Corinthian Learner

Career College Central Summary:

  • Within traditional higher ed, the story we usually tell about for-profits is based on deception. They conned their way into existence, we say. They exploited loopholes, rounded up students under bridges, and advertised like nobody had advertised before.
  • It’s not false, exactly, but it leaves a lot out. And it doesn’t paint a terribly respectful picture of the students who weighed their actual options and decided that for-profits made sense for them.
  • Put simply, for-profits rushed in to fill the void left by the publics. Decades of relative neglect of public higher education, combined with a certain (ahem) narcissism within the sector itself, left entire populations underserved.
  • Perhaps for impure reasons, for-profits figured out how to reach students nobody else bothered to reach.
  • They pioneered evening, weekend, and online delivery. They built schedules around student needs.
  • They focused on a few distinct majors that both students and employers could understand.
  • And for a while, in some sectors, some of them got decent results.
  • In the late 90’s, you could do a lot worse than graduating with a degree in CIS. For-profits filled a void. If you want to prevent the next catastrophe, tend to the void.

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