Student First,’" says Moore. "And at Virginia College, Golf Academy of America, and Ecotech Institute, we practice that in everything we do. For-profit educational institutions are meeting a real need, serving millions of students and the employers who hire them."
Education Corporation of America is a leader in the post-secondary career school market with current enrollment of over 19,000 students. The ECA website is www.ecacolleges.com/. Schools include Virginia College, founded in 1983, a private institution of higher education that offers non-degree and associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in the areas of Health and Medical, Business, Information Technology, Interior Design, Computer Design, Cosmetology, Nursing and more in sixteen different cities. The Virginia College website is www.vc.edu/.
Virginia College also offers online classes, with student services and admissions facilities in Birmingham, Alabama, and Tampa, Florida. Information about online classes at Virginia College is available at www.vconline.edu.
ECA also operates Culinard, the Culinary Institute of Virginia College, with locations in Birmingham and Mobile, Alabama, and Jacksonville, Florida. The website is www.culinard.com. ECA also operates Golf Academy of America, with locations in Phoenix, Arizona; San Diego, California; Orlando, Florida; and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The Golf Academy website is www.golfacademy.edu.
Launched in April 2010 in Denver, Colorado, the Ecotech Institute offers seven associate’s degrees and a certificate program designed by experts in the industry for people seeking careers in the emerging cleantech economy. Visit the Ecotech Institute online.