For-Profit School System Study

The Washington Student Achievement Council, the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board, and the Washington State Department of Licensing will work together to design and oversee a study that objectively analyzes and makes recommendations about potential systemic overlaps and gaps in jurisdiction regarding for-profit degree-granting institutions and private vocational schools in the state.

The study will be conducted in two phases.

Phase 1 – assessment of perspectives and relevant studies
Phase 2 – facilitated discussions amongst agencies, regulated entities, and stakeholders to reach agreed-upon recommendations, if deemed appropriate. 
 

Study Requirements

About the final report

The final report will articulate recommendations to improve oversight and accountability of for-profit degree-granting institutions and private vocational schools in the state. It will also review whether, and how, different standards are applied to the institutions and schools by different agencies. 

1. Examine the data collection and reporting practices of for-profit degree-granting institutions and private vocational schools compared to the data collection and reporting of the community and technical colleges.

a. Determine if there are inconsistencies and discrepancies in the practices of the for-profit degree-granting institutions and private vocational schools.

b. Make recommendations on the methods of collecting, analyzing, and reporting data, including what measurements to use, to ensure that data from for-profit degree-granting institutions and private vocational schools can be accurately compared to data from the community and technical colleges.

2. Study the current regulations governing these institutions and schools and recommend necessary changes to achieve consistent regulatory oversight of the entire system.

3. Recommend ways to implement a cohesive method for guiding and assisting current and prospective students who have questions and concerns.

4. Review whether an ombuds position serving students of for-profit degree-granting institutions and private vocational schools should be created. If the recommendation is to create an ombuds position, the study must make a recommendation on which state entity should house the position.

 

Timeline & Scope of Work

Timeline

The agency partners selected The William D. Ruckelshaus Center to conduct this study. The Ruckelshaus Center is an academic center with the mission to help people work together to develop shared solutions to challenging policy issues. It is affiliated with both the University of Washington and Washington State University.

The Ruckelshaus Center will manage the project in two phases, as articulated in the budget proviso.

Phase Project Work Timeframe

1A

Preliminary assessment and project plan

June 15–30, 2016

1B

Conduct a situation assessment
Assessment of perspectives

July 1, 2016–January 1, 2017

1C

Coordinate an information-gathering and analysis stage
Determine if there are inconsistencies and discrepancies in the practicies of the for-profit degree-granting institutions and private vocational schools...ensure that data from for-profit degree-granting institutions and private vocational schools can be accurately compared to data from the community and technical colleges

July 15–December 15, 2016

2

Facilitate meetings among relevant parties (if deemed appropriate in the situation assessment) to collaboratively generate and recommend solutions
Facilitated discussions amongst agencies, regulated entities, and stakeholders to reach agreed-upon recommendations

January 1–June 30, 2017

Scope of Work

Project Staff

The William D. Ruckelshaus Center staff assigned to this project:

Meetings

Kick-Off Meeting

June 28, 2016 – Olympia, Washington
Agenda | Meeting Notes | Handouts | Meeting Participants

Reports

Reports for the project:

For-Profit Degree-Granting Institutions and Private Vocational Schools in Washington: Phase II Work Groups Report & Recommendations  
June 30, 2017
The William D. Ruckelshaus Center

Situation Assessment Report 
December 22, 2016
The William D. Ruckelshaus Center