When we think of higher education, we often think of ivory towers, hounds tooth jackets, and late-night study sessions. Well some of us do. Others experience higher education as part of their path while they work/parent full-time, trying to fit yet another task into their day. While our collective experiences differ, higher education has experienced many large tide changes over the years, many in respect to Compliance. Below are 5 of the biggest changes in my opinion:
1 – Title IV Alignment – each institution that accepts Title IV funds from the federal government has to meet certain requirements. These run the gambit from how funds are dispersed to whether Constitution Day is celebrated on your campus. Over the past 20 years, these rules have become increasingly complex, asking institutions to do more in order to remain eligible for Title IV funds.
2 – Program Integrity/Gainful Employment – in essence, these rules were brought forth to ensure that students would not leave an institution with a mountain of debt and be unemployable. While the reporting requirements are nebulous at times and we may question how useful this information is to students, this is another requirement to item #1 above. Where reporting in the past has looked to student success as indicators, we now see that new indicators may point to long-term program feasibility.
3 – NCAA/NJCAA (National (Junior) Collegiate Athletic Association) – recent developments have highlighted the need for these rules, but the NCAA/NCJAA has seen a large increase in changes regarding player eligibility, recruiting, and gifts. Lately, student athletes have been attempting to unionize as they feel they have been cut-out of the overall profit margins.
4 – ADA/504 (Americans with Disabilities Act) – with more advanced technology, students with disabilities have more access to educational resources than they have in the past. This increase in access also means that students who may have not pursued higher education in the past are more willing to give it a go. ADA and Section 504 ensure that students with disabilities are not discriminated against, and these rules need regular updating as increased access is realized.
5 – Title IX – similar to the above, Title IX ensures that students are not discriminated against based on gender. With recent reports regarding the proclivity of sexual assaults occurring on college campuses, these rules have garnered more national attention. Institutions are being asked to take a much more active role in preventing, investigating, and (sometimes) litigating cases of assault on their campus as well.
Where will we be in the future as it relates to Compliance in higher education? I would argue that we will see some streamlining of reporting and disclosures, but that each of the above items will continue to be further delineated and expanded upon. More than likely, that means gainful employment for those of us who can stomach Compliance.
For more information on Compliance, please visit http://www2.gccaz.edu/departments/administrative/spa/accountability