CONSUMERIST: Senators Introduce Bill Mandating Formation Of For-Profit College Oversight Committee

Career College Central Summary:

  • Back in October, the Department of Education finalized a new rule: career colleges — those schools that offer specialized training programs for certain occpuations — would have to do a better job actually preparing students for gainful emplotment, or they’d lose access to federal student aid. As part of those standards, the DoE rule included the creation of an oversight group. Today, two senators introduced legislation to ensure the task force is providing useful information to policymakers, parents and students.
  • Illinois senator Dick Durbin and Maryland representative Elijah Cummings introduced legislation that would put into law the interagency committed tasked with improving coordination in federal and state oversight of the for-profit college industry.
  • “Our legislation will streamline oversight of for-profit colleges to combat common deceptive practices and help students get the high quality education they pay for and expect,” Cummings said in a statement. “I am pleased the Department of Education has already taken some action, but Congress must do more to protect these students and the investments taxpayers are making in these schools.”
  • Today’s legislation stems from the Proprietary Education Oversight Coordination Improvement Act [PDF] that Durbin, Cummings and former Iowa senator Tom Harkin introduced last April that created the interagency oversight committee.
  • The new bill goes a step farther by requiring the formation of an interagency committee – the Proprietary Education Oversight Coordination Committee – made up of representatives from the following agencies: the Department of Education; the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; the Department of Justice; the Securities and Exchange Commission; the Department of Defense; the Department of Veterans Affairs; the Federal Trade Commission; the Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service.

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