Michael Clifford never attended college, himself. But as CEO of Significant Federation in Solana Beach, Calif., he’s been a major deal-maker and investor in for-profit colleges and online education.
He’s a trumpet player turned former cocaine user turned Judeo Christian turned entrepreneur. In recent years, he’s helped orchestrate six institutions including Bridgepoint Education Inc., L.A. College International., Grand Canyon Education Inc., Patten University, Chancellor University, and Victory University.
That industry faces new regulations from the Department of Education designed to improve quality. Clifford, 57, spoke with WiredAcademic editor Paul Glader to talk about the new regulations, his new for-profit colleges and the way forward for the industry (Interview edited for brevity):
WA – Remind us of the projects currently on your plate?
MC – Most recently, we (as a public trust) financially sponsored and acquired Victory University in Memphis. Mike Huckabee is the chancellor. It is a 70-year-old Judeo Christian college dedicated to producing the best inner city teachers on the planet. It was called Crichton. We changed the name to Victory because we like it better. It’s an African American college. Its claim to fame was turning out the best inner city teachers. Have you seen Waiting for Superman”? We’re hoping to be the answer to the inner city teachers issues.”
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