Career college leaders: Meeting the challenges of student graduation and gainful employment

Joseph Matthew Zito, Fordham University


For-profit career colleges are specialized educational institutions that offer a limited scope of programs and that have a specific focus on practical applications in the workplace. The majority of the students in career colleges are minorities, working mothers, veterans, and other adult learners with jobs and families, who need the flexible schedules, small classes, and support services offered by the for-profit career colleges. Many for-profit career colleges have been criticized by the U.S. government for employing deceptive recruiting practices that lure students into programs by promising them job placement upon graduation. Consequently, these students borrow tens of thousands of dollars to attend these schools, only to find it impossible to repay their loans due to an inability to secure jobs with salaries that match their level of debt. The case study presented here examined what leaders at one career college, noted for its exemplary graduation and career placement statistics, have done to create a culture of learning and inclusion as well as to provide services and programs that promote student academic success and "gainful employment." The results of the study yielded a set of best practices that may be benchmarked by similar institutions. Because the study was limited to one career college, it was recommended that a more comprehensive qualitative study, encompassing a wider and more diverse distribution of these school leaders, be conducted. In addition, further research should include a quantitative component that would allow for the collection of data across a broad cross-section of graduates.

Subject Area

Educational leadership

Recommended Citation

Zito, Joseph Matthew, "Career college leaders: Meeting the challenges of student graduation and gainful employment" (2013). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3604908.