Backwards on High Heels

August 20, 2015


Val Chmerkovskiy and Rumer Willis won the 2015 Dancing With The Stars contest here in the US.  Dancing has always intrigued and entertained people.  Many years ago, one of the first duos to capture the hearts of people all over the world were Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire.  One of Ginger Rogers' most famous quotes was; "I do everything Fred does, but backwards on high heels".  That became an iconic statement for women everywhere, and now, for anytime an individual or group meets the same or better standards as another, but with an inherent or imposed deficit.

Interestingly, to me, I find that being involved with a proprietary college is like dancing backwards on high heels.  The regulations that we are complying with are imposed only on this one sector of colleges, the proprietary, or "for-profit" colleges.  There are many fine for-profit colleges.  CW is one of those colleges.  We are entering our second hundred years of existence, this year, 2015.
As The College of Westchester celebrates our centennial serving many wonderful students and having look back at thousands of successful graduates, we find that the standards imposed upon us are different than the ones on all other colleges, such as private not-for-profit colleges, state and community colleges.
Here is a taste of one of the measures imposed on proprietary colleges.  It is worth the 4.40 minutes to educate yourself:
I truly believe that there are fine colleges throughout the four sectors of higher education.  While agree with the US Department of Education's (ED's) goals for the GE rule from the outset, I believe that the regulation as is does not achieve the goals it has set to accomplish. 
What would work?  How about the continued monitoring of student loan default rates across all 4 sectors of higher education?  Maybe giving proprietary college graduates more than 18-30 months to become successful and monetarily rewarded in their work would be more realistic.  I believe that bad schools should go away.  Good schools should be allowed to continue to exist, regardless of their tax designation.
What do you think?  Right now, for us at CW, it is backwards on high heels. 
Posted by: 
Mary Beth Del Balzo, CW President