ERIC Number: ED290921
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Feb
Reference Count: 0
Consumer Rights and Accountability in Postsecondary Vocational-Technical Education: An Exploratory Study.
Fitzgerald, Brian; Harmon, Lisa
Beginning in October 1987, Pelavin Associates conducted an exploratory study of consumer rights and accountability in postsecondary vocational-technical (PVT) programs for the U.S. Department of Education. The study focused on how effectively the governance structure--accreditation and federal and state regulation--ensures that consumer rights are protected and that institutions are appropriately accountable to both consumers and taxpayers for the educational services being provided. The study relied primarily on interviews with federal officials; state and guarantee agency staff in California, Illinois, and Texas; and institutional administrators at nine public and proprietary institutions recommended by accreditation agencies and states as having exemplary practices. The findings of the study indicate that the structure of PVT education permits problems to occur and thus consumers' rights are not being adequately protected. In particular, the study found serious structural problems in the governance, operation, and delivery of postsecondary vocational-technical education. Some of the significant problems found included the following: (1) questionable recruiting and admissions practices; (2) awarding financial aid to ineligible students; (3) low program completion rates; (4) failure of schools to provide refunds to students who drop out; (5) loan defaults by students; and (6) flaws in the accreditation process. (KC)
Descriptors: Accountability, Accreditation (Institutions), Accrediting Agencies, Agency Role, Consumer Protection, Disclosure, Dropouts, Financial Problems, Postsecondary Education, Proprietary Schools, Student Financial Aid, Student Problems, Student Rights, Student School Relationship, Technical Education, Vocational Education, Vocational Schools
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Education, Washington, DC. Office of Planning, Budget, and Evaluation.
Authoring Institution: Pelavin Associates, Inc., Washington, DC.