Tag Archives: school accreditation

Who Profits from For-Profit Schools?

In May, I wrote about for-profit schools, and over the Memorial Day weekend, I found a valuable source. The PBS program “Frontline” ran a special in May called “College Inc.” On this special, they explored the for-profit education industry. The program features interviews with school personnel, students, supporters, and critics.

Widely-publicized issues with for-profit schools—that students receive degrees for which they are not prepared because, for example, they have no practical experience in the field; that students come out with enormous amounts of debt and no job prospects; that students enroll in schools that are not accredited, not realizing that their degree will not have the value they expect—are explored on the program.

The University of Phoenix, currently the largest college in the United States, is explored, as is the for-profit education business from the point of view of the investor.

The possible reshaping of how Federal financial aid to hold the for-profits to a higher measure is also explored. Nearly half of the students who defaulted on student loans within three years of graduation calls into question the value of a for-profit degree to boost a student’s earnings.

And those in charge of accreditation of universities are also looking more closely at how the accreditation process works with for-profit schools.

To view the program, which is available online, go to this special section of the PBS website. While you’re there, you may also want to look at the responses from the colleges, and check out the 1053 viewer comments.

And, because one of the most striking stories in the special is that of a student who ended up with $200,000 in student debt and unable to get the job she trained for because the school did not have the proper accreditation, you may wish to read our article on “Financial Aid Options for College.”

Teacher Appreciation

You might be surprised to see an article on teacher appreciation now, when last week was Teacher Appreciation Week. Teachers were celebrated in all kinds of ways, and if you didn’t see U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s YouTube® video acknowledging his favorite teacher Mrs. Darlene McCampbell, you might want to have a look.

But just as appreciation of mothers and fathers doesn’t begin and end with Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, appreciation of teachers needn’t stop as the specified dates pass by.

If you’d like to know more about the history of Teacher Day and how it is celebrated around the world, you can check out our article “Teacher Day.” But I’m going to use this post as Secretary Duncan and Mrs. McCampbell used their video to talk with you a little bit about a different way of coming to an appreciation of teachers, and that is by considering the training they go through to become teachers and considering whether you might wish to become a teacher.

There are many different types of teachers, many of whom teach in schools, but some of whom teach in community centers, art galleries, museums, theaters, aquariums, libraries, and other locations. Even “school teachers” may teach in a public school, a charter school, a magnet school, a private school, an independent school, or a homeschool. This doesn’t even begin to acknowledge the wide array of private instructors who teach children how to play instruments, ice skate, ride horses, garden, cook, and other topics that are often learned outside of a regular “school” building.

If you’re considering become a classroom teacher, then a degree from an accredited institution is likely to serve you well, and you may want to have a look at our article “Teaching Degree.”

More and more people are considering teaching as a second career, bringing the experience, training, and expertise from their first career into the classroom. In this case, your state department of education may have a special training and licenser program that bypasses the usual path taken by an aspiring undergraduate. Such programs are a way to change the old saying and make sure that “those who can, teach.”

School Accreditation

In today’s education world the options are without limits. There is something for everyone. With K-12 there are private schools, public schools, charter schools, homeschool and probably something else. Then there are boarding schools and military schools. For colleges and vocational schools you can go to a campus or you can get most of your education online.

While all of these options are fantastic for the general public it does raise some concerns. Parents with children in Kindergarten through high school need to be very careful that their child is going to get a high school diploma and credits from a source that is recognized as they enter college and/or the work force. The same goes with continuing education. You would hate to waste time getting a masters degree or other degree just to find out that no one would recognize your work.

Students cannot receive federal aid or other funding if the school that you choose is not accredited. The key is to make sure you ask smart questions when you are choosing a school. Make sure that you ask if the school is accredited and even if they say that they are make sure you ask who they are accredited with and do your homework on that organization.