“Back to the Future” for Career Colleges

Career College Central Summary:

  • Raul Valdes Pages:

    • Our colleges have taken a pounding in the press. This is not news. Some is undeserved, but in my opinion, a lot of the criticism is deserved. We have grown from a $4 billion a year sector in 1999 to $35 billion in 2010. With this hyper growth, we have not maintained quality standards we used to have.
    • Remember the answer we use to give as to how we were different from traditional colleges?
    • We used to answer OUTCOMES. When was the last time you saw a piece credibly defending our sector on the basis of better graduation, better placement, better certification pass rates, better salaries?
    • For me, it has been a while. Instead, we seem to have morphed into the sector that insists that it is sufficient that we admit “non-traditional” or “underserved” populations.
    • In the process, we have become targets, as lifetime default rates for students at our schools are budgeted in the most recent Department of Education numbers at 48.4% (as compared with community colleges at 31.4%, and weighted average 17.6%). Who designated our sector as the “protectors of minorities”?
    • We were all about career-focused education regardless of color. It was only when spin doctors at publicly-traded and private equity-backed chains entered the field that bankers suddenly became advocates for minorities.
    • I find this hypocrisy offensive and demeaning to all of us. Worse, it is not even believable.

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