Blog Archives

Who Takes the Brunt of The New York Times’ Report?

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In college, I was once asked to figure the half-life of a nuclear bomb, which seemed like a waste of brain power in my opinion. The process involves taking derivatives, which requires division … which to a word person like me involves boredom. Why would the mid-point for radioactivity lingering in the environment possibly be important if there would be no one around to write about it? The question seemed pointless and the answer, which pinpointed a time several hundred years in the future, held no meaning for me.

Almost two weeks old now, The New York Times piece on career education was the starting point for a mathematical analysis on my part, and I kept dividing the numbers until the only figure left was me. …

Eagle Gate College Group Responds to Peter S. Goodman

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Dear Mr. Goodman:

Your article In Hard Times, Lured Into Trade School and Debt raises awareness about a recession-era surge in college enrollments and that education consumers should exercise due diligence in their decisions. However all college enrollments are at an all-time high — not just for-profit colleges and trade schools. Isn't the non-profit sector also a beneficiary of the recession?

One-sided reporting doesn't just hurt the career college industry. It hurts our students, people who have made an investment in the reputation of our school, both in terms of tuition and in terms of the higher education experience they will carry throughout their lives.

Blog: Why We Run Negative News

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I begin every weekday by briefing myself on any news pertinent to career colleges. Sometimes the news is rampant and other times hard to come by. When it's there, it generally fits into one of three categories:

Policy news that affects all sectors of higher education, including career colleges

Acknowledgement of the good we do for the economy and our students. Usually local papers.

Attacks on the entire sector, like the one that ran in The New York Times on Mach 14.

Each time I come across such an attacking, one-sided slam against our sector, I lean back in my chair and sigh. I feel like I’m faced with a lose-lose situation. On one hand, I don’t want to perpetuate a negative image of career colleges. I’d rather nobody …

Blog: In Hard Times, Lured into What School?

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Take a moment to put yourself in a student's shoes. You are at a crossroads in life and desire something more. You know you'll have to work hard for your future and stretch yourself to accomplish your dreams and so you do what it takes. The economy and the pressures of your social image, family expectations and the promise of a career path point you to continuing education. The words from admissions departments, former graduates, publications, marketing, etc. all draw you to accept huge loans that you can't imagine ever paying off in your current life. But your current life is about to change, isn't it?

So you accept federal money, go into debt, and begin to toil for months and months toward graduation and a …

Blog: Neg-Reg Not Going as Well as We Hoped. Gainful Employment Puts Government in Charge of Tuition

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The third round of negotiated rulemaking didn’t go as well as we hoped. The new definition of gainful employment is basically making the government responsible for tuition costs. What is incredibly ridiculous is that not only does the Obama administration believe the government should be the ones creating jobs, but now they may shut down an important source of job training and preparation for careers that require more expensive training. Why create jobs for an untrained workforce? And what schools will be able to charge a tuition that maintains the 8% debt ratio being proposed? Hmmm … maybe the community colleges? You know, those schools that fail to meet the standards career colleges are already held to!

Blog: Commentary on Government Intervention in Education

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When we allow (yes, it is up to those of us who elect these politicians) the government to run businesses, including schools, they seem to lack appropriate problem-solving capabilities.

What is blatantly apparent to me in reading this article is that while Career Colleges may also increase tuition, they continue to improve the quality of education and focus on programmatic offerings that are based on where the jobs are in our economy. Students of these traditional universities don't seem to feel that way about "their" education providers.

As with the automotive industry, this administration keeps throwing money we don’t have at failing businesses like the community college system, and trying to fix the problems by charging the taxpayers more money, in this case through increased …

Blog: Individual Development Plans for Career College Faculty

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Individual Development Plans for career college faculty should include developmental goals and objectives, suggested professional affiliations and activities, recommended training, and classroom observation to evaluate transfer of training. An effective plan should encompass the instructor's own ideas for ongoing development of effective teaching, and be supported by the responsible manager/mentor through coaching, supplying the necessary resources, and mutual discussion of results.

Individual Development Plans should link the results of training to improved performance. For example, classroom observation should show how the instructor has applied and implemented the training received and the resulting improvement in identified developmental areas such as successful instructional planning, interactive teaching techniques and effective classroom management.

To make the Individual Development Plan more meaningful, the observed improvements in faculty performance should be assessed against …

(Blog) Give Us Stricter Regulations and Let’s Move On

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Here's a special thanks to whoever invented tabbed web browsing. The feature has become especially helpful in the last week for viewing all the allegations, hateful comments, and reports of investigation targeting career education. The sky above career colleges might appear as though it's falling, but at least I can see it crash in an orderly, tabbed format.

So what web pages do I have open? The first tab is a piece that appeared last weekend in Barron’s, offering a wealth of statistics and stock market trending for education stocks. In the final paragraph, the article suggests that investors avoid education stocks like they are the second coming of Enron. At last count, there were 15 or so comments posted to the article from naysayers and …

Blog: Hearing Needlessly Puts Weight of Wrongdoings on Career Colleges

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Judging by the naming conventions alone, it was intended to sound unassuming, if not boring, even for the usual Wednesday morning Congressional hearing. The meeting title was “the House Higher Education, Lifelong Learning, and Competitiveness Subcommittee”, just the unexceptional-sounding moniker that encourages something more like sleep and something less like government interaction that we’ve come to expect in Washington. Few, if any average citizens are going to weather traffic, parking, building security, or the exquisitely polished tile floors in government hallways for such a drab title on the placard next to the meeting doors.

For participants like Career College Association CEO Harris Miller, however, the implications were hardly disguised. The for-profit school industry was to be central in the discussion on the findings of the recently …

You Can’t Hit the Target Unless You Aim For the Right Employer

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One of the most fatal missteps in a career is going to work for the wrong company; a company that doesn't provide reasonable prospects for stability, success and integrity. Too often people pursue an ad, a recruiter, or a referral from an acquaintance, without really knowing much about the prospective employer. Much may be learned by researching a company in advance via Hoover, Dunn and Bradstreet, stock research, if public, or maybe simply Googling the company for example.

It can also pay off to talk to a person knowledgeable about the industry to find out about the history and track record of the company, future plans, financial situation, compliance history, management stability, corporate culture and potential career growth opportunity. A knowledgeable, ethical and experienced recruiter is …

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