What Minnesota gainful-employment data looks like

Today colleague Tim Post writes about for-profit colleges’ legal fight against the new federal gainful-employment rule.

But what is the rule actually doing at the moment?

I thought I’d take a stab at showing you what it has produced so far.

As this National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities update indicates, we’re in the first stage of the gainful-employment reform — the disclosure stage.

All higher-ed institutions that offer certificate programs — and 80 percent of them do, not just for-profits — need to report certain data if they receive federal “Title IV” funding. So you’ll see a lot of public community- and technical colleges in there.

(The standard degree programs, however, including those two-year degrees whose credits can transfer to bachelor’s programs, aren’t affected.)

Since July 1, those schools have had to publish information on those certificate programs, including comprehensive costs (tuition, fees, books, supplies, room and board), graduation rates, job placement rates and the median loan debt of those finishing the program.

This year’s first batch of information won’t be as detailed as you might think, and each school might report it in its own format. That should change with time, and reporting will include prior years in the coming months.

George Roedler, manager of institutional registration and licensing at the state Office of Higher Education, said, “They may have to hire more people just to dig up all this information.”

The date doesn’t appear to be centralized at this point. Although the state Office of Higher Education does already get some of the information in the reports, Roedler there said the office doesn’t have anything to do with the gainful-employment reporting system itself.

If there’s a program you’re interested in, you’ll have to find it on the school’s Web site and then look for either a document or chart that shows the information. (You could also try Googling the name of the institution, the name of the program and “gainful employment” and see what pops up.)

A couple of examples —

Globe University’s two-year medical-assistant program (from above):

And here’s Century College’s two-year program for orthotic technology: