Profit and Social Responsibility

Career College Central Summary:

  • For-profit higher education has tried previously to create voluntary standards for quality and responsibility. But those attempts at self-regulation, which many saw as too self-serving, failed to take hold.
  • A new effort, announced today, probably has a better chance of making an impact. It’s being led by a nonprofit group, B Lab, which has no vested interest in the partisan fight over for-profits.
  • And B Lab is already well-established across wide swaths of the corporate world, having signed up 1,100 companies across 120 different industries.
  • The group serves as a third-party verifier for its standards. It issues qualified participants a seal of approval, sort of like the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Saver or the fairtrade certification from Fairtrade International.
  • To earn the group's public seal as a "B Corporation" — the B stands for benefit, as in public benefit — a company must adhere to a central core of standards. But the rules are tailored to each industry.
  • On Tuesday, B Lab announced the formation of a 10-member working group that will try to decide where to set the bar for the for-profit education sector.
  • The Lumina Foundation is funding that work.

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