Home > Educational Leadership, Higher Education, Teaching & Learning > Faculty at For-Profits Allege Constant Pressure to Keep Students Enrolled

Faculty at For-Profits Allege Constant Pressure to Keep Students Enrolled

By Kelly Field

Three times during the past decade, the Pittsburgh campus of Kaplan Career Institute was named “school of the year” by Kaplan Higher Education, a for-profit higher-education company with more than 70 campuses nationwide. The award recognized the college for its rapid growth and high graduation and job-placement rates.

But some former faculty members say the honor came at a steep price: To keep those numbers high, administrators would pressure employees to falsify attendance records, raise grades, and manipulate job-placement numbers. If a professor refused to change a student’s grade, the professor’s supervisor would do it, the faculty members say.

“We were constantly told to lower the bar, that we were helping poor people,” says Dolores A. Howland-Justice, a former instructor who has filed a lawsuit that accuses Kaplan of fraudulently obtaining millions of dollars in federal student aid by inflating its graduation and job-placement rates. “We were ‘do gooders’—that was really played upon.”

Kaplan is fighting the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for Southern Florida, where the case has been consolidated with a lawsuit that makes similar claims against the related Kaplan University. A Florida judge tossed out part of the Pittsburgh suit in December but granted the plaintiffs the right to file an amended claim.

Continued at: http://chronicle.com/article/Pawns-in-the-For-Profit/127424/

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