New legislation enacted July, 1, 2011 governs the disclosure of gainful employment and other statistics in relation to certificate programs at an institution. In order to be eligible for funding under the Title IV programs, an educational certificate program must prepare students for "gainful employment in a recognized occupation." The information provided below will define what is considered a “gainful employment” program, and provide definition of the information an institution must disclose. The full regulation may be found at the Federal Register.
Gainful Employment Programs
The following educational programs offered are considered GE Programs subject to the new regulations:

  • Non-degree programs, including all certificate programs. Certificate programs include undergraduate certificate programs, post baccalaureate certificate programs, graduate certificate programs, and postgraduate certificate programs.
  • Teacher certification programs, including both programs that result in a certificate awarded by the institution and those where the institution itself does not provide a certificate but which consist of a collection of course work necessary for the student to receive a State professional teaching credential or certification.

Not Gainful Employment Programs
The following educational programs offered are not subject to the new GE Program regulations:

  • Programs that lead to a degree, including associate's degrees, bachelor's degrees, graduate degrees, and professional degrees.
  • Programs that are at least two years in length that are fully transferable to a bachelor's degree program.
  • Preparatory courses of study that provide course work necessary for enrollment in an eligible program.

Disclosure Requirements
Regulations that went into effect on July 1, 2011, include a provision that requires institutions to disclose, for each of their GE Programs, certain information about the programs to prospective students. The institution must include the information required in promotional materials it makes available to prospective students and on its Web site.
Information that must be disclosed by an institution for each of its GE Programs includes:

  • The name and U.S. Department of Labor's Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code of the occupations that the program prepares students to enter, along with links to occupational profiles on the U.S. Department of Labor's O*NET Web site or its successor site.
  • The on-time graduation rate for students completing the program.
  • The tuition and fees the institution charges a student for completing the program within normal time.
  • The typical costs for books and supplies (unless those costs are included as part of tuition and fees), and the cost of room and board, if applicable.
  • The job placement rate for students completing the program.
  • The median loan debt incurred by students who completed the program.

For disclosure information on E-Campus Certificate Programs click here.
For disclosure information on College of Business Certificate Programs click here.