Another area of reversal in is the Obama Administration’s goal switch from access and choice to access and completion. The original goal made in 2009 to have the U.S. with the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020 was abandoned. Instead, an emphasis was made the second term toward graduation or completion. The effort has been complicated due to a lack of standard metrics, reporting, and accountability practices. [Source: Higher Education Today]
During his second term, the Obama Administration proposed the American Graduation Initiative to invest in community colleges and help American workers get the skills and credentials they need to succeed. The Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act includes $2 billion over four years for community college and career training. These resources aim to help community colleges and other institutions develop, improve, and provide education and training, suitable for workers who are eligible for trade adjustment assistance. [Source: The Department of Education]
Regulation and For-Profits
Over the course of eight years, the Administration produced nearly two dozen major new regulations affecting colleges and universities. There is a growing recognition that such a process may not be permissible under the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act.
Many of these regulations, which tend to affect all higher education institutions, especially affect for-profits. Starting with a negotiated rule-making process in late 2009, “the Administration sought to tighten the screws on proprietary institutions.” [Source: Higher Education Today]
“Through detailed guidance documents and investigations at more than 200 institutions, the Obama Administration made preventing campus sexual assault a signature issue of its Education Department,” writes Jake New for InsideHigherEd. “The Administration’s updated interpretation of the federal gender discrimination law Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 allowed the White House to sharply increase the enforcement efforts of the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. The intensified focus on campus sexual assault and Title IX prompted an outpouring of complaints and lawsuits against colleges and universities over claims they mishandled reports of sexual violence.” [Source: InsideHigherEd]