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Career Education Corporation announces plans for divestitures of selected schools

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Career Education Corporation (NASDAQ: CECO) recently announced its decision to sell several of its schools and campuses, including the nine campuses that comprise the Gibbs division; McIntosh College; the two campuses belonging to Brooks College (Long Beach and Sunnyvale) and Lehigh Valley College.

“As Career Education positions itself for the future, we will be better targeting our business strategy and concentrating our resources on those areas where we have the greatest competitive advantage, the highest levels of expertise and proven success,” said Bob Dowdell, Career Education’s interim president and chief executive officer. “We believe that the net result of these decisions will be a stronger operation and a more effective focus on what we do best: preparing students for careers they are passionate about through our high-quality boutique schools, our gold-standard brands and our flexible, student-centered product offerings.”

Career Education will continue to invest in the schools throughout the divestiture process, including strengthening educational programming and services to students and continuing its support of faculty and staff. “Each of these schools is valuable and important in its local community and has real future potential,” said Dowdell. “We are confident that they will flourish under new ownership.”

About Career Education Corporation
The colleges, schools and universities that are part of the Career Education Corporation (CEC) family currently offer high-quality education to approximately 100,000 students across the world in a variety of career-oriented disciplines. The 80-plus campuses that now serve these students are located throughout the U.S. and in Canada, France and the United Kingdom. They offer doctoral, master’s, bachelor’s and associate degrees and diploma and certificate programs. Many students attend the fully online educational platforms offered by American InterContinental University Online and Colorado Technical University Online.

Career Education is an industry leader whose gold-standard brands are recognized globally. Those brands include, among others, Le Cordon Bleu Schools North America, Harrington College of Design, Brooks Institute of Photography, Katharine Gibbs Schools, American InterContinental University, Colorado Technical University, and Sanford-Brown Institutes and Colleges. The mission of CEC, through its schools, educators and employees is education – its primary goal is to enable students to graduate successfully and pursue rewarding careers.

The Deaver Foundation provides its third grant

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SpanishNet College and the Deaver Foundation announced today that they have established a new cooperation agreement for the year 2007 to offer Spanish language courses to educators and healthcare providers.

SpanishNet College is finishing a very successful year providing the special program to different groups across the nation. The online learning program enables students to participate, regardless of time and place, and will help those who need to communicate with the growing Hispanic population about crucial or sensitive subjects such as education and health.

After educating students online for the past 12 years, SpanishNet College is highly regarded for its expertise in online course delivery that satisfies training needs in areas such as required weekly participation, concentrated study, Web-based research for the most current information on the subject, regular interaction with the professor, nationwide classmates in a small online classroom setting and evaluation of knowledge acquisition.

The school is well known for its synchronous/asynchronous style of study, enabling students in a variety of time zones to interact with their professors and fellow students when convenient, and also allowing them to log in at the same time using text and live-audio virtual classrooms. The school offers a large number of courses for a variety of interests.

The new and updated 2007 course programs “Basic Spanish for Health Care Providers” and “Basic Spanish for Teachers” will start on Monday, January 15, 2007, and end on Friday, July 6, 2007. There will be three two-month course segments: Spanish
101, 102 and 103.

Last day for registration is Wednesday, January 10, 2007. THERE IS A LIMITED NUMBER OF SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE NATIONWIDE. Those who are interested can reserve a place now by filling out a registration form.

Interested students may request further information and a registration form by e-mailing: spanscholar2007@cs.com

About the Scholarship and The Deaver Foundation
The Deaver Foundation was established by Marion Park Deaver in 1991. The Foundation document declares that its main purpose is to promote education. In order to help 1,000 more students deal with language issues in their daily activities, a third $225,000 grant will be provided to pay for half the cost of the six-month Basic Spanish course. Students will pay $225 each for the other half. All support material is delivered free of charge.For more information, visit SpanishNet College at http://www.spanishnetcollege.com

Bring in outside, expert help

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Here is part six of six. I hope these suggestions find their way to the CCA board and the board finds them useful in finding a successor to Mr. Glackas.

Reality 6: Organizational assistance is available, if a board is interested in seeking it.

Asking for help isn’t easy. It is even more difficult when it is not recognized that help is needed or would be useful. When the Dallas County Workforce Board reorganized a few years ago to fulfill the requirements of the new workforce legislation approved by Congress, outside help was requested. It was my privilege to be appointed to that board. On a recommendation from our exec, we selected Dr. John Carver to lead us through the reorganization process. In all my years of association management, having served in all kinds of roles, I have never been with a more effective, more competent authority on nonprofit and public board operation.

Dr. Carver is president of Carver Governance Design, Inc., a firm that consults with boards and CEOs of public, nonprofit, and business organizations. With his wealth of experience, having studied nonprofit and public boards for years, he is full of useful ideas and concepts that are worth reviewing. Space here is too limited to cover them all or even many. I recommend his book, Boards That Make a Difference, published by Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Some of his more meaningful observations and wise counsel are:

“No single relationship in the organization is as important as that between the board and the chief executive officer. Probably no single relationship is as easily misconstrued or has such dire potential consequences. That relationship, well conceived, can set the stage for effective governance and management.”

“Defining a Chief Executive Officer – Except for a few unique functions of the board, almost all organizational activities are performed by the staff … boards ordinarily choose to coordinate these intricate parts by employing a ‘chief executive officer’ to put all the pieces in place. More than a mere coordinator, a CEO is accountable for all parts coming together in an acceptable whole. The CEO becomes the board’s bridge to the staff, a role more distinct than merely lead staff members. The board has only one employee, the CEO.”

To achieve this, Dr. Carver advocates the creation of a policy statement on the subject, “Delegation to the Chief Executive Officer,” which clearly states what the exec can and can’t do.

His book further describes the importance of periodic evaluations of the CEO, pointing out that in order for this to be effective, there must be a clear understanding of the role and responsibility of the board. He also suggests something I have never seen done, except by the Dallas County Workforce Development Board – having the board evaluate their own performance to determine if it can be improved.

Certainly, Dr. Carver is not the only noted expert in this field. They exist and would bring to the process a wealth of knowledge and experience that might enable our association to take the next steps into the future. However, a day with him might be very revealing.

The changing of the guard in the executive office is an ideal time to pause and consider where we are, and “what we want as an association to be when we grow up.” Accurately defining the role of the board and the CEO is an essential step in the process of finding a new president. The exercise would be well worth the time and effort.

Challenges for CCA’s next president

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More on the CCA board’s leadership challenge:

Reality 5: The work of the association is multi-faceted with numerous internal and external constituents, who need to be heard and satisfied. There is a linkage between constituent groups which impact the organization’s limited resources and expectations.

The association is facing a number of challenges, which is not unusual. They will fall to the new exec to champion and solve. Some of these in no specific order are:

– Continuing the involvement of representing the interests of the membership in the federal legislative process reauthorizing the Higher Education Act, which wasn’t resolved by the current Congress; followed by the negotiated rule-making process;
– Educating the membership regarding the importance of engaging in the political process in a variety of ways;
– Fostering a cooperative relationship with others in higher education community;
– Determining how best to assist state associations in a number of areas, including addressing legislative initiatives affecting local school operations and alerting other state associations of the debate developing in other legislatures;
– Developing a cooperative, cohesive relationship with the state associations;
– Ensuring a balance in the representation at the board level of the publicly traded, private chains of schools, and the single unit (Mom & Pop) institutions, as well as the degree and non-degree institutions;
– Encouraging career college-related accrediting bodies to act responsibly in maintaining high quality institutions among their memberships and encouraging them not to become the enforcement arm of the DOE;
– Creating an effective linkage between the national and state associations;
– Designing a public information campaign that promotes the value and uniqueness of private career education;
– Increasing membership by encouraging more non-members to recognize the importance of the association by joining;
– Overcoming the impressions of the disenchanted members who chose to threaten to resign;
– Providing professional services to assist various employee groups within the member institution become more effective on the job;
– Responding to the needs of the allied members to effectively reach the membership to promote their products and services.

And the list goes on; you can see this is an easy job; anyone can do it.

Newsweek and Kaplan University launch groundbreaking MBA

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Kaplan University, a leading online institution of higher learning, and Newsweek, Inc., the award-winning newsmagazine, have joined forces to create the Kaplan University/Newsweek MBA. The innovative program will combine Kaplan’s rigorous MBA training with the journalistic resources of Newsweek magazine to provide students with an education that uses breaking business news to illuminate the issues and theories that are part of traditional MBA coursework.

“The Kaplan/Newsweek MBA will offer the best of both the classroom and the real world,” said Newsweek Chairman and Editor-in-Chief Richard M. Smith. “The program will also provide an important new outlet for Newsweek’s all-star cast of business reporters and editors and allow us to use online education to build an audience of young people who are on track to become the decision-makers of tomorrow.”

Andrew S. Rosen, President of Kaplan University, said, “This initiative combines two world-class organizations, each one a leader in its field. This new program will mean that our students — in addition to having access to Newsweek’s archives, multimedia presentations and weekly content — will be able to talk to reporters and editors to get in-depth and immediate insights into the events that are making news in the economy and the boardroom.”

As part of the MBA program:

* Newsweek will provide up-to-the-minute case studies drawn from its Enterprise section and additional reporting and analysis.
* Smith will conduct a series of interviews on leadership with some of the world’s most influential CEOs.
* Wall Street Editor Allan Sloan will talk with students about the ethical, legal and public relations dimensions of corporate transactions.
* International Editor Fareed Zakaria will discuss global business strategy.
* Technology specialists Steven Levy and David Kaplan will discuss what makes high-tech companies succeed – or fail.
* Editor Jon Meacham, Midwest Bureau Chief Keith Naughton, Senior Writer Johnnie Roberts and Senior Editor Jonathan Alter, among others, will take part in a Distinguished Speaker Series and online video discussions moderated by National Business Correspondent Dan McGinn and tailored specifically for Kaplan/Newsweek students.

Dr. Eric Goodman, Dean of the Graduate School of Management at Kaplan University, said, “Traditional MBA programs rely heavily on case studies, some of which are decades old. While these studies have great value, students also have much to learn from events that are happening in the business world right now, events that Newsweek – which recently broke the controversy over the Hewlett-Packard board of directors – is in a perfect position to discuss. In addition, given Newsweek’s strength covering international politics and business, this program will help us provide a global perspective to all our courses, from economics to finance to human resources management.”

Kaplan University and Newsweek magazine are wholly owned subsidiaries of The Washington Post Company.

The basic MBA program will include 52 quarter-credit hours, with core courses such as Managerial Economics, Financial Management, Managerial Accounting, Business Ethics and Analytical Decision Making. Electives will include courses like Project Management, Information Systems Management and Strategic Human Resources. Students who wish to develop a further specialty, including International Business, will take an additional 16 quarter-credit hours in that specialty, focusing on international management, finance or marketing, among other possibilities. The program will also offer a specialty in International Health Care Management.

To encourage teamwork and increase faculty interaction with individuals, classes will have a routine maximum of 15 students. The program will begin accepting students on Sept. 25. Classes begin on Nov. 15.

Kaplan University, based in Davenport, Iowa, is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). The University offers Master’s, Bachelor’s and Associate’s degrees, as well as certificates designed to provide students with the skills necessary to qualify them for employment in fields such as Business, Criminal Justice, Education, Travel and Tourism, Healthcare, Information Technology, and Paralegal Studies. With more than 26,000 on-ground and online students, Kaplan University joins the ranks of the largest universities in the U.S.

For additional information about the Kaplan University/Newsweek MBA program, visit www.topnewsweekmba.com.

About Newsweek
Founded in 1933, Newsweek provides comprehensive coverage of national and international affairs, business, society, science and technology, and arts and entertainment. Headquartered in New York, Newsweek has 20 bureaus located in the U.S. and around the globe. In addition to its U.S. edition, Newsweek publishes three English-language editions overseas and is the only news magazine with eight weekly local-language editions — in Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Polish, Arabic, Chinese, Russian and The Bulletin, which is published with Newsweek in Australia. Newsweek’s circulation is more than 3.1 million in the U.S. and more than 4 million worldwide. Newsweek’s total U.S. audience is 18.9 million and 24 million worldwide. The magazine appears in more than 190 countries. Newsweek holds more National Magazine Awards, given by the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME), than any other newsweekly. Newsweek is on the World Wide Web at www.Newsweek.com.

About Kaplan Higher Education and Kaplan, Inc.
In addition to Kaplan University, Kaplan, Inc.’s higher education division includes Concord Law School and more than 70 campus-based locations in 21 states that offer Master’s, Bachelor’s and Associate’s degrees, as well as certificates designed to provide students with the skills necessary to qualify them for employment in fields such as Business, Criminal Justice, Education, Fashion and Design, Healthcare, Information Technology, and Legal and Paralegal Studies.

Kaplan, Inc. is a leading international provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools and businesses. Kaplan, which had 2005 revenue of more than $1.4 billion, is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO). For more information, please visit www.kaplan.com.

Trust the organization to do its job

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This is the fourth entry in my six-part series of posts about the realities and assorted challenges facing the CCA board in replacing its leader.

Reality 4: Members of the board are not full-time employees of the association and must not behave as if they are. The agenda for the group coming to town three or four times a year for a couple of days must be driven at the policy level, not the production level. Board sets policy; staff carries out the policy.

It is not unusual for the board or members of the board to attempt to micromanage the operations of the organization. This is rarely productive. Frankly, micromanaging someone with topnotch skills and experience who has been hired to “run” the association would be foolish and counter productive.

The operating rules should be:

1. Hire the best;
2. Establish policy;
3. Approve programs and activities;
4. Delegate responsibility;
5. Get out of the way;
6. Evaluate (and reward) regularly;
7. Require input; and
8. Demand the best.

It’s generally fun being a member of the association’s board in most organizations. Elected members feel that they are making a contribution. They feel useful and productive. It usually presents exciting challenges quite different from the decisions board members make on a daily basis in their full-time positions.

Most board members have the distinction of being in charge in their full-time jobs with staffs to supervise and direct. An adjustment is required in order to operate effectively in their elected positions to accommodate the environment of an association’s board. As a member of a board, each member must recognize that he/she is a part of the solution, not the sole voice, as is often the case in his/her home job. This requires compromise and consideration. All members of the board are equal in voice and vote. Once the vote is taken, the die is cast. The organization then must speak with one voice and move in one direction.

Some board members are elected on the basis of a pre-announced objective that gains the membership’s support. Sometimes such objectives are not previously announced. In either case, unless supported by an affirmative act by the board, such individually held objectives are out of place and inappropriate. To be effective, the board must act as a whole after due deliberation and consideration. To challenge the status quo or question an activity is not inappropriate; however, when an individual board member or a small group of board members takes on an activity without the approval of the board, dissension is bound to result.

The temptation to do more than design and approve policy is strong for many. After all, elected board members are usually “go to” people, full of energy and used to taking charge – or else they probably wouldn’t have run for office in first place. It is not unusual for a board to come to town, muck around in the association’s business, and leave town expecting the staff to deal with or clean up the mess. That may sound harsh, but I’ve experienced it. In all fairness, I must report that many times the proper system can and does works well with the board dealing with policy, considering recommendations from the staff, voting, and expecting the staff to successfully enunciate the association’s positions and carry out the approved plans.

It ‘can’ be that difficult

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If you’ve been reading my blog over the
last week, I’ve been presenting a series of realities that the CCA
board of directors must deal with in finding a new organizational
president. Today’s blog continues my list with the third of six
realities I’ll be sharing:

Reality 3: Historically, associations have gotten poor
grades for hiring, …

Drexel e-Learning launches online educational partnership

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Drexel e-Learning recently announced an educational partnership with Aqua America, the nation’s largest U.S.-based, publicly-traded water company, providing water and wastewater services to approximately 2.5 million residents in 13 states.

Through this alliance, Aqua America employees will have the opportunity to complete an online degree or certificate program through Drexel and receive special tuition rates. Employees will be able to choose from a range of Bachelor’s, Master’s and certificate programs that Drexel offers online in areas such as business, engineering, computer science, computing technology and information science.

Drexel, which is ranked among the Best National Universities in “America’s Best Colleges” by U.S. News & World Report for 2007, is accredited by the Middle States Association for Colleges and Secondary Schools, and its curricula hold the most prestigious accreditations from their respective accrediting bodies such as AACSB (Business), NLN and CCNE (Nursing), and ALA (Information Science). Additionally, Drexel’s online programs target adult learners and offer them the convenience of advancing their skills on their own schedule.

Drexel e-Learning has been expanding its partner network for the past three years. Through a partnership with Drexel, participating corporations, health systems and professional associations across the United States are able to offer their employees and members benefits such as special tuition rates and career development opportunities, as well as the chance to earn a degree, all with the flexibility working professionals need.

“A well-educated workforce is a competitive advantage for companies today,” said Dr. Kenneth Hartman, academic director of Drexel e-Learning. “Organizations have been selecting Drexel as their preferred online education provider because they know that our programs reflect the same high standards as those on-campus but offer the convenience busy professionals desire. We look forward to this new venture with Aqua America and in assisting them in meeting the educational needs of their workforce.”

For more information on forming an educational partnership with Drexel e-Learning, please visit www.drexel.com or call 1-877-215-0009.

About Aqua America:

Aqua America, Inc. is the nation’s largest U.S.-based, publicly traded water company, providing water and wastewater services to approximately 2.5 million residents in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Texas, New Jersey, Indiana, Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Maine, Missouri, New York and South Carolina. Aqua America also provides water and wastewater consulting and contract operations and management services to selected clients.

About Drexel e-Learning:

Drexel e-Learning is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Drexel University, specializing in innovative, Internet-based distance education programs for working professionals and corporations in the U.S. and abroad. A pioneer in online education, Drexel has offered programs online since 1996.

Life span issues haunt board presidents

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As promised in my last blog, here is the second reality the CCA board of directors faces in finding a new organizational president:

Reality 2: Quite often the organizational life of an association’s chief staff officer has a window of eight to ten years because the position’s visibility provides an excellent opportunity to become a candidate for a better job, or he/she more than likely has disagreed with or challenged some of the members in their time. And it doesn’t matter whether the executive does this or that, someone won’t like it – and say so.

The chief staff exec has the most visible role in the organization. He/she is constantly on stage, while the board is rarely recognized as a group and the chair, like the rest, is organizationally occupied with a full-time job that provides his/her bread and butter. The result is that the exec is the one who carries the water, enunciates the organization’s positions, and advocates on behalf of the membership – and catches the heat if the membership disagrees with the officially enunciated policies.

When an organization is challenged by the federal government or some other entity, it is the exec, not the chair, who usually has to take the heat and “meet the press.” The skills required in these arenas are particularly important. One not only has to know the issues, but also has to know how to best respond to the unforeseen questions from the inquiring reporters. Too few have been trained and have experience in the media arena. Lack of training or not fully understanding the issues can be fatal.

When an exec stubs his/her toe in this capacity, the board and membership are quick to condemn and slow to forgive. The jungle drums of membership rumblings can become deafening before the board is moved to action or the exec voluntarily “gets the message” and resigns.

Academy of Art University receives NAAB accreditation for architecture school

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The Academy of Art University is proud to announce that its MFA Architecture School program has been officially accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).

With this accreditation, the Academy will now be able to offer the official professional degree of the architecture industry, the Master of Architecture (M.Arch.). NAAB is the only institution that grants universities the official status to offer this degree. In most states, this degree is required for licensure as an architect. By offering this accredited degree program, the Academy is giving its students the prestige and flexibility they will need to practice at the top level of architecture.

The Academy of Art University is following up on accreditation by investing many resources into its architecture school program, including hiring esteemed faculty into the architecture department: Dr. Richard Smith, who will teach architecture studios; Peter Wong, who will teach perspective; and two structural engineers, Randy Collins and Francisco Castillo. In addition, thorough curriculum reviews will be conducted through the fall and spring semesters, which will lead to curriculum expansions and updates, as well as additional facilities.

The NAAB accrediting board was impressed with the overall experience the architecture school offers its students, as well as the proven success in placing students at top firms. Graduate students in the architecture program currently work in some of the best and most sought-after internship positions in the field.

About the Academy of Art University (http://www.academyart.edu)
Founded in 1929 by artists for artists, the Academy of Art University offers professional study at the AA, BFA and MFA levels in the fields of art and design. The curriculum integrates the talents of students with their personal visions and aspirations, with the overarching goal of preparing them for professional employment in art and design careers.

With 9,000 students attending courses in 31 academic facilities located in the heart of San Francisco — and a cyber campus reaching around the world — the Academy is the largest private art and design school in the country.

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