Roundup

Proposed Regulation Could Shut Down Hundreds of Vocational Programs

16 percent of affected for-profit and community college programs would fail to meet the Education Department’s new standards.

Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education
National Journal
Sophie Quinton
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Sophie Quinton
March 17, 2014, 11:48 a.m.

Here’s a roundup of the edu­ca­tion art­icles that caught Next Amer­ica’s eye from Mar. 10 to Mar. 17. All ad­dress trends that par­tic­u­larly af­fect minor­ity stu­dents.

Edu­ca­tion De­part­ment Un­veils Latest Gain­ful Em­ploy­ment Rule. Hun­dreds of vo­ca­tion­al de­gree pro­grams at for-profit and com­munity col­leges would be in danger of clos­ing down un­der newly pro­posed fed­er­al stand­ards that take in­to ac­count stu­dent debt and de­fault rates. About 16 per­cent of the 8,000 pro­grams af­fected by the new stand­ards would fail to meet them. Pro­grams that fail to meet the stand­ards for two out of three con­sec­ut­ive years would no longer be al­lowed to en­roll stu­dents re­ceiv­ing fed­er­al fin­an­cial aid — a death knell for some pro­grams. The latest ver­sion of the rule will al­most cer­tainly be con­tested in court. In­side­HigherEd, Politico

States Are Also Crack­ing Down on For-Profits. The Edu­ca­tion De­part­ment’s “gain­ful em­ploy­ment” rule-mak­ing has dragged on for five years. So state at­tor­neys gen­er­al are tak­ing the mat­ter in­to their own hands, in­vest­ig­at­ing (and in some cases tak­ing leg­al ac­tion against) for-profit col­leges ac­cused of leav­ing stu­dents with sig­ni­fic­ant debt but few mar­ket­able skills. The Con­sumer Fin­an­cial Pro­tec­tion Bur­eau has also brought leg­al ac­tion against one for-profit pro­vider, and is con­sid­er­ing su­ing an­oth­er. The fast-grow­ing for-profit sec­tor en­rolls 16.9 per­cent of all Afric­an-Amer­ic­an and 14.1 per­cent of all His­pan­ic un­der­gradu­ates. The Hechinger Re­port

Does Com­munity Col­lege Help Some Stu­dents Gradu­ate? Thirty per­cent of four-year col­lege dro­pouts would have been more likely to earn a bach­el­or’s de­gree if they had star­ted at a two-year col­lege, ac­cord­ing to a new work­ing pa­per form the Amer­ic­an In­sti­tutes of Re­search. Forty per­cent of first-gen­er­a­tion stu­dents who dropped out of four-year pro­grams would have been more likely to gradu­ate if they had star­ted out at a two-year col­lege. The study “sug­gests that stu­dents who choose com­munity col­lege of­ten know what they’re do­ing, even if much of the com­ment­ari­at doesn’t,” In­side­HigherEd’s Matt Reed writes. Wash­ing­ton MonthlyIn­side­HigherEd

Louisi­ana Em­braces Ca­reer Edu­ca­tion. Louisi­ana may in­tro­duce a ramped-up high school “ca­reer dip­loma” that would con­clude with a cre­den­tial ap­proved by rel­ev­ant state em­ploy­ers. The goal is to open the doors to good-pay­ing jobs for stu­dents who don’t pur­sue post­sec­ond­ary edu­ca­tion. Louisi­ana Edu­ca­tion Su­per­in­tend­ent John White “con­siders the ini­ti­at­ive both a mor­al and busi­ness ne­ces­sity,” The Times-Pi­cay­une writes; only 28 per­cent of Louisi­ana stu­dents earn a two- or four-year col­lege de­gree. Wash­ing­ton Monthly, Times-Pi­cay­une

Illinois Changes Test­ing Policy to Help Minor­ity Teach­ers. In a bid to in­crease the num­ber of minor­ity teach­ers in the state, the Illinois State Board of Edu­ca­tion re­moved a lim­it to the num­ber of times pro­spect­ive teach­ers can take re­quired ba­sic skills tests. Last year, few­er than one-third of all as­pir­ing teach­ers and few­er than 18 per­cent of black and His­pan­ic can­did­ates passed the state’s Test of Aca­dem­ic Pro­fi­ciency. Eighty-four per­cent of Illinois pub­lic-school teach­ers are white, com­pared with just half of pub­lic-school stu­dents. Cata­lyst Chica­go

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