Thursday, June 21, 2007

For-Profits Want Their Credits Accepted By Regionals To Increase Profits, Not For Concern For Their Students.

Since 2001 nationally accredited schools, which are overwhelmingly, for-profit, career, technical and vocational, have had the Transfer of Credit Blues as detailed in the Chronical of Higher Education and have been working to make it more difficult for regionally accredited schools to reject their credits, if not compel them to accept them. This last failure to accomplish this feat has to be frustrating. As I have stated before, they are fundamental reasons why nationally accredited schools which are trade, technical, career and vocational schools are fundamentally different from regionally accredited schools, which are academic. One of the nationals' biggest arguments is that the Department of Education recognizes both accreditations as a reason why regionally accredited schools should accept their credits. This is a bogus argument however, the Department of Education does not set educational standards, the accrediting agencies do, so the fact that the Department recognizes an accrediting agency does not mean that they are all equal in requirements and quality.

One of the reasons that nationally accredited schools have fought so hard to make it hard for regionals to reject their credits, is not because of any concern for their students. If their credits were transferable, this would enhance the value of their schools aka their businesses and investment.

In an article in Inside Higher Education, Elise Scanlon, executive director of the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology and Mark Pelesh, executive vice president for legislative and regulatory affairs at Corinthian Colleges, Inc. "both acknowledged, as has been clear in the for-profit sector’s push for new rules or laws on transfer of credit, that part of the reason the issue is so important to commercial colleges is because of what the perceived discrimination says to students and others about their institutions."

Many of for-profit students have complained about the fact the their credits do not transfer to traditional universities and some have sued. Ironically enough, Nancy Broff, general counsel for the Career College Association (CCA), which represents for-profit schools once said: "Students often don't know if their credits will transfer until after switching schools. Most students and parents are unaware of the pitfalls they may encounter if they switch from a career college to a traditional four-year institution." Obviously if the nationally accredited schools are petitioning the government to have them "regulate" acceptance of their credits by regionals, they know there is a problem. Strange how many of their students are not informed of this, huh?

In other words, the real problem, is that many nationally accredited schools purposely don't tell their students of the transfer of credit problem before they enroll! Some go further, and lie and state that the credits transfer, though they know they don't, e.g. Crown College and Florida Metropolitan University.

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