The U.S. Education Department has stepped up its regulation of for-profit institutions, and ITT hasn't fared well. The government cut federal aid for new students attending ITT schools, and the organization has decided to close the entire operation-130 campuses across 38 states. More than 35,000 students and 8,000 employees will have to find new a place to study or work.
A non-profit sector research analyst was quoted in the LA Times: "Both Corinthian and ITT made the same bad decision, which was to guarantee third-party private loans while pushing out more students into a weak jobs market after the Great Recession."
The New York Times reported a host of questionable practices at ITT for years:
"[Critics] reported deceptive marketing; strong-arm recruitment tactics; misleading information about costs, courses, graduation and job placement rates; inflated enrollment numbers; bait-and-switch schemes; subpar instruction; and more."
A former dean was troubled by ITT's practices but got fired when he raised issues.
U.S. Education Department Secretary John B. King Jr. said, "The school's decisions have put its students and millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded federal student aid at risk." He explained the Department's perspective and provided resources to students in a blog post, shown here. Students also can participate in a webinar to learn more.
ITT, of course, is blaming the government, calling its actions "unwarranted" and "inappropriate and unconstitutional."
- Compare ITT's statement and King's message to students. What differences do you notice in audience focus, tone, messaging, organization, and so on?
- What other information do you think students will need? What about employees?
- How could ITT more convincingly defends its position?