DeVos Allows Career Programs to Delay Disclosure to Students


Two weeks after announcing a regulatory rewrite of the gainful employment rule for non-degree career education programs, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced late Friday that she was delaying key provisions of the existing rule.

The department will give those programs until July 2018 to disclose information such as graduate employment rates or debt levels to prospective students, a year later than originally scheduled. And it will also extend a deadline to file alternate earnings appeal, citing a Wednesday court order in a lawsuit brought by cosmetology schools.

Federal Register notice from the department indicated that within 30 days it would set new deadlines for alternate earnings appeals. Those appeals allow programs to address underreported income from tips or self-employment for the debt-to-earnings ratios which determine if they pass or fail under the rule’s metrics.

DeVos said the announcement followed through on her promise of a regulatory reset. But critics said it showed she intended to slow walk the gainful employment rule to death. The announcement came late on a Friday afternoon before a holiday weekend for many — and comes amid concerns from critics of for-profit higher education that the Trump administration is destroying regulations that, even if flawed, were a serious attempt to protect students.

In a statement, the secretary said the gainful employment had been repeatedly challenged by educational institutions covered by the rules and overturned by the courts.

“We need to get this right for our students, and we need to get this right for our institutions of higher education,” DeVos said. “Once fully implemented, the current rules would unfairly and arbitrarily limit students’ ability to pursue certain types of higher education and career training programs. We need to expand, not limit, paths to higher education for students, while also continuing to hold accountable those institutions that do not serve students well.”Image result for DeVos Allows Career Programs to Delay Disclosure to Students

Gainful employment data released in January showed that about a tenth of all programs assessed under the rule failed the department’s metrics. And most of those failing programs were from the for-profit sector.

In the court order this week, federal district court Judge Rudolph Contreras instructed the department to give cosmetology programs more time to file appeals. But he wrote that his narrowly tailored ruling “avoids upending the entire GE regulatory scheme.”

“This is a willful misreading of what the judge wrote,” said Ben Miller, senior director for postsecondary education at the Center for American Progress. “It’s a sham excuse where clearly the goal was set in advance. They will grasp for anything to avoid meaningful accountability here, regardless of how spurious the rationale.”

Steve Gunderson, president and CEO of Career Education Colleges and Universities, the chief lobby group of for-profit colleges, applauded the delay of the rule’s provisions.

“The rule is clearly flawed. Recent studies and court rulings prove this rule needs to be revisited,” he said. “Now, through public comments and negotiated rulemaking, all stakeholders involved have a chance to identify the shortcomings of this regulation. We look forward to working with the Department and others to constructively develop a new source of information for all college career programs that shares with students the incomes for their chosen profession and the average amount of debt for their academic studies.”


IIT-Bombay students go on indefinite hunger strike against fee hike


Around 150 students of the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) were on a relay hunger strike today to protest a hike in fees. The agitation began yesterday with a march on the campus. The latest fee hike comes a year after undergraduate tuition fees more than doubled across the IITs.

While tuition fees has not been hiked, there is an increase of 300 per cent in hostel rent, 167 per cent in the gymkhana fees, 100 per cent in exam, registration and medical fees, and 30-50 per cent increase in other charges.

“The students met the director yesterday. The board will meet once again to review the hikes and come to an understanding. They have to be patient,” an IIT-B spokesperson told PTI.IIT-Bombay, IIT bombay fee hike, IIT bombay students, IIT-B protests, iit b fee hike protest,

“These fees have not been revised for over 20 years, and to maintain top class facilities this has to be considered,” the spokesperson said.

IIT-B director Devang Khakhar was unavailable for comments. This is the second protest on the campus after the fee hike was announced in May.

For nearly two months, the students of IIT-Bombay have been coming together on the campus demanding rollback of the fees hike, which they have called “undemocratic” and “non-transparent”, while claiming that no elected student body was consulted on the matter.

They have formed a collective, called Students Against Fee Hike, IIT-B, and sent emails and submitted representations to the administration. The students, who have one more week to comply and pay the fees, have now intensified the protest. The final decision on fee reconsideration will be taken in the institute’s next board meeting scheduled in August.


IIT Kanpur: 60 students terminated for poor performance


On Sunday, July 9, IIT Kanpur terminated 60 students, including 46 undergraduates, eight postgraduates and six research scholars, for not performing well in academic courses despite the warning by the institute.

Warning by HOD

The terminated students were earlier warned by the HOD and were even issued a notice following their poor grades.Their academic Dean, Dr Neeraj Misra said, “The termination was a normal and lawful practice. Previously, weak students were given opportunities for improving their performance. In case, they failed to make any improvement, action is taken against them.”

Exactly what it entails and what will happen to the students now is unclear.60 students terminated for poor performance

(Read: IIT JEE (Advanced) Counselling 2017 starts again, Supreme Court lifts ban)

Mercy petition provided

The decision of terminating these students came after the senate meeting held on Saturday, as students scored below average in their respective courses. The institute also provided mercy petition to some students; however, no mercy petition was allowed for the weak students.

The students whose admissions were terminated were seniors — as many as 8 were post graduates and some 6 were research scholars at the institution.

To ensure no untoward steps are taken by the students and to ensure transparency at all levels, the institute has informed the parents of the students concerned.