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True Confessions

TrueConfessions

My experience has equaled 26 years of professional connection to the National Accreditation of colleges in America. Prior  to this moment I had a past with entirely non-profit public education at the secondary level. Before the for-profit schools I  had twenty-one years with being part of America’s compulsory education programs. Twenty-one years of experiencing teaching, coaching, high schools, junior high schools and special education. I was graced with meeting and working with some very dedicated and committed teachers.

In 1990, an opportunity offered me to become part of a business college in a city in Nebraska. To my surprise I found out the school was a for-profit school. My thoughts were running rapid with questions on how could any school be good if it was for-profit. To my great surprise as we find out with disgressions that there were more characteristics that profit and non-profit had characteristics that were more alike than different. Teachers were dedicated, student centered, qualified with credentials. My direction by the owners of the school was to work closely with the community, employers and provide great educaction for the students. We now were focusing not only on subject matter but preparation for a career. Definitely I had some big shoes to fill with a school that had been in operation for over one-hundred years old. Community view of the schools was one of great respect and pride for the students who ended up working in the community.

This was my entrance into for-profit education. Immediately after taking on the position I was sent to a one week school to better understand school operations under the official guidance of compliance and regulations of state and federal guidlines. I still remember that week as one where information was communicated better than any seminar training I had ever been in before. All functions of the school were covered. Well known experts from across the United states presented to us best practices in recruitment, academics, financial aid, career services and administration. It was my fortune to be given such a great entrance of knowledge into a new profession. Sponsoring this activity was a national accreditation organization named AICS later to be ACICS. Our experiences during this week started a new and wonderful career in the education opportunities for career interested students. During the next many years I utilized much of what I had learned and fostered great relationships with other school professionals across the America. I know that I and many others say thank you to ACICS for giving us the best opportunity to manage our schools with integrity and ethical standards.

Years later in 2006 I was given the opportunity to run for a commissioner position on the Council for ACICS. From 1990 until 2006 career schools enrollments and program growth began to be at double digit percentages. Upon my entrance onto the commission there was concern about the rapid growth of enrollments at the career schools. Council members started to take steps to articalate plans for professional oversite of the large corporate operated schools. In 2009, ACICS began a relationship with the USDOE to work in tandem to create a new process of auditing for-profit coporate school organizations. It was the beginning of the construction of a very comprehensive doucment to be implemented for better oversite and governance of the corporate schools. (Corinthian, ITT-Technical Institute and others)  Three years of working with the USDOE with written documents and two actual pilot evaluation visitations, everyone was ready.

The commission officially met at a scheduled council meeting to consider the recommendation to approve the new process of ACICS would now visit and audit the corporate headquarters of the corporate schools main office. During this meeting a member from the USDOE named Kay Gilcher took part in the commissioner meeting. Commissioners during this meeting approved the process to be put into place for corporate institutional audits. The process was voted on and approved. After the meeting Kay Gilcher left the meeting and left without speaking to anyone. The following week on a Tuesday. ACICS was notified by the USDOE our efforts were null and void. The council had no jurisciction or regulatory authority to audit school corporate offices.

Please keep in mind this was during the period of 2009 to 2011. When now in 2016 the USDOE communcates ACICS has not done a good job of monitoring corporate schools. True confessions is that they tried to make the efforts to do that very action with a written document. USDOE  explained this was outside of the accreditors jurisdication.

During this period of time there was an all out attempt to discredit the creditability of ACICS by a sub-committee to the USDOE during a NACIQI (National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity)

I was one of the members from ACICS who testified at the committee meeting. After our opportunity to reveal our efforts and rationale for the ACICS organization to follow USDOE regulations were responded to with unfounded opionions and lack of respect for those testifying. I would like to share with you an actual testismony by a USDOE staff member who responded to our testimony. Who by the way did not sit on the NACIQI board. Here is the actual transcript that was communicated by the staff member to me.

Also the decision-making body.  I understand that most — many people consider themselves super men and super woman.  “I did this 20 years ago.  I did that 30 years ago.  I can wear all hats.  I am wonderful.”  That is not reality as far as evaluating programs for students. 

           You want the people to be current academics, that they know what is the best methods right now so they can evaluate that.  You want the people that are the best administrators right now, not somebody that ran a little program 30 or 40 years ago. 

His comments were directed at me because I had run a business college in Lincoln, Nebraska and he had discounted  experience I had in over forty-two years serving students at all levels and managing teachers. Washington D.C. should recognize our schools K-12 through college have numerous people with great talent and experience who serve on school boards, college boards and trustees who have made sacrifices and have dedicated themselves as volunteers. This type of behavior directed at them is not appropriate for any of these people who come forward to help our schools.

Lets be sure we have a voice on what happens to your schools. Don’t let things happen to your schools without a voice. When governoring entities are made up of political appointments that are directly related back to the current administration results in conflict of interst of loyalty to the person who appoints them. Schools have been politicized enough. Your voice is important to be heard. Don’t let this happen to you. Lets change this direction now.

Give your concerns to your Senators and Representatives. They need to hear your concerns.

Getting Ready for Accreditation Requirements

During the last two months there have been many questions about college accreditation due to the focus of the Deparment of Education’s outlook on the future requirments for colleges and schools across the United States. Because of the outreach of many of you asking the questions we have formed a group of professionals who have well over 80 years of experience with compliance, regulations and accreditation organizations. Our goal is to assist schools and colleges with the best possible opportunity to get re-approved or new approvals to new accreditation organizations. We are standing ready to hear from you to let us help! I have attached an explanatory letter with this blog that will be sent out next week.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Accreditation Professianals

 

Your Thoughts and Actions Will Make a Difference!

Over the past weeks we have seen the USDOE taking action on Career Colleges directly and indirectly. This has happened to colleges that have been over one hundred years old who have been serving their communities by filling in the employment gaps by working with their local employers.  Career schools have always adapted to meet needs of communities and now national demands. Free enterprise America has always encouraged a mission to improve American schools. This freedom as we  know it allows for great, good and bad potential. Through the American system of governance there are procedures in dealing with rogue individual members operating in the free enterprise who choose to abuse the American school ideals. Whole out annihilation of an industry that has been serving American citizens for over one hundred years will be a disaster to communities, students and employers.  Opportunities to select freely between college or a pure career school will be limited to 800,000 students. Our congress has communicated on numerous occasions on how they want less government and not more. As citizens you are seeing more and more control of what once was the responsibility of the individual States. The money strings of your tax dollars are being managed by the federal government instead of your own local state. 

What does this mean to your schools and I mean at  all levels? Federally controlled schools. If the USDOE can in one meeting take away the rights of an institution that has served schools and colleges since 1912 and put 800,000 students at jeopardy don’t think it can’t happen to your schools. Why are we seeing the increase of charter schools and home schooling in America? Why are our metropolitan schools experiencing financial difficulty? It is time for you as citizens and taxpayers of your local and state institutions to take control of your schools again. Federal mandates come to all schools and all levels. Our forefathers did not want a federally governed education system. It is time to work with individual institutions and not scape goat an entire organization of schools at any level. It is time to let freedom be heard for schools. I assure you the finger of guilt is pointing in the wrong direction for schools for not achieving expected competencies.

Our platforms of no child left behind and focusing on subject areas has been a jargon of political platforms. Our students need an education that is not focused on standardised testing but more on potential and measured growth from starting levels of performance with attention on improved performance. This is not a foreign concept. We use it in athletics, music and employment. Training to improve is the concept that moves entire generations to higher levels of success. Platforms of school improvement have not shown great success coming from the federal government.

Please see the attached research completed in 2011 and ask yourself how much have we improved.  What focus of support have you felt in your schools or have you been experiencing cuts and good teachers leaving the profession.

2020 Vision…Will U.S. Be Ready to Compete?9

U.S. Rankings in Various International Competitiveness Indicators

Current innovation-based competitiveness

6th

(in the world)

Percentage of young adults who graduate from high school

11th

(in the OECD)

Science literacy among top students

15th

(of 65 countries/regions tested)

College completion rate

16th

(in the OECD)

High school completion rate

20th

(in the OECD)

Density of broadband Internet penetration

22nd

(in the world)

Science proficiency of 15-year-olds

23rd

(of 65 countries/regions tested)

Proportion of college students receiving S&E degree

27th

(in the OECD)

Mathematics literacy among top students

28th

(of 65 countries/regions tested)

Mathematics proficiency of 15-year-olds

31st

(of 65 countries/regions tested)

Improvement in innovation-based competitiveness in the past decade

40th

(in the world)

Quality of mathematics and science education

48th

(in the world)

Density of mobile telephony subscriptions

72nd

(in the world)

8 “The Condition of Education 2011”. NCES 2011033. National Center on Education Statistics, May 2011.

9 Rising above the Gathering Storm, Revisited: Rapidly Approaching Category 5. Washington, DC: National Academies, 2010. Print.

Decisions to remove an entire group of performing schools because of a directed political decision creates circumstances that would not be recoverable for many years to come. I have attached a letter going out to encourage our Senators and Congressman to become better informed with what is happening to our schools. Lets not wait to long to recognize what is happening. Please share your concerns today with your representatives. Talk to your friends and lets change this movement of destructive political ideals. Our movement should not be on destruction but focus on encouraging the successful and sustaining improvement. Destruction requires undue expenses for all of us in the future.

Letter to Congress – ACICS Schools.pdf

When you see something do you ever ask: WHY

In our business of schools over the years you have the fortune to meet many great intelligent people. Dennis Spisak has devoted forty plus years at all levels of eduction to serving schools. His knowledge and passion shows just by talking to him. My admiration for him is that it seems nothing gets by him without his wisdom being communicated by him and the consequences whether they be good or bad. I asked Denny if I could share one of his latest articles. When you read this article you will not only see his wisdom but also his heart and soul in the commitment to community, student and America. 

Thank you to Denny

DennysArticle

What the USDOE is prescribed to do (1980)

What Is the U.S. Department of Education? The U.S. Department of Education is the agency of the federal government that establishes policy for, administers and coordinates most federal assistance to education. It assists the president in executing his education policies for the nation and in implementing laws enacted by Congress. The Department’s mission is to serve America’s students-to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.
In 2007-08, the Department’s elementary and secondary school programs served approximately 55 million students (pre-K through grade 12) attending some 100,000 public schools and 34,000 private schools. Department programs also provided grant, loan and work-study assistance to about 10 million undergraduate students. *
When Congress created the Department in 1979, it declared these purposes:
to strengthen the Federal commitment to ensuring access to equal educational opportunity for every individual;

to supplement and complement the efforts of States, the local school systems and other instrumentalities of the States, the private sector, public and private educational institutions, public and private nonprofit educational research institutions, community-based organizations, parents, and students to improve the quality of education;

to encourage the increased involvement of the public, parents, and students in Federal education programs;

to promote improvements in the quality and usefulness of education through federally supported research, evaluation, and sharing of information;

to improve the coordination of Federal education programs;

to improve the management and efficiency of Federal education activities, especially with respect to the process, procedures, and administrative structures for the dispersal of Federal funds, as well as the reduction of unnecessary and duplicative burdens and constraints, including unnecessary paperwork, on the recipients of Federal funds; and

to increase the accountability of Federal education programs to the President, the Congress and the public. (Section 102, Public Law 96-88)

Campus Knowledge Provided by the College Leadership Makes a Difference

I recently wrote a blog on sexual assault and encouraged students to be more knowledgeable of what constitutes sexual assault. The actual laws that govern this type of crime may not be as clear to students as necessary. When these catastrophes happen it is always disheartening to hear the lack of knowledge the guilty may have regarding their actions or the victim who doesn’t realize that the law has been broken. For those of us who have sons and daughters I would hope schools would implement knowledge courses for the protection of our young people in college and schools. I have not seen much in the way of curriculum to address this every growing issue in our schools. Through my concern I have been introduced to a curriculum that may help your schools or your classroom. Included in this blog you will get to experience what a sample of this curriculum has to offer and its methods of teaching the truth.

Please take the sample course!UnwareAware

When asked if you would like to resume answer no. This will take you back to the beginning of the sample curriculum.

Take a sample of how you could help your students.

 

 

Colleges Under Investigation for Sexual Assault

You can view the last article I wrote to you regarding the great concern about the amount of sexual assaults being reported at the colleges and schools across America. You can read it again in the blog below. Today the Chronicle for Higher Education published another article where the crack down on schools and colleges will begin. Our students need training on the definition of sexual assault and the repercussions for committing such an act. I believe training is an added value to students and professional staff.

Cracking Down