APSCU Press Release: APSCU President Gunderson Releases State of the Sector Report

White Paper Details Significant Changes and Renewed Focus on Outcomes

Washington, DC - February 1, 2016 – Today, APSCU president and CEO Steve Gunderson released a "State of the Sector" report on postsecondary career education. The white paper details the recent history of the sector, as well as frames the future around which the sector will continue to best serve America's new traditional students.

Commenting on the release of the paper Gunderson said, "The message that I am sending to policymakers, media, stakeholder, and the public is that private sector career education is much different than the one targeted by the Obama Administration for the past six years. Our sector has increased academic awards, while also showing a decline in use of Title IV funds, reduction of tuition and fees, and a very significant reduction in cohort default rates.The only thing that has not changed is the sector's continued focus on serving those most in need of additional access and opportunity – today's new traditional students."

The paper documents the dramatic changes and improvement that have taken place since the beginning of the decade. Between 2010 and 2014:
          ·Total Sector Enrollment:              Down 572,587 students
Tuition and Fees:                        Down 1.2 to 2.4%*
          ·Total Sector Revenues:               Down $2.3 Billion
Title IV Financial Aid:                  Down $12.3 Billion
Sector's % of all Title IV Funds:   Down 6.7%
Default rates:                             Down 3.7% to 7.4%*
Academic Awards:UP 20,877!
(Asterisk references the difference in 2 and 4 year programs.)

Gunderson notes that there is good reason for optimism around future growth in the sector:
  1. The sector will be defined by its mission: postsecondary career education, rather than the corporate structure of schools or the form of academic delivery – this will position it to serve a growing demand;
  2. Almost every projection suggests an increase in postsecondary enrollments is coming;
  3. The sector has moved from a focus on admissions to a focus on outcomes.
In conclusion, Gunderson writes, "if one combines some key factors defining the future of higher education, there is reason for optimism and growth.We know that demographics and a changing economy combine to increase demand for specific occupational skills.We also know that this sector has a long tradition of programming in many areas with projected growth over the next decade.As the demographics – from race/ethnicity to age of the students – continue to evolve, this sector has the history and culture of successfully serving minorities and older students."

"By choice, economic necessity, or political climate this sector has changed!In the last five years, the data shows that significant change has occurred. The immediate challenge is in communicating that change to policy makers, the media and others engaged in postsecondary education so that today's public policy reflects today's sector.

View the full report

Direct link to press release: http://www.apscu.org/news-and-media/press-releases/State_of_Postsecondary_career-education.cfm

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