On Feb 28, 2012 The Washington Post Company announced Kaplan University’s Pembroke Pines, Florida campus will be closing. The Pembroke Pines school made national news in August 2010 when it was one of fifteen for profit college campuses caught engaging in deceptive recruiting practices in a GAO sting. http://www.bizjournals.com/southflorida/news/2012/02/28/kaplan-college-closing-pembroke-pines.html
The Pembroke Pines campus closed after the sting, but then quietly reopened six months later. On Feb 1, 2012 according to the Washington Post’s 2011 annual report: the Florida Board of Nursing placed Pembroke Pines’ associate’s degree in nursing program on probation because the performance of program graduates on the national nursing certifying exam had fallen below the required standard. http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/104889/000010488912000006/d10k.htm
Four short weeks later, The Washington Post Company announced the closing of the Pembroke Pines campus, where enrollment had dwindled to 53 students.
Pembroke Pines joins a growing list of shuttered and discredited programs at Kaplan University, including the CHI surgical tech program in Broomall, PA, the dental assisting program in Charlotte, NC, the radiology tech program in North Hollywood, CA, and the medical assisting program in Modesto, CA http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/104889/000010488912000006/d10k.htm
Despite massive and growing evidence to the contrary, Washington Post CEO Donald Graham keeps proclaiming Kaplan is a good actor dedicated to serving poor students. To perpetuate this myth Washington Post writers have been publishing articles promoting for profit colleges and belittling non profit colleges. The most notable of this propaganda masquerading as journalism is Jay Mathews article ‘five reasons for profit colleges will survive’ (http://blog.blackboard.com/professional-education-blog/5-reasons-for-profit-colleges-and-universities-will-survive-and-thrive).
In a recent report funded by subprime university Kaplan, entitled “Taxpayers’ Costs to Support Higher Education,” the authors argue that for-profit two-year colleges could achieve the Obama administration’s goal of producing 5 million more university graduates with certificates and associate’s degrees by 2020 at a much lower cost to taxpayers than increasing subsidies for public higher education. Of course what they do not say is that they provide little education and instead package up and sell educational products, or diplomas, at various retail educational chains they call universities. What Kaplan and the other for-profit drive by predatory colleges fail to distinguish is that getting a diploma is not the same as learning to think critically and getting an education. Nor do they mention the cost of federal taxpayer funds to subsidize these phony colleges and universities.
In a “the emperor has no clothes” moment The New York Times published an editorial on March 23, 2012 titled “For-Profit Education Scams”. The editorial, listed under the topics heading Frauds and Swindling, did not mince words in calling for profit colleges a scam, but it did not go far enough.
The Times should have called out the Washington Post Company for using the Post newspaper to promote Kaplan University, a ‘fraud and swindle’ which preys upon the pain and fear of minorities, single mothers, and veterans. They also should have called out CEO Donald Graham for creating a legacy of exploiting the poor, scamming the government, and influence peddling.