U.S. Department of Education Creates One Set of Metrics for All Programs and All Students in Higher Education

Following the release of the U.S. Department of Education’s proposal to expand the College Scorecard to include outcomes data on programs in higher education, Steve Gunderson, President and CEO of Career Education Colleges and Universities, released the below statement:

“This proposal represents the most significant action by any U.S. Department of Education to provide complete transparency on the outcomes of today’s higher education programs. By making available, in a student friendly and transparent manner, key data points on debt, loan repayment, completion, and earnings of graduates, the Department will empower prospective students with the information needed to select their preferred academic and career preparation pathway.

​“What the Department has put forth creates a single standard for measuring program quality. This standard is universally fair and applies to all students and all programs – something that previous versions did not. This leads us to ask: why did previous proposals not protect all students?

“Only the most partisan advocates can argue that this proposal does not represent a better outcome for all students across all of higher education. This could be the most significant consumer protection for all college students in all colleges and all programs.  When fully implemented every student and every prospective student in America will know what to expect from the programs they are considering at any college or university.

“There will undoubtedly be those who dismiss this proposal, simply because it is advanced by the Administration. If the critics were to apply a fair analysis, they would recognize the proposal commits our nation’s higher education system to full transparency. With universally recognized metrics we can begin to look at minimum standards for outcomes at all schools.

“The issue of gainful employment has endured for nine years and spanned across two presidencies.  Now is the time to move beyond ideological attacks on any one sector of higher education and establish a uniform commitment to transparency of outcomes that can stand the test of time.

“As we have stated repeatedly: since the last reauthorization of the Higher Education Act – the entire landscape and demand for postsecondary education has dramatically changed. Yet the overarching federal law remains, for the most part, unchanged since 2008. It is time for Congress and the Administration to lead the way on comprehensive reauthorization that empowers all stakeholders to create an American workforce for the 21st Century.”