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CONTACT: Mike Lisi (518) 640-6600
Lisi’s cell number: (518) 944-9528

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 13, 2014

New video from the Campaign for the Future of Higher Education questions false promises of online education industry


United University Professions is sharing widely a new animated video from the The Campaign for the Future of Higher Education that raises serious questions about the claims and promises the online education industry is making about the quality of its higher education programs.

See the new video here.

The video, “Online Education: Teaching Millions or Making Millions?”, is part of a national grassroots campaign to inform families, educators, higher education leaders, and policymakers about the serious concerns of faculty members and educational staff who are on the front lines of higher education.

“Our members have developed and implemented quality online learning tools for many years and we appreciate the value of these tools,” said UUP President Fred Kowal. “But as this CFHE video depicts, online education has become a billion dollar business motivated more by profits than quality education for our students.”

The video is based on three reports by CFHE — “The ‘Promises’ of Online Higher Ed: Access, Costs, Profits.” They reveal strong evidence that widely publicized claims about the effectiveness of the online education industry’s products do not hold up.

The papers expose how these products affect: students’ access to higher education; the actual costs to students, universities and colleges to use these tools; and the profits involved that appear to affect how the tools are used and evaluated.

The “Millions” video argues that the “promises” of online education companies are not new: the promise that online learning will dramatically expand access to higher education is the very same promise made to Americans prior to the housing crisis. Americans were told that lower income buyers could gain middle class “access” to home ownership through “products” such as sub-prime mortgages that were ultimately catastrophic for the buyers, while profitable for certain sellers. The results of the failure to look behind the rhetoric were disastrous for the nation and for the lives of ordinary people.

To view the video, please go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vkKPt0Aacg&feature=youtu.be.

To read the reports on which the video is based, please go to http://futureofhighered.org/workingpapers/.

To arrange interviews regarding the video with faculty members, educational staff and other higher education supporters, please contact Denyce Duncan Lacy or Donald Feldstein at 518-640-6600.

Twitter hashtag: #MakingMillions

UUP is the nation's largest higher education union, with more than 42,000 academic and professional faculty and retirees. UUP members work at 29 New York state-operated campuses, including SUNY’s public teaching hospitals and health science centers in Brooklyn, Long Island and Syracuse. It is an affiliate of NYSUT, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, and the AFL-CIO.

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