News 8 reports spur new rules for Texas career schools

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by BYRON HARRIS

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WFAA

Posted on January 3, 2012 at 10:47 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 4 at 12:22 PM

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NEWS 8 INVESTIGATES

After six years of reporting on abuses in the for-profit school industry by News 8, The Texas Workforce Commission is putting new regulations into effect to police the business.

They come because of thousands of students who haven't gotten what they paid for at Texas career colleges.

Thirty new rules put into effect Tuesday by the Texas Workforce Commission are designed to change some of those practices. They also streamline the complaint process for students and allow more transparency about the schools themselves.

Other areas covered:

RECRUITING: Recruiters must be trained and briefed on compliance and ethics in enrolling students.

RECORDS: Records from schools must be filed electronically for easier analysis by the state. School performance will be more transparent to the public.

COMPLAINTS: Students will have two years to file complaints.

PERFORMANCE: The state's minimum employment rates for graduates will be regulated more strictly.

REFUNDS: Tuition could be refunded if instructors, facilities, equipment are not as represented to students.

One weakness of past rules remains. Schools are allowed to maintain confidential information on whether students get jobs and where they get them. Thus, job placement will remain a private issue between the TWC and the career colleges.

Only the TWC will be able to verify a school's job placement claims.

E-mail bharris@wfaa.com

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