CECU Announces $1 Million Initiative to Support Research on Career School OutcomesCECU Research Foundation

Today, the CECU Research Foundation announced a new $1 million initiative to fund credible research into school outcomes and comparisons of how proprietary career colleges fare in comparison to peer institutions in other sectors of higher education. The CECU Research Foundation is a 501(c)3 subsidiary of Career Education Colleges and Universities (CECU), the national association representing proprietary career schools. 

The CECU Research Foundation raises funds from external organizations to support research on topics of interest in higher education. The Foundation then identifies credible external research partners that undertake unbiased studies into those topics. Thanks to multiple six-figure grants to support this work, the Foundation is able to announce this new $1 million initiative. In addition, the Foundation is creating a permanent research endowment to ensure the Foundation is able to support substantive research projects in perpetuity.

Potential research topics of interest to the Foundation include:

  • How students at proprietary career schools fare compared to career colleges in the public or nonprofit sector, particularly in graduation and job placement rates.
  • The cost to the taxpayer based upon the type of institution in which a student chooses to pursue a career education.
  • A comparison of the quality of career schools across the different sectors of higher education.
  • A look at the various regulatory issues and accountability measures that have been implemented or are pending, with particular emphasis on how all schools and programs would fare if those rules were applied equally across all institutions of higher education. 
  • Data on outcomes of proprietary schools in comparison to peer institutions in other sectors, with an “apples to apples” comparison of programs offered at careers schools, separate from programs offered at primarily online 4-year programs. (Often, critics of the for-profit sector purposely conflate those different types of educational experiences).
  • Creation of a fact check mechanism, similar to PolitiFact, that will provide evidence-based responses to biased, skewed or inaccurate research or media reports on topics related to proprietary career schools. 

“This funding is a game-changer,” said CECU Research Foundation board chair Julie Basler, president of Platt College in Colorado. “It is long past time for there to be a meaningful and permanent stream of funding to support credible research into these important topics.” 

“The endowment will ensure that, in perpetuity, legitimate and credible research will be available to evaluate career education outcomes across all sectors of higher education. No longer will ideologically-driven critics of the proprietary sector be able to cherry-pick data and skew results to conform to their political views, at least not without a fact check in response,” said Dr. Jason Altmire, president and CEO of Career Education Colleges and Universities. “Through this funding, the CECU Research Foundation will be able to commission unbiased studies on school and student outcomes, following the facts wherever they may lead.”

If you have any questions regarding the Foundation, please contact Jenny Faubert at [email protected].