Accreditation by national firm more than adequate
Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway is quoted in a July 17 Herald-Leader article, "A high degree of default," as making broad claims about for-profit institutions, including the "adequacy" of accreditation for Kentucky career colleges.
As the largest national accreditor of degree-granting career colleges, Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools assures the quality of 26 colleges in Kentucky serving more than 26,000 students in such fields as business administration, information technology and allied health.
Accredited institutions play a crucial role meeting the work-force needs of the community for IT professionals, business assistants and licensed practical nurses. Accredited colleges and schools in Kentucky retained students at a rate of 68 percent in 2010 and placed nearly 70 percent in related jobs.
As a national accreditor of institutions chartered to train students for professional, technical and occupational fields, ACICS is the appropriate quality-assurance resource for Kentucky career colleges. Regional accreditors do not have standards for retention or placement; colleges would face no accreditation sanctions for poor retention and placement from regional accreditors.
Career colleges have provided pathways to post-secondary education for many underserved by traditional colleges for decades. Career education is simply a better fit than traditional higher education for many working adults.
ACICS-accredited institutions offer students the opportunity to attain educational success while maintaining transparency, establishing measurable learning outcomes and ensuring compliance in calculating, evaluating and measuring job placement and student achievement.
Not only is ACICS "adequate" accreditation for Kentucky career colleges; it is the appropriate form of accreditation.
Albert C. Gray
Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools
Criticism of school unwarranted
I do not normally write letters to the newspaper, but with all of the news concerning the lawsuit filed by Attorney General Jack Conway against Daymar College, I simply could not keep quiet.
I am both a graduate and an employee of Daymar's Bowling Green campus. My family first got involved with the school in September 2000, when my husband enrolled. His academic success and the way he was treated by the faculty and staff gave me the courage to go back to school.
Most of those people still work there today. Because of the good experience I had when earning my associate of science degree, I went on to earn my bachelor's degree from another proprietary school, National American University, which did take my credits. In December, I earned my master's degree from Florida State University, which also accepted all my credits.
Thanks to my proprietary-school education and the skills I gained from it, I went to the Department of Education Web site and downloaded the most recent database of official cohort default rates for all schools receiving federal aid. Daymar College of Nashville (which operates the Bowling Green campus) has a default rate of 9.8 percent for 2008, which is quite close to the state of Kentucky's rate of 9.6 percent.
So before Conway wants to malign the character of the people and the institution I work for, I would ask that he get his facts straight.
Grateful to Conway for taking action
In recent weeks, I have seen news footage about state Attorney General Jack Conway taking action against Daymar College, and now he has filed a lawsuit against the school.
I would like to thank Conway for his support and intervention on investigating the college. I am a victim of Daymar's luring tactics to get me to attend, such as financial-aid misuse, academic credits that won't transfer and accreditation not recognized by the state of Kentucky.
There have been hundreds, if not thousands, of hard-working people taken advantage of by the college. I am sure that I speak for several people when I say thanks to Conway for standing up for all of us.