ERIC Number: ED456689
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Meeting Needs and Making Profits: The Rise of For-Profit Degree-Granting Institutions. ECS Issue Paper.
Kelly, Kathleen F.
The nature, role, and impact of the rapidly growing for-profit degree-granting sector of higher education were studied using a variety of data sources, including field notes. For-profit degree-granting institutions have emerged as an integral and increasingly influential part of the system. Over the past decade, there has been a 78% increase in 2-year for-profit institutions and a 266% increase in the number of 4-year institutions. Enrollment in for-profit degree-granting institutions grew by 59% in the same period, reaching roughly 365,000 students. This report presents case studies of three groups of institutions: (1) small, local enterprise colleges; (2) "super systems"; and (3) Internet-based institutions. It explores changes in the for-profit degree-granting sector, the factors that account for its survival and growth, and the impact of regulation and accreditation. The paper also considers similarities and differences in the views of managers, faculty, and students about the purposes, strengths, and weaknesses of their institutions. The for-profit sector's emphasis on career-oriented and customer focused programs, services, and institutions appeals to new types of students, such as working adults and parents with family responsibilities. The degree programs offered by such institutions differ from those offered by traditional degree programs, but the differences may be less significant than critics suggest. Skills and practical subjects receive more emphasis at for-profit institutions, but, in fact, degree programs at all institutions have become more career-oriented. The design of for-profit institutions is driven by employers' needs and students' interests. As both businesses and schools, for-profit institutions need to meet the quality standards of industry and academe. They may even be more sensitive to quality concerns than are traditional institutions. (Contains 5 tables, 17 endnotes, and 17 references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Degrees (Academic), Distance Education, Educational Finance, Enrollment Trends, Higher Education, Internet, Private Education, Proprietary Schools, Small Colleges
For full text: http://www.ecs.org.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: Education Commission of the States, Denver, CO.