President Dr. Heather F. Perfetti submitted a letter on behalf of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) in response to the request for information by the United States Department of Education (USDE) regarding low-financial-value postsecondary programs.
As stated in the announcement, USDE seeks “information in the form of written comments that may include information, research, and suggestions regarding how best to identify low-value postsecondary programs. The Office of the Under Secretary solicits these comments to identify the best ways to calculate the metrics that may be used to identify low-financial-value programs and inform technical considerations.” USDE Notice: Request for Information Regarding Public Transparency for Low-Financial-Value Postsecondary Programs
On January 25, 2023, MSCHE released an advocacy alert encouraging institutions to consider the request for information and to respond to it. “I hope that institutions considered the alert from the Commission as an important call for them to share their reactions to this request for information,” said Dr. Perfetti. She continued that “this reflects the important conversations that surround the use of data, and institutions should see this opportunity as an extension of my remarks at our Conference where a more proactive voice, individually and collectively, can make a difference.”
Dr. Perfetti noted that “We, as a quality assurance agency, remain committed to transparency and empowering students with information; however, we also recognize that context that helps explain the data is important. This is particularly true with publicly available data that is imperfect and could easily be misinterpreted.”