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ERIC Number: ED545544
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Nov
Pages: 36
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-896019-37-6
Private Career Colleges. Made in B.C.: A History of Postsecondary Education in British Columbia. Volume 8.
Cowin, Bob
Online Submission
This report describes private colleges serving adults which since 1936 have been required to register with the provincial government of British Columbia, Canada or, since 1993, with a regulatory body created by the government. The sector has always included career colleges, but registration was expanded temporarily in the 1990s to include all types of private institutions and English as a second language schools. The report's focus is on the sector, although a few individual institutions are described to illustrate its diverse character. The development of the Private Post-Secondary Education Commission (1992-2003) and the Private Career Training Institutions Agency (2004 to present) is traced. The number of private career colleges fluctuated around 70 institutions from 1940 into the 1960s. By the mid-seventies, the number reached 100. It was not until the 1980s that noteworthy changes began. The introduction of federal training contracts helped propel the number of colleges from 165 in 1980 to over 500 a decade later. Following adverse publicity about a few problematic institutions, the province moved the regulatory function out of the government bureaucracy in 1993. Voluntary accreditation was introduced at this time, with registration shifting towards consumer protection for prepaid tuition rather than educational quality assurance. In 1997, the provincial government said that private career college students would soon no longer be eligible for student financial aid unless their institution was accredited, with the federal government following suit soon after with respect to students receiving unemployment insurance benefits. The creation of the Private Career Training Institutions Agency in 1992 led to the complete deregulation of English language schools, the introduction of other forms of oversight for private academic institutions, and industry self-regulation for the remaining career colleges. The sector has attracted controversy, with widely varying views about the quality of individual institutions. Default rates for former students repaying student loans have been at least double those of public institutions. Surveys reveal that students have been relatively satisfied with their educational experiences. The majority of private career colleges have been small, enrolling fewer than 200 students annually. Some consolidation has occurred recently in the sector as corporations acquire and merge schools. These corporations are increasingly international in orientation, seeking both vertical and horizontal integration in various aspects of the industry. [For "Post-Baccalaureate Programs. Made in B.C.: A History of Postsecondary Education in British Columbia. Volume 7," see ED540825.]
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada