7 Months in Vegas on Harris Miller!


    No Money? No High School Diploma? No GED? No problem! Use your post-9/11 GI Bill to enroll in the Academy of Healing Arts. Not a veteran? No problem! There are always federally subsidized student loans! And when you finish, you can work as a masseuse on the Las Vegas strip.

    The private sector education carnival is a national disgrace. Certainly you can’t write off all the training that is available at all of these institutions. And not every program is more expensive than comparable public sector training. In fact “Medical Schools” participating in this association are proud that they reduce costs by not having all those unnecessary expenses (you know, like research and hospital facilities) required of schools in the United States; or in their own words:

    The cost of a Caribbean medical education is a fraction of the cost of U.S. medical schools. The primary purpose is teaching, including providing research opportunities for students; thus tuition can be held to a reasonable level, as opposed to U.S. medical schools where tuition underwrites a significant overhead expense that does not necessarily benefit the student(emphasis added). – American University of Antigua

    It is all about money; and not the students’ money. Rather it is about the investors’ money. And in the real world of free market competition, that follows a tenet of corporate stewardship. Nothing wrong with that: Caveat Emptor! Seriously. But the sellers would be much more cautious if their decisions had clearer consequences: say, if the institution that was loaning the money had to judge the likelihood that the student would earn sufficient income to repay those loans. But Harris Miller and his cronies want access to our tax dollars so that neither the buyer nor seller must face facts at the point of sale. From my favored institution, the Academy of Healing Arts:

    Financial Aid

    We have financial aid counselors that will work with you to determine all the financial assistance you can receive. Our counselors will explain all grants, scholarships, loans and other options available to you fully and help walk you through the application process.

    Of course they will.

    The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities boasts of a membership roster with over 1500 member schools. Of course, the Career Education Corporation has 77 “campuses” (each counting as a school) from Florida to Washington and California to Rhode Island. And Kaplan Higher Education Corporation boasts of some 74 locales. So really there are 215 or so companies with an average of 7 or 8 locations to serve whatever it is they are serving up. You can be certain they are particularly proud of their member medical schools in the Caribbean and elsewhere.  

    And what are they serving? There are some pretty pretentious institutions like “Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts” (16 of those strewn across America) and some very specific, such as “Brown College of Court Reporting and Medical Transcription.” The court reporting and medical transcription thing caught my attention because of one of the featured instructors at the Academy of Healing Arts, Dr. Mark Woolley. The only name like that I could find on an intertube search was one associated with a medical practice named as a defendant in a lawsuit by a Nevada prison inmate. Probably not the same guy and it was dismissed anyhow. I was really looking to see if he still had a practice where there would be some phlebotomy employment if the cruise ship or strip hotel masseuse gig didn’t pan out. Both involve body fluids, I understand.

    If you think the business portion of the corporate function isn’t primary, consider this: the network of institutions is all about filling seats. Open seats in Virginia Beach are filled by students from Boston, without regard to placement after graduation. The students in Virginia Beach are allowed to believe that the reason people come from Boston is the reputation of the Virginia Beach institution. You know, the same reason those students in Antigua chose that medical school over Johns Hopkins.

    Thanks to the drive, initiative, and forward-thinking of Harris Miller, schools like these receive the same consideration for post-9/11 GI Bill and U.S. Department of Education financing. So I have to think, why attend the University of Virginia when I can get an “education” in Las Vegas? And don’t get me wrong, I am not here to eschew lobbyists because they are endeavoring to separate people from their hard earned dollars. It is that they expect the government, and that means us, to underwrite their deception.


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