Department of Education

Gainful Employment: The Future of Career Development

In 2014, the Obama Administration introduced the Gainful Employment regulations as a solution to the mounting student debt. Gainful Employments holds universities accountable for the success of their students and protects students from poor career preparation programs. Here’s an excerpt from the executive summary:

“Purpose of This Regulatory Action: The regulations are intended to address growing concerns about educational programs that, as a condition of eligibility for title IV, HEA program funds, are required by statute to provide training that prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation (GE programs), but instead are leaving students with unaffordable levels of loan debt in relation to their earnings, or leading to default.”

While the program was created in 2014, it may not take effect until January 1, 2017. There are two main priorities involved within this bill: “(1) create an accountability framework for Gainful Employment programs that defines what it means to prepare students for gainful employment” … “by which the Department will evaluate whether a GE program remains eligible for title IV, HEA program funds, and (2) a transparency framework that will increase the quality and availability of information about the outcomes of students enrolled in GE programs.”

The bill reforms how Federal Student Aid is provided. The Department of Education will screen university career development programs and monitor student salaries for up to five years following graduation. The University will be barred from funding and face other penalties if they do not meet with standards.

The Department of Education found that nearly 1,400 programs serving 840,000 students would not pass these standards. With the instillment of these new regulations, schools will be required to create gainful employment programs that ensure student success after graduation. This guarantee of success is daunting task. Universities can not always control the academic success of their students. Their program will need to go beyond the classroom in forms of career preparation programs. Additionally, universities will need a platform to keep track of the outside of the classroom program.

Overall, the bill has the potential to change the way universities teach and prepare their students for their career. It is a necessary step to creating the future innovators who are prepared to tackle the problems of tomorrow.

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