By Kevin Hight
IntegrisMobile Senior Account Executive, 207-712-1498
“Enormous amounts of federal funding at colleges, universities and other postsecondary schools allow Uncle Sam to wield a heavy hand in regulating access to such funds.” So begins a recent U.S. District Court decision, Career College Association v. Duncan, upholding in part a legal challenge to the latest round of regulations from the U.S. Department of Education.
Greg Ferenbach, former Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary Of Strayer Education Inc. wrote in a 2012 Corporate Compliance Insights article, “To be sure, higher education in the United States is a heavily regulated activity. The push for greater accountability at our colleges and universities, once an important priority of the Bush Administration, has become a flood of new regulations under the Obama Administration. And because the era of greater regulatory scrutiny in higher education reflects numerous ongoing national policy concerns – such as the federal government’s new role as the primary direct lender to students, the increased cost of going to college, high student debt levels and the international competitiveness of our workforce – it is unlikely that the next few years will bring anything but more of the same in Washington.”
The U.S. Government Accountability Office has disclosed its findings of apparently fraudulent or deceptive recruiting and marketing practices that include: false or misleading statements about accreditation; the requirements for repaying student loans; information on graduation rates; job placement; and students’ likely earnings. In four cases, college officials encouraged the “students” to submit apparently fraudulent financial information in order to qualify for federal student aid.
This begs the question: How do colleges ensure accurate statements by its admissions and financial aid departments?
Fortunately in this new age of technology comes an inexpensive answer. Many colleges are switching or have switched to “greener” methods of documentation and data filing. One of the most commonly used devices is the tablet computer. Many are using tablets today as a means to provide recruiters and financial aid officers with packaged and approved content which is driving quantifiable ROI for investment in such devices. The upfront capital outlay is far more efficient that the cost of paper, storage, time spent filing, and misplacement of traditional documents.
But like anything new, we often under utilize its capabilities until there is a need. IntegrisMobile, powered by Blueforce, offers an app that can be easily downloaded to the device which enables the microphone of the device to be turned on by administrators at the start of each meeting or tour given. The audio stream is securely sent to a dedicated server at the completion of the meeting. The software runs in the background allowing all other functions to continue as normal. There is no stopping the recording and no deleting it; the chain of custody is completely sound. Recordings are archived, indexed and may be listened to live or at a later date for review by approved auditors from anywhere in the world.
Not only is this a step in the right direction for compliance, but IntegrisMobile has become a valued training and marketing tool by sales managers at more than 35 campuses across the United States. New recruiters are knowingly monitored without that “looking over your shoulder” feel and any non-stamdard delivery of sales and marketing messaging can be immediately corrected.
Andrew Hipple, Director of Information Technology at YTI Career Institute and an early adopter of the IntegrisMobile compliance solution stated that, “the IntegrisMobile product line from Blueforce enhanced the transparency of the admission and financial aid processes ensuring that all information conveyed to potential students is accurate. This product has set YTI apart from other institutions.”
IntegrisMobile is powered by Blueforce Development, a leader in packaged products for U.S. national security entities, which gives institutions the comfort that the information is secured at the highest levels. IntegrisMobile is easily downloaded and deployed, cost effective, and intuitive. It’s a simple yet effective step any College should take to ensure the protection of not only itself and its administrators, but the future students it admits.