University of Phoenix Phasing Out Campuses; Current Students Not Affected, School Says — from phoenixnewtimes.com by

Excerpt:

The University of Phoenix plans to scale back more brick-and-mortar campuses across the country, according to university employees and internal communications obtained by Phoenix New Times.

The best-known for-profit university will phase out on-campus enrollment and teaching at around 20 locations, according to employees and internal discussions. The locations in question include full-fledged campuses in Detroit, Tucson, El Paso, and Albuquerque, along with smaller learning centers in San Bernardino and Woodlands, Texas.

The university employee speculated that the move is likely related to a decline in student enrollment. The University of Phoenix has shed students since 2010, when it enrolled around half a million nationwide. In 2016, the university reported that its enrollment was around 139,000.

 

 

Education Department Strips Authority of Largest For-Profit Accreditor — from usnews.com by Lauren Camera
The potential death blow follows intense federal scrutiny of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.

Excerpt:

The Department of Education officially stripped the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools – the largest accrediting agency of for-profit colleges and universities – of its authority Thursday, handing down the final blow in a long controversy over the council’s ability to be an effective watchdog for students and billions of taxpayer dollars.

“I am terminating the department’s recognition of ACICS as a national recognized accrediting agency,” Emma Vadehra, chief of staff to the education secretary, wrote in a letter to the organization. “ACICS’s track record does not inspire confidence that it can address all of the problems effectively.”

The decision comes after a federal panel voted to shut ACICS down in June amid intense criticism of the council for its loose oversight of educational institutions. ACICS was the accrediting agency for now-shuttered Corinthian Colleges and ITT Technical Institute campuses.

 

Feds propose decertifying accreditor of for-profit colleges — from wsj.com by Douglas Belkin

Excerpt:

The Education Department on Wednesday recommended that the organization that accredits many of the nation’s for-profit colleges and vocational schools shouldn’t be recognized, a step that could threaten access to nearly $5 billion in federal financial aid for more than 800,000 students.

The decision also has the potential to hasten the consolidation of the for-profit college sector as it could drive out of business many schools that lose access to student loans as well as students leery of attending schools under the regulatory microscope.

The move could mean the sector, already in decline amid tightening federal regulation, “will implode even faster,” said Trace Urdan, managing director at Credit Suisse and a longtime analyst of the for-profit college industry. “There will be significant consolidation ahead, a lot of people will lose their jobs, there will be fewer choices in the market but the schools that do survive will have a sort of double bonus, a clean bill of health and less competition.”

 

University of Phoenix owner, Apollo Education Group, will be taken private — from nytimes.com by Patricia Cohen and Chad Bray

Excerpt:

The troubled for-profit education company that owns the giant University of Phoenix agreed on Monday to be bought for $1.1 billion by a group of investors that includes a private equity firm with close ties to the Obama administration.

The university and its owner, the Apollo Education Group, have been subject to a series of state and federal investigations into allegations of shady recruiting, deceptive advertising and questionable financial aid practices.

In recent years, many for-profit educational institutions that have received billions of dollars in federal aid, including the University of Phoenix, have been pummeled by criticisms that they preyed upon veterans and low-income students, saddling them with outsize student loan debt and subpar instruction.

 

Also see:

  • New education department office to crack down on colleges — from wsj.com by Josh Mitchell
    Student Aid Enforcement Unit will focus on schools accused of misconduct
    Excerpt:
    The Obama administration plans to boost the federal government’s power to investigate and punish colleges accused of deceptive marketing tactics and other misconduct, part of a campaign to address years of student complaints about for-profit institutions.

 

Also see:

Student Aid Enforcement Unit Formed to protect students, borrowers, taxpayers — from ed.gov on 2/8/16

Excerpt:

As part of the Obama Administration’s aggressive action to protect students and taxpayers, the U.S. Department of Education is creating a Student Aid Enforcement Unit to respond more quickly and efficiently to allegations of illegal actions by higher education institutions.

“When Americans invest their time, money and effort to gain new skills, they have a right to expect they’ll actually get an education that leads to a better life for them and their families,” said Acting Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. “When that doesn’t happen we all pay the price. So let me be clear: schools looking to cheat students and taxpayers will be held accountable.”

 

 

From DSC:
For profits have brought some solid things to the education table…but they’ve also brought some bad practices to the table as well. To some degree, the above items relate to the efforts and influence of the federal government to affect institutions involved in higher education.

Taking this thought into a different direction then…one should think carefully, therefore, when the federal government opens up new efforts to support innovation within higher education — something I support, by the way, as it could facilitate the creation of alternative pathways for learners and it finally enforces some true competition — and therefore a greater emphasis on innovation — within the higher ed landscape. (Yes I realize that there’s some level of competition within institutions of traditional higher education…but historical and current accreditation practices have pretty much kept things looking quite similar across the landscape.)

Institutions of traditional higher education may now be forced to rethink their game plans and strategies as they move forward — something I hope that will positively impact our future students.  Such forces and events should make institutions of traditional higher education more innovative, open to change (where it’s needed), relevant, and responsive to changes in the environment.

 

 

My thanks to Mary Grush at Campus Technology for her continued work in bringing relevant topics and discussions to light — so that our institutions of higher education will continue delivering on their missions well into the future. By doing so, learners will be able to continue to partake of the benefits of attending such institutions. But in order to do so, we must adapt, be responsive, and be willing to experiment. Towards that end, this Q&A with Mary relays some of my thoughts on the need to move more towards a team-based approach.

When you think about it, we need teams whether we’re talking about online learning, hybrid learning or face-to-face learning. In fact, I just came back from an excellent Next Generation Learning Space Conference and it was never so evident to me that you need a team of specialists to design the Next Generation Learning Space and to design/implement pedagogies that take advantage of the new affordances being offered by active learning environments.

 

DanielSChristian-CampusTechologyMagazine-2-24-15

 

DanielSChristian-CampusTechologyMagazine2-2-24-15

 

 

 

Apollo Education Group starts nontraditional course catalog — from chronicle.com by Steve Kolowich

Excerpts:

The Apollo Education Group, the parent company of the University of Phoenix, is starting a website to help people find courses that teach skills they need to land specific jobs in the technology industry. Call it a course catalog for nontraditional courses, most of which have no connection to colleges’ degree programs.

The website, called Balloon and announced on Tuesday, will be pitched to adult learners who want to pick up skills that have been flagged by technology companies as requirements for certain job openings. The idea is to make recruiting more efficient for companies, while giving learners a better idea of what skills employers in the tech industry are looking for apart from the general ones indicated by a traditional degree, said Robert W. Wrubel, chief innovation officer at Apollo.

 

 

 

Texas Rolls Out an ‘Affordable Baccalaureate’ Degree — from chronicle.com by Lawrence Biemiller

Excerpt:

Two years after Gov. Rick Perry of Texas called on the state’s colleges to offer bachelor’s degrees that would cost students no more than $10,000 each, two institutions rolled out a joint bachelor-of-applied-science program last month that they say can be completed in three years for not much more than the governor’s target amount.

 

QuickWire: For-Profit University Will Accept MOOC Credits — from chronicle.com

Excerpt:

Bridgepoint Education’s Ashford University, which offers courses both online and on a campus in Clinton, Iowa, said on Friday that it would allow students to earn credits toward degrees by taking “selected” massive open online courses offered through two of the three big online-course providers, Coursera and Udacity.

 

Administrator Hiring Drove 28% Boom in Higher-Ed Work Force, Report Says — from chronicle.com by Scott Carlson

Excerpt:

Thirty-four pages of research, branded with a staid title and rife with complicated graphs, might not seem like a scintillating read, but there’s no doubt that a report released on Wednesday will punch higher education’s hot buttons in a big way.

The report, “Labor Intensive or Labor Expensive: Changing Staffing and Compensation Patterns in Higher Education,” says that new administrative positions—particularly in student services—drove a 28-percent expansion of the higher-ed work force from 2000 to 2012. The report was released by the Delta Cost Project, a nonprofit, nonpartisan social-science organization whose researchers analyze college finances.

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Also see:
LaborIntensiveOrLaborExpensive-Feb2014

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Somewhat-related postings:

© GUDRON / BIGSTOCK
 

Online education: Non-profits fight back? — infographic from onlinedegrees.org

Per Muhammad Saleem:
“For years, for-profit universities have dominated the online education space, however that’s changing.”

 

Online Education: Non-Profits Fight Back?

Tagged with:  

Party ends at for-profit schools — from the WSJ by Melissa Korn

Excerpt:

For-profit colleges are facing a tough test: getting new students to enroll.

New-student enrollments have plunged—in some cases by more than 45%—in recent months, reflecting two factors: Companies have pulled back on aggressive recruiting practices amid criticism over their high student-loan default rates. And many would-be students are questioning the potential pay-off for degrees that can cost considerably more than what’s available at local community colleges.

For-profit college group sued as U.S. lays out wide fraud — from the New York Times by Tamar Lewin

Excerpt:

The Department of Justice and four states on Monday filed a multibillion-dollar fraud suit against the Education Management Corporation, the nation’s second-largest for-profit college company, charging that it was not eligible for the $11 billion in state and federal financial aid it had received from July 2003 through June 2011.

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