Ohio Career Colleges Criticize Flawed Government Report

G.A.O. forced to revise federal testimony

Dec 10, 2010, 12:00 ET from Ohio Association of Career Colleges and Schools

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Dec. 10, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- The association representing Ohio's career colleges and schools blasted the Government Accountability Office for errors in a report that hastened a drive for increased regulation of for-profit colleges around the country. This week the federal G.A.O. revised a report on recruiting practices at 15 for-profit colleges, originally released on August 4.

"Ohio's career colleges and schools are pleased that the G.A.O. has corrected the multitude of errors in its report on our sector, but it is too late to reverse the damage it has done to our schools and students," said R. David Rankin, executive director of the Ohio Association of Career Colleges and Schools.

"Because the report fuelled skepticism among public officials in Ohio and Washington about the value of career college education, the errors are highly significant to us," he said.

The G.A.O. report used undercover "secret shoppers" to visit 15 college campuses and record conversations with admissions officers. Several of the corrections retract the recruitment techniques that have come under scrutiny in the U.S. Senate and sparked legislation in the Ohio House of Representatives.  

The revised report does not change the G.A.O.'s conclusions, and Rankin said that career colleges and schools should be held accountable for meeting the highest standards in recruiting and educating students.

"Unfortunately, this inaccurate report has created a sense of urgency to tighten regulations that may result in a loss of federal loans to thousands of Ohio career college students," Rankin said.

The Ohio Association of Career Colleges and Schools is a statewide association of voluntary membership for non-public, post-secondary private schools and colleges. All member schools are licensed by the State of Ohio, through the State Board of Career Colleges and Schools. Ohio has more than 300 registered career colleges and schools preparing students for jobs and careers through certificate, diploma and degree programs.

SOURCE Ohio Association of Career Colleges and Schools