Domestic, Ethics, For-Profit, Friend, Fraud, or Fishy, Recruitment, Required, Retention Rates, top, Universities & Colleges - Written by on Monday, October 1, 2012 6:00 - 1 Comment

Ashford University Implements Quotas For Staff Calls To Generate Student Leads

The Empire has to Respect Quotas too...
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Pedro Vezini via Compfight

In response to our popular post (Inside Ashford University: A Former Staffer Talks to WiredAcademic), we received this note from a former Admissions Counselor at Ashford University. The person shared some other internal documents to back up her explanation of new lead generation quotas at the school. Bottom line: The idea of quotas for staff at a for-profit school doesn’t lend itself to good ethics or long-term success in recruiting and retaining students. It’s an incentive that can encourage staff to pressure or deceive students to meet numbers requirements. It lends itself to the bottom line of Wall Street … maximizing shareholder value (and shareholders tend to care about the stock price and fundamentals growth rather than the success of students). Instead, Ashford should lend itself to the bottom line of creating a long-term valuable institution that values students and their education more than profit-hungry investors…

I recently read your article, and I too am a former Admissions Counselor who noticed many things about Ashford. I am attaching 2 internal documents that AC’s now must sign. It is a quota requirement as of July 2012. AC’s are really telemarketers and are required to make as many phone calls as possible each day. 

The attached documents are digitally signed by employees. Like most other company documents, only digital copies are kept on hand. Only way to get copies is doing a screen shot or copy and pasting into a word document, like what I have provided.

Inquiry to contact % means that when a new lead (student) that enters the an AC’s database is contacted, the % is the quantity of new leads that are contacted out of the total new leads received in a 30-day period. Student Recommendations are the number of referrals each AC must get each month. Student enrollments is the quantity of students that AC’s must enroll in a 30 day period. 

If employees do not meet quota, they have already been told they will receive displinary action, up to being fired. Since your article, a new rule in the employee handbook prevents AC’s from researching leads on the internet to see if they are telling the truth, disciplinary action will occur. In addition, employees now must sign an agreement to seek mediation instead of filing lawsuits against the company.  

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Oct 11, 2012 12:34

I am one of the AC’s who was let go in late september. They let EVERYBODY hired since April go regardless of performance which didnt make sense to me. Talked to a friend of mine who was let go during the July lay offs and it turns out a number of lawsuits are filed on them based on whats called the WARN act, which requires 60 day notice before a mass layoff so people can look for new jobs.

Bridgepoint however figured out the loophole and that if they let under a certain amount of people go or let people go that were employed less than 6 months that they cant get sued under the WARN act.

Additionally, they mentioned unemployment not being garunteed which seemed shady, and they also gave us the option to sign a waiver of claims for a 2 week severence but the claims say we cant sue them. Whats really terrible about the unemployment is ive talked to a number of people who moved here from out of state for the job, and since they havent lived here very long or since they recieved unemployment in another state before, they have to deal with their home states, one guy i know tries every day and cant get his home state unemployment office on the phone.

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