Private sector colleges and universities are changing millions of lives for the better by providing high quality professional and career education, often to non-traditional students who have no other option. This is not only good for the individual students, it is also critical to our nation's economic well being.
But lawmakers, regulators and other critics have raised serious questions about private sector colleges and universities (PSCUs). We take their criticisms seriously. We understand that PSCUs can only prosper if the students they educate prosper. Although we know that the vast majority of our faculty and employees strive every day to do right by their prospective students, students, and graduates, believing is not knowing.
At the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU), we have launched the Putting Students First Program. This is a multifaceted effort designed to prevent and correct any lapses in behavior on the part of our schools in their treatment of prospective and current students and graduates.
Putting Students First means going beyond the letter of the law. Putting Students First means building a culture that embraces the highest possible standards of ethical conduct, that clearly articulates and communicates the elements of such a standard, that develops mechanisms for monitoring its application, and that takes the necessary enforcement actions to minimize breaches.
The Putting Students First program is a journey, not a destination. It is not a quick fix. Maintaining a reputation for honesty and integrity never is. This is, however, a pursuit worthy of the undertaking. To build a globally competitive 21st century workforce, America needs its system of higher education to change. We encourage all interested in the postsecondary education of the nation's working men and women to join us.