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DeVry Responds To the Keller Guy With “Useless Degree”

I have to give them credit here for monitoring the conversation about their “product” and reacting accordingly by emailing me. DeVry representatives did not demand I remove (especially “Big 4 Veteran”‘s) negative comments about Keller degrees, instead they told me about a program they’ve launched with CareerBuilder to help their graduates find jobs. As far as marketing tactics go, I have to say that’s the adult way to do it.

We’d like to see Hopelessly Frustrated get in touch with them, see what they can offer and then turn around to give us a detailed report of his experience and, more importantly, tell us if he actually gets a job.

Here’s what they had to say:

In March 2011, DeVry University and its Keller Graduate School of Management took competitive job searching to the next level and launched a first-of-its-kind, personalized career services program for its students in conjunction with CareerBuilder, the global leader in human capital solutions. Through the Keller Career Services program, eligible Keller students have access to a dedicated team of career experts – strategists, writers and coaches – for a high-level, personalized approach to career development. This underscores our mission of helping students unlock their full potential and reach their career and life goals.

Eligible Keller students are individually assigned a Career Strategist to mentor them through an intense 90-day career search that encompasses assisting with establishing goals and expectations to customizing a personalized job search strategy. Participating Keller students have access to a Certified Career Coach for live mentorship on various topics such as interviewing techniques, career path planning, networking and workplace etiquette. Additionally, a CareerBuilder professional writer assists these students in the creation of career-related materials, such as keyword-rich resumes and cover letters to help them stand out among job applicants. The new Keller Career Services program also offers eligible Keller students access to a comprehensive online portal with relevant articles, resources and webinars.

I hope we are able to get “Hopelessly Frustrated” signed up for the personalized CareerBuilder coaching. It’s a unique program that we believe will help put our students on the path of career success.

Read more about their career services here.

For-profit Higher Ed. Moving on Non-profits Could Reap Taxpayer Funds

Prostitution in the industry is nothing new, you have to take what you can get even if that means devouring struggling non-profits or whoring yourself out for otherwise wholly un-big-business-like busywork (I’m staring directly at you, Big 4).

Daniel Golden of Bloomberg reported yesterday that “ITT Educational Services Inc. paid $20.8 million for debt-ridden Daniel Webster College in June. In return, the company obtained an academic credential that may generate a taxpayer-funded bonanza worth as much as $1 billion.”

With education little more than a vague directive to “teach” at this point (except for the chosen few professors who put their hearts into it, of course), schools are being encouraged to “convert a school to a charter school or a similar education management organization, a for-profit or nonprofit organization that provides ‘whole school operation’ services” (via firedoglake) in California districts where schools have fallen way short of federal education “guidelines”. Hint: that’s when you know it is bad. Firedoglake implies that recent protests and riots by California state university students facing severe class cuts and hikes in tuition are directly related to the push to privatize education.

In the case of small but favored not-for-profit educational institutions, they don’t have much of a choice but to end up recycled into the ITTs and the DeVrys if they can’t make it. For-profit education is the way to go, ask DeVry. They didn’t make $369 million last year for nothing.

Said Karen Pletz in the Kansas City Star, “the not-for-profit mission, whether it be in education, health care, or other human services, is really about values and is intrinsically focused in bettering lives and community.” Not to carelessly go name-calling but what can a for-profit, publicly-traded institution possibly know about that mandate or education for that matter? Its first loyalty is to the shareholders, not the students.

Perhaps not coincidentally, in December of 2009 WSJ pointed to a Department of Education report revealing a 21% default rate in the first three years for those coming from for-profit institutions like ITT over there gobbling up broke Daniel Webster College. For-profit education institutions are accused of aggressive loan procedures to get students through their programs; meanwhile non-profit private education remains picky about who they’ll take and for good reason. It’s a sweeping generalization to say default rates somehow correlate with the quality of instruction but one can assume loans are easier to pay off when the debtor is not just gainfully employed but paid well.

Company’s purchase of N.H. college could earn it $1 billion [Bloomberg via Boston Globe]