HUFFINGTON POST: Latinos…What Can We Learn From the For-Profit Industry?
Career College Central Summary:
Last week Corinthian College, the controversial for-profit giant, shut its doors . The closure of this major player in the for-profit higher education industry comes after years of intense scrutiny from policymakers, practitioners and researchers on the industry's ability to support long-term student success. Although a major step forward, this move creates an uncertain future for both its students and higher education as a whole
In recent years, The White House, Congress and higher education advocates have heavily criticized the for-profit industry. These critics often cite the sector's deceptive recruiting practices, massive debt and the viability of its credentials. The majority of students that enroll in these institutions comprise some of higher education's most vulnerable populations: minorities, veterans and non-traditional students. Latinos are overrepresented in the for-profit sector as they comprise 15% of the total population of for-profits schools and only 11.5% of all institutions of higher education. The Latino students that enroll in for-profit institutions also wind up with higher debt totals, higher student loan default rates and higher levels of unemployment. Given these risks associated with for-profit industry, why have Latinos and other vulnerable populations flocked to enroll in these institutions? More importantly, what can higher education leaders learn from this trend?
Research indicates that the climate of a university-the behaviors, attitudes and standards concerning the level of respect for individual needs, abilities and potential- plays a large role in students' ability to succeed. Students of color often experience a "chilly" campus climate due to microagressions-psychologically damaging racism and sexism on college campuses. These acts leave students of color unsure of where or who to turn to for help. Although for-profit institutions employ deceptive recruiting practices, their emphasis on advising is important to highlight. Advising plays a key role in helping ensure that students not only enter in postsecondary education, but also succeed. In recent years, higher education leaders have urged colleges to deepen their commitment to advising underrepresented students.
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