- The growing potential for Secretary of Education nominee Betsy DeVos to support deregulation for for-profit colleges and rollback several guidelines for federal standards on postgraduate outcomes takes centerstage in a Huffington Post editorial this week.
- Author David Halperin explains that the for-profit industry has reaped billions in public funded student loans while leaving students with little-to-no prospect for gainful employment. But inaccuracies in federal reporting on these outcomes has allowed DeVos and Republicans to challenge the policies outright.
- DeVos declined to endorse guidance for gainful employment and accountability standards for federal funding to institutions of all types.
College leaders should be happy to see an incoming administration that is focused on reducing federal overreach and eliminating the costs that go with it. Changes to regulations could mean a reduced workload for employees and fewer opportunities for public exposure due to non-compliance.
But college leaders should also be prepared for potential reaction in the way of student protests and possible shifts in enrollment management strategy to account for students who may be swayed back to for-profit online degree programs. This is a time for academic executives to closely examine competency-based education programs and how to market them to regional adult learners in order to get ahead of the rush of marketing from for-profit schools that is sure to return to the airwaves.