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Apollo Group, Inc. appoints Gregory Cappelli as Executive Vice President

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Apollo Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL) recently announced that Gregory Cappelli has joined the company as the Executive Vice President of Global Strategy and Assistant to the Executive Chairman, Dr. John Sperling. Cappelli will advise the Office of the Chairman on global strategy and corporate development, including overseeing Apollo Group’s international expansion.

Cappelli, 39, has extensive experience in the for-profit education sector where he’s been a leading research analyst for the past 13 years. Cappelli leaves Credit Suisse after 10 years of outstanding service, most recently as managing director and senior research analyst where he founded the Credit Suisse Global Services Team. In that capacity, Cappelli led a team of analysts providing comprehensive coverage for some 100 companies representing a broad cross-section of the services economy.

“We are extremely pleased to be adding one of the most well-rounded and talented individuals in the for-profit education space to our management team,” Sperling said. “Greg brings a unique set of skills to our company, including his analytical ability, and broad-based knowledge of the sector globally.”

Before joining Credit Suisse, Cappelli was vice president and senior research analyst with ABN AMRO. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Indiana University and a Master’s in Business Administration from the Brennan School of Business at Dominican University.

Apollo Group President Brian Mueller reiterated that, given how important international expansion is to the future of the company, this move significantly strengthens the management team.

“The ability to leverage the considerable marketing, operational and technical capabilities of Apollo Group combined with Greg’s background will ensure our successful move into the international space,” Mueller said.

About Apollo Group
Apollo Group, Inc. has been an education provider for more than 30 years, operating the University of Phoenix, the Institute for Professional Development, the College for Financial Planning, Western International University and Insight Schools. The Company offers innovative and distinctive educational programs and services from high school through college level at 262 locations in 39 states, Puerto Rico, Washington, D.C., Alberta, British Columbia, Netherlands and Mexico, as well as online throughout the world. For more information about Apollo Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries, call 1-800-990-APOL or visit Apollo on the company web site at: www.apollogrp.edu.

New single sign-on solution

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Ambassador College Bookstores (Ambassador) and eCollege have launched their single sign-on integration that enables online students to seamlessly go from their online content to the school’s official online bookstore. This process affords students the convenience of ordering their textbooks and any other required course materials simultaneous with reviewing the online content.

As an institution licensed to use the eCollege platform, your school will have the option to activate a seamless authentication for its students from the eCollege-hosted portal to the Ambassador-hosted virtual bookstore. As an eCollege partner institution with an established business relationship with Ambassador, your school may request that the integration be deployed to their eCollege campus. Once the single sign-on (SSO) is deployed, students authenticated on the eCollege-hosted education portal will seamlessly link from a specific location from eCollege to the appropriate “booklist,” hosted and managed by Ambassador.

The seamless integration will include a “student file.” The student file, or list, will be a standard part of the business process between Ambassador and your school. During the SSO seamless authentication process, eCollege will pass the user’s term and course information to Ambassador. This passing of data will act as the student file for the mutual client. Ambassador will set up the appropriate booklist for the client requesting the SSO solution. From the eCollege platform, students will be sent to the specific location at Ambassador to purchase the textbook required for the course they are enrolled in.

The integration between the eCollege and Ambassador platforms will be maintained by both companies on an ongoing basis.

About Ambassador College Bookstores
Since 1973, Ambassador has been providing premier bookstore fulfillment services to colleges and universities. Its comprehensive range of services includes management and operation of on-campus and online bookstores or any combination, including an auto-fill service whereby student orders are picked, packed and shipped without ever visiting a bookstore. Over the years, Ambassador has made significant investments in personnel and technology to achieve clients’ objectives and earn its sterling reputation in the academic and publishing industry. SourceOne is Ambassador’s proprietary technology that enables users to securely place and confirm orders online, upload student and hold lists, use Ambassador’s student retention tools, verify orders, download management reports, confirm account balances, download invoices and statements, and more. For more information visit www.ambassadorbookstores.com.

About eCollege
eCollege (Nasdaq: ECLG) is a leading provider of value-added information services to the postsecondary and K-12 education industries. The Company’s eLearning Division designs, builds and supports some of the most successful, fully online degree, certificate/diploma and professional development programs in the country. The Company’s enrollment division, Datamark, Inc., helps institutions build new enrollments and increase student retention. Customers include publicly traded for-profit institutions, community colleges, public and private universities, school districts and state departments of education. eCollege was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Chicago, Ill., with the eLearning Division headquartered in Denver, Colo. Datamark was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. For more information, visit www.eCollege.com and www.Datamark.com.

How to assess the value of the goods we provide

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There are multiple outcome measures that we use to help shed light on the end-purpose issues of quality and educational effectiveness, workforce preparation and retraining, quality of technical/vocational education, and continuing education and lifelong learning as they individually affect our sector’s impact on providing a public good. Here is a generic assessment framework to evaluate how good our public good is:

Quality and Educational Effectiveness. Are we working smarter and not harder? We live with constraints, so are we as effective as possible?

Workforce Preparation and Retraining. Are we listening to our PACs as to what we need to get them prepared? Do we offer access to retraining options for our graduates?

Quality of Vocational/Technical Education. Are we staying in contact with employers? How often is our career services specialist bringing in employers and asking for real feedback about our students?

Continued Education and Lifelong Learning. What example are we setting? Do we make CEUs and lifelong learning the cornerstones of our staff and faculty? It will be hard to ensure this outcome is accomplished if we don’t support it at all levels. Are our faculty members promoting this idea?

What tools are we using to assess the outcomes we expect? All of the examples I give below are valuable tools, but individually they all have shortcomings:

IPEDS, as much of a pain as it is to submit, is built around a series of interrelated surveys to collect institution-level data in such areas as enrollments, program completions, faculty, staff and finances. This measure provides insight into the educational success of the institution, which relates directly to quality and educational effectiveness.

Economic indicators, revenues, gross profits, EBITDA comparisons and net income are all recipes to describe our educational effectiveness, but still miss the quality.

Regulatory bodies provide a great service by promoting quality education practices and measure some aspects of all of the end-purpose issues listed, but again fail to remain ever vigilant. Despite their appreciated brutal honesty at times, they are not always around to tell you the real deal.

Qualitative feedback from instructors, students, administrators and people intimately involved in your programs does exist. The perspective remains myopic; we compare what we are doing to what we have done, and not what we are doing as it impacts the workforce. There is also the risk of having the “yes” women and men around us that dilutes the quality of the qualitative feedback.

Experts in their respective fields can provide us with some of the most critical and perhaps most crucial feedback around. We can capitalize on access to these experts through externships, capstone education events and special events. This necessary complement to assessment tools provides us with candid external feedback about the product prior to entry into the workforce.

The idea that I think we fail to adequately capture is the qualitative feedback through experts. At my school I promote the idea of a capstone event where external experts evaluate and assess the students before they hit the workforce.

I think these types of learning opportunities are valuable to the student and perhaps even more valuable to the school for candid critiques of the public good we are providing –quality education. I want to learn more, so please share with all of us or send me your innovations of capstone events — internships, externships, capstone courses, external training centers, etc. Let’s find out how we all can benefit from your quality education ideas.

CEC suit dismissed and terminated

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Career Education Corporation (NASDAQ:CECO) received notice that the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois dismissed, with prejudice, the amended complaint in McSparran v. Larson, et al., a shareholder derivative action against the company and certain of its current and former officers and directors. In so doing, the Court terminated the litigation, first filed against the company in January 2004, and amended by the plaintiffs in June 2006, after the Court’s initial dismissal of the action.

According to the Court, “The amended complaint provides no substantial reason to question the independence of a majority of CEC’s board of directors.” The Court dismissed the case with prejudice, terminating the matter and thus prohibiting plaintiffs from amending their pleadings.

“We are very pleased with the Court’s ruling and believe that the Court properly recognized the right of the board of directors to manage the company’s affairs,” said Mary Ellen Hennessy of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, lead counsel for the defendants.

About Career Education Corporation
The colleges, schools and universities that are part of the Career Education Corporation (CEC) family offer high quality education to almost 90,000 students across the world in a variety of career-oriented disciplines. The 80-plus campuses that serve these students are located throughout the U. S., Canada, France, United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates and offer Doctoral, Master’s, Bachelor’s and Associate degrees and diploma and certificate programs. Approximately one third of students attend the web-based virtual campuses of 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, the Le Cordon Bleu Schools North America, the Harrington College of Design, the Brooks Institute of Photography, the Katharine Gibbs Schools, American InterContinental University, Colorado Technical University, and Sanford-Brown Institutes and Colleges. The mission of CEC, through its schools, its educators and its employees, is education – their primary goal, to enable students to graduate successfully and pursue rewarding careers.

For more information see www.careered.com. The company’s web site also has a detailed listing of individual campus locations and web links for its 80-plus colleges, schools and universities.

Ph.D student in Iraq featured in Capella University podcast

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Capella University, an accredited, fully online university with more than 17,900 students, has released its latest Inside Online Education podcast. It features an interview with Ph.D student Judy Kenney, who is working as a human resources specialist in Iraq while simultaneously pursuing her Doctorate in Organization and Management with a specialization in Human Resources.

These regular podcasts feature interviews with Capella students, faculty and staff who share the experience of online education from a first-person point of view. They are typically about 15 minutes long and are available through the Capella University web site at http://www.capella.edu or http://www.capellacommons.com. Listeners can subscribe to the podcast RSS feeds at http://www.capellacommons.com/rss/. They are also available via subscription from iTunes.

About Capella University
Founded in 1993, Capella University is an accredited, fully online university that offers graduate degree programs in business, information technology, education, human services and psychology, and Bachelor’s Degree programs in business and information technology. Within those areas, Capella currently offers 82 graduate and undergraduate specializations and 16 certificate programs. The online university currently serves more than 17,900 students from all 50 states and 56 countries. It is committed to providing high-caliber academic excellence and pursuing balanced business growth. Capella University is a wholly owned subsidiary of Capella Education Company, headquartered in Minneapolis. For more information, please visit http://www.capella.edu or call 1-888-CAPELLA (227-3552).

EduNeering Holdings, Inc., sold to Kaplan, Inc.

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Galen Partners and Arena Capital Partners are pleased to announce the completed sale of portfolio company EduNeering Holdings, Inc., to Kaplan, Inc. The transaction closed on March 6, 2007.

“EduNeering has grown from a small training company into an important provider of knowledge solutions to the healthcare, medical device, pharmaceutical and industrial sectors,” said David W. Jahns, Managing Director with Galen Partners. “We are proud of our role in EduNeering’s evolution and are pleased to see it become part of a company with Kaplan’s reach and depth.”

Arena Capital Partners’ Steve McLean said, “Our investment partnership with Galen provided EduNeering with the financial resources to grow and diversify. We were confident in EduNeering’s future and applaud its accomplishments.”

EduNeering, a Deloitte Fast 500 Technology Company for the past three years, develops technology-enabled knowledge solutions for improving business performance and assuring regulatory compliance. EduNeering is recognized as a pioneer in the field of technology-based learning, counting among its clients many of the world’s largest pharmaceutical and medical device companies, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the National Institutes of Health.

Kaplan, Inc. is a leading international provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools and businesses. Kaplan, with 2005 revenue of more than $1.4 billion, is a subsidiary of The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO).

Under terms of the acquisition, EduNeering will be renamed Kaplan EduNeering and will retain its current management team. It will join the Kaplan Professional division, a provider of education and compliance services in the fields of securities, insurance and real estate.

Robert W. Baird & Co. acted as financial advisor to EduNeering on the transaction. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP provided legal counsel.

About Galen Partners
Galen Partners is a private equity firm, founded in 1990 and focused exclusively on providing equity financing to mid-to-later stage growth companies in the healthcare industry. With $648 million under management raised through four funds, Galen has invested in more than 60 companies. The firm emphasizes investments within medical device, technology-enabled outsourcing services and specialty pharmaceutical sectors. Over the past sixteen years, Galen Partners has been particularly adept at identifying, backing and developing future trend-setting, industry leaders including: Pyxis Corporation (a Cardinal Health company), Encore Medical Corporation, Lumenos, Inc. (a Wellpoint company), Ocular Sciences, Inc. (a CooperVision company), MiniMed, Inc. (a Medtronic company), Medicode, Inc. (a United Healthcare company), Stericycle, Inc. and MedAssets, Inc.

About Arena Capital Partners LLC
Arena Capital Partners is a private equity firm that invests in both established companies and developing businesses through structures including leveraged buyouts, structured preferred stock and common equity. The company’s capital commitments range from $2 million to $25 million or greater in four targeted industries: education and training, information and financial services, consumer goods, and services.

Apollo Group, Inc. announces board member resignation

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Apollo Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: APOL) recently announced Daniel D. Diethelm, 43, resigned from the company’s board of directors. Mr. Diethelm was a member of the board’s Special Committee, which investigated and reported on the company’s stock option practices.

“Dan Diethelm put in a lot of time and effort to help Apollo Group complete its duties with respect to the options investigation,” said Brian Mueller, Apollo Group President. “Since the investigation by the Special Committee of the board has concluded, Dan has determined this would be an appropriate time to resign from his duties. We want to thank him for his service during a critical period of time for us.”

About Apollo Group, Inc.
Apollo Group, Inc. has been an education provider for more than 30 years, operating the University of Phoenix, the Institute for Professional Development, The College for Financial Planning, Western International University and the Insight Schools. The company offers innovative and distinctive educational programs and services from high school through college level at 262 locations in 39 states; Puerto Rico; Washington, D.C.; Alberta; British Columbia; the Netherlands; and Mexico, as well as online.

For more information about Apollo Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries, call 800-990-APOL or visit Apollo on the company web site at www.apollogrp.edu.

Blogging on blogging

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Following a serious tongue-lashing from my Career College Central Editor-in-Chief, Kevin Kuzma, I’ve decided to focus my blog on the egregious offense that put me on the wrong (but not infrequent) end of Kevin’s not-so gentle reminder that you “MUST UPDATE YOUR BLOG FREQUENTLY.”

Blogs, online e-diaries, are quickly becoming a favored method to:

Communicate
Influence
Educate
Increase Web site traffic

The problem is while many of us have the right intentions, we may not have the time to post new blogs on a frequent enough basis.

Blogs should be posted at least one time a week, preferably, three to five times a week. The less you blog, the less value you give and receive. Updating less than once a month will render your blog virtually useless.

So, what do you do if your schedule is too busy? Here are some options.

First, have someone remind you and just try harder. Blogs are not novels. In fact, some of the most effective blogs are no more than a short thought each day, maybe a three to four sentence paragraph. If you blog often enough and are skilled at writing teasing copy, you will actually increase the frequency in which individuals visit your blog, hence, increase the value of your blog with search engines.

Second, delegate. Maybe it shouldn’t be your blog but your team’s blog, with a firm schedule maintained by the members of your team. The advantage is that as long as the topics are consistent, different perspectives can be helpful.

Third, pay someone to do it. At least then there is incentive to hit the scheduled frequency.

Regardless of what approach you chose, better to have blogged and lost (quit), than to rarely have blogged at all.

Capella University leadership changes

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Capella University, an accredited, fully online university and wholly owned subsidiary of Capella Education Company (NASDAQ: CPLA), both based in Minneapolis, Minn., recently announced a new university leadership structure and a national search for a new university president. Michael Offerman, current president of the university, will become vice chairman-external university initiatives, continuing and expanding upon his recent national work with other institutions on such matters as accountability, learning outcomes, transparency and potential partnerships.

“In my new role, I will pursue Capella University’s goal of being nationally recognized as the university that leads the definition of high-quality, adult online education, while the new president will focus on delivering exceptional learning outcomes and learner experiences at Capella University,” said Offerman, president of Capella University since 2001. Offerman will remain president until the national search for a new president is successfully completed; he will then assume his new position as vice chairman-external university initiatives for Capella Education Company, as well as the title of Capella University president emeritus.

Concurrent with Offerman’s change in responsibilities, Karen Viechnicki, currently university provost and chief academic officer, will assume the new role of university vice president for academic quality. In this new role, she will provide overall leadership and oversight to all accreditation and regulatory efforts in Capella’s five schools. In addition, Viechnicki will focus on refining Capella’s academic quality framework to further differentiate Capella’s success in facilitating exceptional learning outcomes. Viechnicki will continue to report to the president of Capella University and begin her new position when the search for a new president is completed. At that time, the new university president will also assume the role of chief academic officer for the university.

“By positioning the new university president in a direct reporting relationship with the deans and in close communication with faculty, we can better support our faculty development program and our continuing work to improve the learner and faculty experience,” said Stephen Shank, chief executive officer of Capella Education Company.

It was also announced that Kenneth Sobaski, Capella Education Company president and chief operating officer, will assume senior executive oversight and responsibility for Capella University management. In that capacity, the new president of Capella University will be reporting to Sobaski and to the Capella University board of directors.

Paul Schroeder, senior vice president, Capella University and Capella Education Company, will move to a new role as senior vice president, operations and business transformation for Capella Education Company, reporting to Sobaski. Schroeder will be responsible for aligning and integrating the end-to-end operations of Capella in order to deliver the superior experience the university wants for its learners.

“I am confident that these organizational changes will further support our work to build a unified and integrated culture at Capella,” said Shank. “As part of our long-range, chief executive officer transition planning, Kenneth Sobaski is taking on additional responsibilities in the management of Capella University that are critical to our pursuit of exceptional learning outcomes and learner experiences, while executing a sound business strategy.”

Gary E. McCullough joins Career Education Corporation

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New President and Chief Executive Officer brings extensive operational and brand management experience to company

Gary E. McCullough, a highly experienced operations and brand management executive, will lead Career Education Corporation (NASDAQ: CECO) as its president and chief executive officer, the company announced today. McCullough has also been appointed to the company’s board of directors. Robert E. Dowdell will serve as non-executive chairman of the board of directors of the company.

McCullough previously served as president of Abbott Laboratories’ Ross Products Division, a world nutrition leader with 5,300 employees and more than $2.6 billion in annual sales. Before joining Abbott, McCullough served as senior vice president-Americas for the Chicago-based Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, where he oversaw 3,300 employees and a $1.2 billion product portfolio.

McCullough has significant experience managing operations in regulated industries. As president of Ross Products, he managed adult nutritionals and infant formulas, including such widely recognized brands as Similac® and Isomil®, which are highly regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In addition to his management of renowned brands at Ross Products, McCullough was responsible for the successful relaunches at Wrigley of the Juicy Fruit, Doublemint, Spearmint and Eclipse® brands, and launching the Orbit® brand of chewing gum in the United States. Before joining Wrigley, McCullough spent thirteen years in progressively responsible brand and general management roles at Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble.

Tom Lally, chair of the nominating and governance committee of the board, said, “Gary has the critical qualities we were looking for in an individual to lead Career Education: a proven ability to successfully build brand value and a highly regarded record in guiding a regulated organization that places a premium on controls and procedures. Gary’s leadership and experience will be a tremendous asset to Career Education moving forward.”

McCullough said, “I am excited to be able to use my management experience to grow value in a company that is committed to meeting the critical need for access to quality education for students worldwide. I believe the company’s exceptional portfolio of schools, renowned brands and position in the industry provide great potential to impact the future of higher education and build value for all constituencies. In the next 60 days, I plan to listen and learn from CEC’s internal and external constituents to be in a position to develop the long-term vision and strategy for the company. I look forward to providing leadership and ensuring operational discipline so that all of our students benefit from the quality educational experience that is the mission and focus of Career Education.”

Since 2002, McCullough has served as member of the board of directors of The Sherwin Williams Company, a 140-year-old publicly traded company with over $7 billion in net sales. He has also served on the Audit Committee of the Sherwin William’s board since 2003. In 2005, McCullough was named by Black Enterprise Magazine as one of the 75 Most Powerful African-Americans in business.

McCullough also served five years in the United States Army, achieving the rank of Captain. Among other achievements, McCullough was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business from Wright State University and a Master’s degree in business administration from Northwestern University’s J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

About Career Education Corporation
The colleges, schools and universities that are part of the Career Education Corporation (CEC) family offer high-quality education to almost 90,000 students across the world in a variety of career-oriented disciplines. The 80-plus campuses that serve these students are located throughout the U. S. and in Canada, France, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates and 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, the Katharine Gibbs Schools, American InterContinental University, Colorado Technical University, and Sanford-Brown Institutes and Colleges. The mission of CEC, through its schools, its educators and its employees, is education – their primary goal, to enable students to graduate successfully and pursue rewarding careers.

For more information see www.careered.com. The company’s web site also has a detailed listing of individual campus locations and web links for its colleges, schools and universities.

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