It's been yet another busy week in the world of career colleges. Here are some highlights from the past week's for-profit education news.
A May 5, 2011 article on Heraldnet.com reports that for-profit colleges are facing more state scrutiny -- something which has been apparent for quite a while now. "The Education Department ... has postponed publishing the new rules after facing heavy pressure from for-profit education lobbyists and opposition in Congress. That has led several states, tired of waiting for action from the federal government, to take matters into their own hands." According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, lawmakers in at least 17 states have introduced bills on for-profit colleges this year.
In other news, The Moral Liberal reports that for-profit colleges claim that they do indeed serve nontraditional students. The article quotes Kent Jenkins, a spokesman for Corinthian Colleges Inc., who states, "'We serve a different kind of student. We don't look like a traditional college. We are built to teach folks who are looking for a different type of experience. We are about career education. We are in a business location. We have a business environment, and that's a good thing.'"
The recent spate of bad publicity has affected one of the industry's biggest players. A May 6, 2011 Bloomberg.com article reports that Kaplan Education -- which owns, among other things, Kaplan University and The Washington Post -- posted a 67% decline in profits as a result of an enrollment drop. New student enrollment at Kaplan was off 23 percent and its operating earnings for the first quarter fell 73 percent.
The debate continues -- and it looks like some of the biggest names in the industry have suffered because of it. But for-profit education serves an important purpose in today's high-tech society, and there seems no doubt that the industry will emerge from this most recent battle stronger than ever.