Student Access Student Choice Letter to Senator Harkin

Dec 20, 2010, 11:08 ET from Student Access Student Choice Coalition

WASHINGTON, Dec. 20, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a Student Access Student Choice Coalition letter to Senator Harkin:

December 20, 2010

The Honorable Tom Harkin

731 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Harkin:

Over the last several months, the nation's career colleges and universities have endured withering criticism that stemmed from a report produced by the General Accountability Office (GAO). Recently, the GAO revised this report, softening many of its examples after reviewing more than 80 hours of audio from its investigation.

Career schools train the employees and employers that make the economy go, and we are writing to urge you to ask the GAO to withdraw its report in the wake of these revisions.

As you know, career colleges play an integral role in helping millions of Americans pursue advanced degrees. By allowing this report to remain on the record despite these revisions, the GAO is undermining its own credibility.

Career colleges and universities offer their students training for specialized professions, while providing a flexible learning environment. Most of their students enroll because they need accommodating schedules and convenient locations. They often come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, are adult learners and face the added challenge of balancing family life with education.

Students at career colleges complete their degrees at nearly three times the rate of their counterparts at community colleges and account for a disproportionate percentage of graduates in health care, computer-data processing and other fields that are expected to add 1.8 million new American jobs through 2016 despite the Great Recession. Moreover, career colleges are a good value for taxpayers, providing, on average, twice the return on investment for each dollar spent when compared with community colleges.

According to the GAO, it revised only twelve of the roughly 1,000 reports it issued in the last fiscal year. When viewed in this context, the decision to revise this report appears to be significant. Senator Mike Enzi of Wyoming has weighed in with the GAO to ask that it withdraw its testimony and explain why the report was revised.

In an era that is quickly becoming defined by unemployment and stagnant economic growth, it is vital that the government do all it can to promote and enhance the ability of institutions that are succeeding in arming citizens with the skills they need to secure a job. By asking the GAO to withdraw this report, you will be contributing to those efforts. Further, it is important to note that the signers of this letter include several members of the United States military who have found their educational success at America's career colleges and universities.


Barney T. Bishop, III

President & Chief Executive Officer

Associated Industries of Florida

F. Jack Henderson, III President

North Carolina Association of Career Colleges and Schools

Robert Peterson, Veteran

Vice President, Student Veterans of America

Sullivan University-Chapter 227

Brent Casey, Veteran

President, Student Veterans of America

Sullivan University-Chapter 227

Mario Lopez, President

Hispanic Leadership Fund

Faith A. Takes

President & CEO

Empire Education Corporation

Kathy Mizereck, Executive Director

Florida Association of Postsecondary Schools and Colleges

Shana Weiss, President

Wisconsin Council for Independent Education

John Slama, Chair

Minnesota Career College Association

R. David Rankin, Executive Director

Ohio Association of Career Colleges & Schools

Chris Ryan, US Navy Veteran

Vice President of Fleet Services and Installation

Portsmouth, VA

Duke Ingraham, US Navy Veteran President, Fleet Imports, In.c Portsmouth, VA

Terence Zaleski, Executive Director/Counsel

Coalition of NYS Career Schools Duroy R. Burnett, Jr., Veteran Student, Keiser University

Nancy Decker, President

Pennsylvania Association of Private School Administrators

Mason Myers, President

California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools

Arteka Robinson

Graduate, Fremont College

Student, University of Southern California

Owner, Gym Angel Fitness

Joshua Gregory, Veteran

Student, Culinary Team Captain, Keiser University

Greg Shaw, Veteran

Graduate, Keiser University

Registered Nurse, Trauma Unit, Tallahassee Memorial Hospital

Paul G. Leyden, United States Navy

Student, Keiser University

Rachel Toney, United States Marine Corp

Student, Keiser University

SGT Nestor Coris, United States Army

Fort Bragg, North Carolina

Graduate, Herzing University

Tammy Hendrickson, (surviving spouse of deceased veteran)

Student, Keiser University

Philip Rugg, United States Army

Student, Keiser University

Rodrigo Manuel Garrido, USAF Retired

Student, Keiser University

Kyle O Hill, United States Coast Guard

Student, Keiser University

Lane H. Brown

Nursing Graduate, Herzing University

Garcia, Nannette E., Army Reserves

Student, Keiser University

Rafael A. Ortiz, SFC. US Army Retired

Student, Keiser University

Ashley Lee

Student, Herzing University

Lisa Burns Jernigan

Student, Herzing University Online

Rebecca Vaughan Skinner, Military Spouse

Student, Herzing University

Ashley Braund

Student, Herzing University

Jennifer Littleton

Student, Herzing University

Donna Dies

Student, Herzing University, Akron Institute

Roberta Kirst


Herzing University

Twin Cities, MN

Sam Saar

Student, Herzing University, Toledo, OH

Dominic Bender

Student, Herzing University, Madison, WI

Shannon Harstard

Student, Herzing University, Omaha, NE

Timothy Nichols, Disabled Veteran

Herzing University, Brookfield Campus

Rachel A. Carey

Student, Herzing University, New Orleans

Cara Worden

Student, Herzing University, Omaha, NE

Casie Roth

Student, Herzing University, Omaha, NE

Channel Jones

Student, Herzing University Online

Nicole Hoy

Student, Herzing University, Madison, WI

Jon Williams,

Student, Herzing University, Toledo, OH

Rachel Johnson

Student, Herzing University, Akron Institute

Lisa M. Eller

Graduate, Herzing University, Winter Park, FL

Derek Pounds

Student, Herzing University, Akron Institute

Donald Colley, US Navy Veteran 1981-1985

Herzing University

Eloisa "Ellie" Barrera

Student, Northwestern College, Chicago, IL

Maritza Vega

Graduate, Northwestern College, Chicago, IL

Executive Human Resources Director – Epko Industries, Inc.

Angel Nazario

Graduate, Keiser University

Lori Luongo, United States Navy Veteran

Homeland Security Student, Keiser University

Stacey Terry,

Culinary Arts Student, Keiser University

Kiley Webber

Information Technology Graduate, Keiser University

Tom Lynch, Veteran

Student, Sullivan University

John Orberson, Veteran

Student, Sullivan University

Elizabeth Dorenbacher, Veteran

Student, Sullivan University

Stephen Dorrenbacher, Veteran

Student, Sullivan University

Alfred Ashley, Veteran

Student, Sullivan University

Ramon Billups, Veteran

Student, Sullivan University

Chad Guthrie, Veteran

Student, Sullivan

Ron Clayton, Veteran

Student, Sullivan University

Edward Vicario, Veteran

Student, Sullivan University

Gerry Beavers, Veteran

Student, Sullivan University

Heath Back, Veteran

Student, Sullivan University

Jason Hutch, Veteran

Student, Sullivan University

John Blair, Veteran

Student, Sullivan University

Jim Hunter, Veteran

Student, Sullivan University

John Haveman, Veteran

Student, Sullivan University

Lisa Skarvan, Veteran

Student, Sullivan University

Brian Mabry, Veteran

Student, Sullivan University

Cheryl Rogers, Veteran

Student, Sullivan University

Shawn Arvin, Veteran

Student, Sullivan University

Mark Slaughter, Veteran

Student, Sullivan University

Jon Thomas, Army Combat Veteran

Student, Keiser University

Corrinne Vernick

Student, Keiser University

Lauren Gravenites, Batavia, IL

Paralegal & Assistant Office Manager, Wheaton Law Office

Cc: Senator Chris Dodd

Senator Barbara Mikulski

Senator Jeff Bingaman

Senator Patty Murray

Senator Jack Reed

Senator Bernard Sanders

Senator Robert Casey

Senator Kay Hagan

Senator Jeff Merkley

Senator Al Franken

Senator Michael Bennet

Senator Joe Manchin

Senator Michael Enzi

Senator Judd Gregg

Senator Lamar Alexander

Senator Richard Burr

Senator Johnny Isakson

Senator John McCain

Senator Orrin Hatch

Senator Lisa Murkowski

Senator Tom Coburn

Senator Pat Roberts

SOURCE Student Access Student Choice Coalition