Steve Gunderson, President & CEO of Career Education Colleges & Universities, issued the following statement:
On behalf of the nation’s 2,700 postsecondary career colleges and universities we are deeply disappointed that the Democrat proposal continues the ideological war against our sector using old issues, and old data as the basis for their proposal. Today’s sector is not defined by Corinthian and ITT, and public policy should not be defined by the past.
Recognizing the call for outcomes and accountability, today’s postsecondary career education sector has better completion rates, and far better placement rates than those sectors of higher education awarded in the Democrat proposal. Our two-year and less schools, which comprise over three quarters of the institutions in this sector, have graduation rates more than two times better than the 2-year public sector schools. When one combines instruction and student service expenditures, we make a larger financial commitment to the total success of our students than any other sector.
During the earlier discussions on Gainful Employment and Borrower Defense, most Democrats told us they support one set of rules for all schools but the current statutes did not allow them to create a rule that did so. Yet, the Democrat proposal goes further than current law to create one set of provisions for traditional schools and another set of provisions for our sector.
Finally, Democrats need to stop making veterans political pawns in the debate over public policy. Veterans listen to veterans. And veterans enroll in our schools because they seek accelerated, focused academic programming leading to a career. Veterans have earned their GI Benefits, and they should be allowed to use them at any institution of their choice.
This nation faces an important challenge today. A healthy economy needs skilled workers. We are committed to working with everyone engaged in preparing a new generation of skilled workers. All we ask for is fairness. Over 2,000 campuses have been closed since 2010 – most were part of the many large publicly-traded systems that no longer exist. Today’s career education schools reflect the multi-generation family-owned schools that have always served their communities well.
Following the release of the proposed borrower defense to repayment rule for public comment, Steve Gunderson, President and CEO of Career Education Colleges and Universities, released the following statement:
“After much stakeholder engagement, the rule carefully developed and put forth by the Department stands on two strong pillars: protection for all parties involved and respect for due process. There should be no doubt that this rule will help students who are victims of fraud find relief, and ensure colleges and universities are part of a fair and objective adjudication process.
“Since the concept of the rule was first proposed, our position has remained unchanged: any student at any institution who is a victim of fraud must be protected, and there must be a clear and uniform process for seeking and receiving relief. Earlier iterations of the rule did not respect the letter nor the intent of the law. Carte blanche approval of batches of applications would only serve to cutoff access and opportunity for future students. A deliberate and responsive process – as prescribed by this rule – ensures opportunity, access, and justified outcomes for students.
“The Department has undertaken a thoughtful and deliberate approach to this rule, and we applaud their hard work on this important matter. We hope that going forward all stakeholders in higher education will work together around the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. We need to advance public policy that can stand the test of time regardless of which party controls the government.
“This is a critical moment for higher education. Since the last reauthorization of HEA - the entire landscape and demand for postsecondary education has dramatically changed, yet the overarching federal law remains, for the most part, unchanged since 2008. It is time for Congress and the Administration to lead the way on comprehensive reauthorization that empowers all stakeholders to create an American workforce for the 21st Century.”