Using Veterans Day as a backdrop, the Obama administration announced its support for a bill that seeks to rein in for-profit schools that prey on veterans and military personnel eligible for the GI Bill and military tuition assistance programs.
Bobby Caina Calvan is the collaborations editor for Reveal. He was most recently director of operations for The Fund for Investigative Journalism, a Washington-based nonprofit that awards grants to freelance and independent investigative journalists. He thrives on watchdog journalism. He's worked in some of the country's best newsrooms, including The Associated Press, The Boston Globe, The Sacramento Bee and the Detroit Free Press. He's covered the war in Iraq, the national debate over health care, the 2012 presidential race and other high-profile elections.
While Calvan has worked in some of the country's biggest news outlets, his roots are firmly in local news. His career transcends platforms, and he has produced stories for print, digital, radio and television. He spent a year on a journalism diversity initiative in Nebraska called The Heartland Project, where he spearheaded collaborations with newsrooms across the state to enhance coverage of communities of color and LGBT issues. Inclusive journalism is in his DNA, and so is his strong advocacy for mentoring the next generation of journalists.
Calvan grew up on a dairy farm at the foot of the Ko'olau Mountains in Waimanalo, Hawaii – which might explain why he spent his first year of college at New York University and followed his sense of adventure into a career in journalism. He completed his college career at the University of California, Berkeley, where he majored in legal studies. He is based in Reveal's Emeryville, California, office.
Sen. John McCain stood by the University of Phoenix after the Defense Department put it on probation, claiming that the move was orchestrated by a lawmaker who has a record of not supporting the military. But the Arizona senator has been criticized for his own actions on veterans issues.
Veterans groups and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, who have pressed for wider inquiries into for-profit schools, are defending the Defense Department’s decision to withhold new tuition assistance money from the University of Phoenix because of violations of military rules.
The Defense Department is reviewing a response from the University of Phoenix to the military’s decision to ban its recruiters from military facilities and suspend it from enrolling more military personnel under the tuition assistance program, even as Republican senators came to the for-profit school’s defense.
Executives of the parent company of the University of Phoenix attempted to regain investor confidence this morning amid plummeting stock prices and ongoing scrutiny from state and federal officials investigating the for-profit school’s recruiting practices.
Veterans groups are urging the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to follow the Defense Department’s lead in stemming the flow of federal education funds to the University of Phoenix.
The Department of Defense said it would suspend the University of Phoenix from federal tuition assistance programs and bar school officials from recruiting at military facilities after revelations of improper recruiting and marketing practices by the for-profit school.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has vowed to increase scrutiny of unaccredited schools that received federal funds through the GI Bill and to review state criteria that allow the financial benefit for such schools.
Fort Campbell officials declined to immediately release public documents related to an agreement between the U.S. Army base in Kentucky and the for-profit college for a recruiting event last year.
Officials said the Tomah, Wisconsin, VA medical facility’s former director is no longer working for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the latest development after our investigation of the hospital’s improper prescription practices.
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