ERIC Number: EJ848814
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jul-10
For-Profit Colleges Deserve Some Respect
Seiden, Michael J.
Chronicle of Higher Education, v55 n41 pA80 Jul 2009
Enrollment in for-profit colleges, while still a relatively small share of the higher-education market, has grown more than tenfold over the past decade. For-profit education companies are now in high demand among venture capitalists and investment bankers, and the industry is one of the rare ones that is faring well in this economy. But while some for-profit education institutions have achieved a certain level of credibility within academe, many education traditionalists still view them with disdain. The author has worked for 25 years as a faculty member, curriculum developer, and administrator for Regis University, the University of Phoenix, and Western International University. As he prepares to retire and reflect on his experiences, it is clear to him that for-profit education has its strengths and weaknesses. It has also had its share of criticism, both fair and unfair. In this article, he discusses key criticisms of the industry which concern its: (1) aggressive marketing and lack of admissions criteria; (2) large number of student dropouts; (3) nontraditional classroom environments; and (4) business orientation. In reality, the author concludes, all institutions strive to have their revenues exceed their expenses. Sound institutions use the money to enhance the educational experience of the students. Regardless of the nature of a higher-education institution--private or public, research or career-oriented, for-profit or not-for-profit--its quality will be determined by its management. There have unquestionably been abuses in some for-profit education institutions, but the same can be said about private and public traditional institutions as well. The author contends that perhaps it's time to evaluate institutions on their own merits, rather than classify them by stereotypical categories.
Descriptors: Educational Experience, Higher Education, Proprietary Schools, Criticism, Institutional Research, Institutional Characteristics
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://chronicle.com
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A