In The Atlantic this week, Marty Nemko poses a question worth pondering: “Should each college be required to post … externally audited consumer information for prospective students?” The way Nemko presents it, these easily accessible “report cards” would include data on graduation rates, employment and earnings by degree, the cost of obtaining the degree, financial aid information, and more (see the image to the left for an example).
“The government requires that every tire have its tread life, temperature, and traction rating molded into its sidewall. It even makes every package of taco-flavored Doritos tell you the percentage of the FDA recommended daily allowance of vitamin A to zinc is in each ounce. Yet colleges are required to post nada on their websites, even though, in our era of plummeting housing prices, a degree may be our life’s most expensive (and important?) purchase.”
Actually, as of last year with the new gainful employment regulations, colleges with vocational programs are required to present employment-related information (similar to what Nemko outlined) on individual program pages on their website. After the U.S. Department of Education released these rules, EMSI responded by creating individual program widgets with all the necessary disclosure information for our Career Coach clients, and so far they’ve been a big hit.
Colleges across the U.S. have implemented the simple widget on each of their gainful employment program pages. Placing a widget on your site is as simple as cutting and pasting one line of HTML code that we provide, similar to embedding a YouTube video.
These widgets provide more that just the required data on the cost and length of the program and required links to O*NET. They also include direct links back to Career Coach so students get peruse in-depth and local information on associated job trends, wages, job openings, and the college’s related education and training.
Here are examples from Ozarks Technical Community College in Missouri and Montgomery County Community College in Pennsylvania. For both, we encourage you to click on the Career Coach buttons in the widgets’ “Employment” section to see how simple it is for students to get career-related information related to these programs.
From OTC’s Automotive Technology program:
And MCCC’s Accounting certificate program:
For more on EMSI’s Career Coach tool and gainful employment widgets, click here or call 208.883.3500.