Dept. of Education Makes Right Call on Gainful Employment ... For Now

Student debt burden should be addressed, but done so effectively.

Jun 15, 2010, 18:11 ET from Randy Proto, Pres. and CEO, American Institutes

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., June 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Randy Proto, President and CEO of the American Institutes school group, today responded to the release of new regulations from the U.S. Dept. of Education (DOE) that will impact career colleges.  In recent weeks, the DOE has reportedly considered various "gainful employment" proposals in an effort to address the debt burden of graduating students.  Today, the DOE said it would hold off on issuing regulations on gainful employment in order to gather more data.  Mr. Proto says that delay presents the DOE with "a golden opportunity to get it right."

"Student debt burden must be addressed across all sectors of higher education, regardless of a student's choice of institution," he continued.  "But, it must be dealt with in ways that do not reduce access or choice. The Department has very judiciously avoided implementing a flawed approach which would unintentionally have had those very consequences."

Proto went on to say, "Ensuring broad access to a quality college education for all Americans who desire one and simultaneously ensuring a sound investment of taxpayer funds in supporting that access is a difficult task." 

According to Mr. Proto there are workable solutions to the issue that can create a more affordable education landscape without negative effects on student access and choice.

"Many factors have converged to both enable and require a careful rethinking of how to maximize the individual and societal benefit realized from post secondary education," he continued.  "Career colleges and schools are an integral component of the educational landscape, particularly for adult students who typically have many responsibilities beyond attending classes and need educational approaches that are aligned with their needs."

Concluded Proto, "We are very much in favor of regulatory change, including increased disclosure, which is uniformly applied to all types of institutions and which extends student choice and access, enhances student ability to make well informed decisions, and supports affordability, quality, and effectiveness of post-secondary education. I look forward to contributing in whatever way possible to the process of enhancing the student experience and to also enhancing the benefit we taxpayers' realize from our support of higher education."

The American Institutes school group specializes in health care career education and serve more than 2,000 students annually in five schools around the country. Randy Proto has more than 30 years of experience working in career education, playing a direct, operational role in various colleges and schools throughout the country.

SOURCE Randy Proto, Pres. and CEO, American Institutes