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Webinar series to help higher ed navigate gainful employment regulations

January 29, 2016

This year is a critical one for institutions of higher education navigating the Department of Education’s “new” gainful employment regulations. To assist institutions as they manage these various challenges, Thompson Coburn’s Higher Education Team is offering a series of in-depth webinars, each focused on a different aspect of the gainful employment rules.

Led by higher education attorney Aaron Lacey, the five-part series is offered free of charge, and will be recorded and available on demand through the end of the year.

The webinar topics are top-of-mind for higher education leaders, and particularly for those at community colleges and career schools. Schools have survived the first round of reporting requirements and completed their transitional certifications. Now they must turn their attention to data challenges and begin preparing for the first round of sanctions. Simultaneously, institutions continue to evaluate programs to determine whether steps may be taken to improve performance under the Department’s debt-to-earnings metrics.

  • How to Project Reliable Debt-to-Earnings Rates
    February 11, 2016
    Noon - 1:00 pm CST
    In this first webinar, we’ll again provide step-by-step instructions for projecting debt-to-earnings rates, incorporating the guidance and information gleaned from the Department over the last year.
  • Strategies for Improving Debt-to-Earnings Rates
    February 18, 2016
    Noon - 1:00 pm CST
    This session will tackle strategies for potentially improving debt-to-earnings rate performance in years to come. While there is no single solution for most institutions, a combination of sound strategies may return a troubled program to long-term eligibility, or ensure that a strong program continues to perform well.
  • Preparing for and Managing Required ‘Student Warnings’
    February 25, 2016
    Noon - 1:00 pm CST
    Any program with failing debt-to-earning rates must now begin providing prospective and current students with firm student warnings. The content of these warnings, and the requirements surrounding their distribution, may significantly disrupt the enrollment process. This webinar will review in detail the requirements relating to the student warnings, and also discuss strategies for managing their impact. 
  • Completer List Challenges, Debt Challenges, and Alternative Earnings Appeals
    February 25, 2015
    Noon to 1 p.m. CST
    This webinar will examine the three ways schools can challenge the debt and earnings data the Department will use to calculate each GE program’s D/E rates. We will discuss the first round of completer challenges (occurring in early 2016), as well as the loan debt and annual earnings challenges that will be available later this year (occurring in mid to late 2016).
  • Managing (and Challenging) the New GE Disclosures
    March 10, 2016
    Noon - 1:00 pm CST
    In our final webinar, we’ll revisit the GE disclosure requirements presently in effect, then segue into a discussion of the new information that institutions will be required to disclose beginning January 2017 (e.g., pCDR rates). We’ll also discuss the opportunities that will be available to institutions to challenge this data.

About the presenter
Aaron Lacey is a partner in Thompson Coburn's Higher Education practice and editorial director of REGucation, the firm's higher education law and policy blog. An experienced higher education attorney, with time served both as outside and in-house counsel, Aaron's practice is dedicated entirely to assisting postsecondary institutions and their partners to advance their educational and operational objectives while navigating complex regulatory environments.

Aaron has written and spoken extensively on the Department of Education’s new gainful employment series, including authoring a five-part blog series on Thompson Coburn's REGucation blog and releasing a popular 18-page desk guide, “How to Project Gainful Employment Rates.”