In October of 2013, Career Education Colleges & Universities (CECU) created a series of “Best Practice Recommendations” as part of their effort to assist members to lift the performance and reputation of sector schools. One of those documents was entitled “Best Practices in Recruitment and Admissions,” which provided guidance and support in two critical areas of institutional operations – marketing and admissions. At the request of some within our sector, CECU has agreed to convene and lead a taskforce that addresses new developments in the regulatory side of your work as a result of a legal order signed by the FTC and Career Education Corporation this past August. This order has implications for all schools who use lead generation. The goal of the newly created Student Inquiry Compliance Taskforce* is to update the current document and add a level of detail far beyond the original publication, which will assist institutions in controlling their digital messaging, communications processes and efforts across the Internet and beyond in ways that comply with this new order/consent decree.
Most students learn about the schools they are evaluating online. Developing a comprehensive marketing program that ensures students receive the information they need to properly assess educational programs and institutions is complex, and often a confusing and extremely difficult task. This arduous communication effort involves the utilization of numerous technology systems and platforms, some of which are controlled by schools, but many of which are not. Some of the marketing messages about an institution that students read are developed by 3rd party vendors that may not be sanctioned or vetted by the schools. Some may be unknown to the schools, but possibly misrepresent the messaging about the school to prospective students.
Therefore, the Student Inquiry Compliance Taskforce* was formed to educate institutions, agencies, and vendors about the processes, introduce them to various technology systems, and provide guidance that will assist them in developing methods to auditing procedures to communicate worthwhile information with students properly and ethically. In doing so institutions will comply with the many federal, state and local laws and regulations they are required to follow – especially the specific responsibilities you face as a result of August’s consent decree.
While we have identified some potential participants for this taskforce, we invite any interested CECU Members – schools and/or allied members engaged in marketing/admissions – to share with us your interest in both participating; and or in being kept informed of our work. Please contact CECU at CECUGovernmentRelations@career.org.
*Taskforce title edited after the publication of this press release from Lead Generation Compliance Taskforce to Student Inquiry Compliance Taskforce.