Following President Obama’s announcement about new gainful employment guidelines for higher education, Sabrina Joy Stevens, Executive Director of the education advocacy group Integrity in Education, issued the following statement:
“The President’s announcement is a small step in the right direction. But in tailoring its guidelines narrowly towards a small part of the problem with for-profit education, the Administration is not only ignoring much of the fraud and abuse in the industry, but overlooking several more fundamental issues.
First and foremost: why are we allowing corporations to directly profit off of the education of students at all? Every dollar spent on education should be devoted to the learning and well being of students– to the people teaching and taking care of students, and to the technology and other resources that facilitate learning.
With millions of students struggling with debt and access to higher education, any “extra” money in our higher education system should be reinvested into student learning and scholarships, not given away to corporate executives at profit-driven institutions.
We also need to remember that a quality education is about much more than job preparation, and that our elected officials and business leaders cannot dodge their responsibility to create a fair economy by holding schools– of any kind– solely responsible for graduates’ economic well-being. However, if the Administration is concerned about gainful employment after graduation, they should not only get serious about job creation, but also look at policies and practices that actually help students develop careers. How about promoting non-profit schools that sponsor paid internships and apprenticeships, and stopping for-profit leaders from skimping on students’ experiences and pocketing the leftover money for themselves?”
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