For-profit colleges continue to do battle with federal legislators. The Dubuque Telegraph Herald reports that Congress needs to study the tactics used by for-profit colleges to recruit students. "Ever see those television commercials for colleges promising a great education that will lead to a big salary? You might have been skeptical of the claims. You might have wondered if schools like the University of Phoenix are even real campuses. U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin shares your concern."
The article goes on to report that the "Iowa Democrat is leading an investigation of the practices of for-profit colleges and the money that the federal government funnels to them."
AACRAO.org (the website for the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers) reports that a "growing number of former Kaplan University students claim that the school misled them to believe that its nutrition science program would provide the necessary credentials to become a registered dietician."
It turns out, however, that Kaplan is not accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education.
The article goes on to reports that the "issue has led the American Dietetic Association, the parent organization of the commission, to take the unusual step of warning students on its website that degrees from Kaplan, American InterContinental University, Capella University, the University of Phoenix and 8 other colleges are not approved by the commission."
In response to the recent spate of criticism, embattled for-profit colleges have invested in greater lobbying efforts. Philly.com reports that "[a]n industry that once spent next to nothing on lobbyists spent a small fortune on well-known and politically connected advocates in 2010 -- including a whopping $850,000 from Pittsburgh-based Education Management Corp., or EDMC, whose largest shareholder is the Wall Street juggernaut Goldman Sachs."
It's been a busy week in the world of for-profit and distance education. The higher-ed winds blow in the direction of substantial change, and the next few months should see interesting new developments.