APSCU Statement on President Obama's Education Bus Tour
White paper addresses institutions' return on investment for students, taxpayers, and communities
Washington, D.C., August 21, 2013—As President Obama begins his postsecondary education bus tour in New York, APSCU President and CEO Steve Gunderson released the following statement:
"We hope the administration and the U.S. Department of Education work with Congress to improve simplicity, accountability, and transparency in all of postsecondary education during reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.
"Our institutions are the ones most able to address our nation's growing skills gap and educate the new traditional student, so we stand ready to continue in our role as the leading innovators in skills-based, career-focused training in high-demand industries.
"We want to work with the administration, the Education Department, Congress, students, and all of postsecondary education to create a system puts the interests of students first through improved transparency and greater accountability."
Background on APSCU Higher Education Act reauthorization proposal
APSCU recommends an improved approach to eligibility and participation in federal student financial aid programs that focuses on measurement of student progression through postsecondary education and eventual outcomes that allow students and taxpayers to conclude whether institutions and educational programs are indeed delivering an acceptable return on investment. Such quantitative indicators include:
retention and progression rates
completion and return on investment
employment of graduates
earnings and/or salary gains
The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU) is a voluntary membership organization of accredited, private postsecondary schools, institutes, colleges, and universities that provide career-specific educational programs. APSCU has 1,400 members that educate and support more than three million students each year for employment in over 200 occupational fields. APSCU member institutions provide the full range of higher education programs, including master's and doctorate degrees, two-year and four-year associate and baccalaureate degree programs, and short-term certificate and diploma programs.
PSCUs open doors to many of the 9.1 million unemployed and 90 million undereducated Americans by providing a skills-based education. To remain competitive over the next decade, we must identify between 8 and 23 million new workers with postsecondary skills. PSCUs are a necessary part of that solution, having produced over 800,000 degrees last year alone.