Report: $3 billion federal STEM program needs better oversight

One- third of all federal STEM programs had obligations of $1 million or less.

Very few of the federal government’s 209 programs designed to increase knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) receive oversight from a specific agency, while many STEM initiatives overlap with each other, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

Eight in 10 STEM-related programs identified in the extensive GAO report released April 10 had at least some overlap with similar efforts to promote the four academic fields that have been pushed by legislators, policymakers, and educators as a way to fill tech-related jobs during the economic recovery.

Read more about STEM in higher education……Read More

For-profit colleges face more scrutiny in new report

Enrollment at for-profit colleges has climbed to 1.8 million in recent years.
Enrollment at for-profit colleges has climbed to 1.8 million in recent years.

A government report released Aug. 4 details “fraudulent” practices among recruiters for some for-profit colleges, and public criticism of the popular institutions has mounted as recent statistics show that at least one for-profit university received $1 billion in federal Pell Grants during the 2009-10 academic year.

Investigators from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) posed as college students and found that four out of 15 institutions they examined “encouraged fraudulent practices” to secure federal student loans, and representatives from all 15 colleges “made deceptive or otherwise questionable statements” to the undercover students, according to a report published on the GAO’s web site.

The extensive report is the latest in a string of negative publicity for for-profit schools, which include industry giants such as the University of Phoenix, Kaplan University, and DeVry University.…Read More