Predator or Proprietor? Challengers to the Liberal Education Throne

Leo Wittnebel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The nature of the changing economic climate has resulted in drastic changes in the postsecondary education landscape. With record numbers of adult learners seeking to further their education, they are faced with numerous outlets, including traditional liberal universities and a variety of for-profit colleges and vocational schools that have shifted from their historical practice of operating primarily as certificate-granting programs to the practice of awarding degrees. While models of operation and sources of funding are largely different between the two educational models, similarities do exist, and staunch criticism and defense has arisen from both sides in regard to approach, results, and legitimacy. This article seeks to examine whether proprietary models of higher education are indeed legitimate alternatives to traditional institutions within the constraints of the current capitalist system, and it presents arguments from both sides while examining implications for students and society at large.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-65
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Continuing Higher Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2012


  • adult learning
  • higher education
  • proprietary education
  • vocational learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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