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The Sallie Mae Fund offers scholarships

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The Sallie Mae Fund will once again provide $2.5 million in college scholarships to roughly 1,000 deserving students pursuing higher education this fall. Applications, eligibility and deadline information are now available at

The Institute for Higher Education Policy estimates that there are billions of dollars in college scholarships available each year. Awards can range from a few hundred dollars to a full ride for all four years, and best of all, they do not need to be repaid.

Kathleen deLaski, president of The Sallie Mae Fund, explains that these awards are not limited to the class valedictorian or star athletes: “Scholarships are awarded based on a number of factors – from your interests to where your parents work to exceptional writing skills displayed in an essay contest. Searching for scholarships may take a little time and energy, but remember, it’s free money. Even if you spend five hours applying for scholarships and receive only one $500 scholarship, that’s still the same as earning $100 an hour. Money is available, but you have to take the first step and apply.”

The Fund offers students tips for tapping into this free money for college:

Apply for as many awards as you qualify for. Even small awards can be helpful in covering the cost of books.
Pay close attention to deadlines. Missing a deadline is a sure way to become disqualified.
Look for scholarships offered by a variety of sources, including companies, unions, foundations, community organizations, churches and more.
Tell family, friends, teachers and others in your community that you are looking for scholarships. They may know something you do not.
Understand the conditions of an award – such as maintaining a specific GPA or participating on an athletic team.
Watch for scholarship scams. You should never have to pay for scholarship advice or information.
If you get a scholarship, be sure to write a thank you note to the organization. You may want to reapply for the scholarship in the future, so it is important to make a good impression.

“It may seem out of your reach, but once you take that first step and apply, you quickly see how worthwhile it all is,” said 2006 Sallie Mae Fund scholarship winner and Spelman College junior Leanna Pearson.

By 2015, there will be an additional 5 million college-age individuals in the United States. Approximately 80 percent of this growth is projected to come from minority populations with greater financial need. To help meet these needs, The Sallie Mae Fund provides scholarships through a number of its own programs that address a common barrier to higher education access: financial need. Scholarships with upcoming deadlines this spring include:

“First in My Family” Scholarship Program: This program, developed in partnership with the Hispanic College Fund, offers scholarships to Hispanic-American students who are the first in their families to attend college, and have financial need.
“Unmet Need” Scholarship Program: Open to families with a combined income of less than $30,000, Unmet Need scholarships provide a “last-dollar” resource when no other funds are available.
“American Dream” Scholarship Program: The American Dream program was developed in partnership with the United Negro College Fund, and offers scholarships ranging from $500 to $5,000 to African-American students with demonstrated financial need.
The Sallie Mae 911 Education Fund: Created in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, this fund provides scholarship dollars to children of those who were killed or permanently disabled in the attacks. This fund also provides grants, which enable spouses of those who were killed or deemed permanently disabled in the attacks to pay off their Sallie Mae education loans.
The Imagine America Promise Scholarship Program: This program extends a renewal scholarship to existing career college students who received the Imagine America scholarship to continue pursuit of their postsecondary career education.

“Even though they don’t know you, they believe in you,” said Oklahoma scholarship winner Thelma Ramirez about The Sallie Mae Fund. “I used to clean chalkboards for books in hopes of one day going to college. Now I am a pre-law major at a prestigious Ivy League college.”

Additionally, The Sallie Mae Fund, in partnership with the University of Southern California School of Policy, Planning and Development’s Tomas Rivera Policy Institute; the Walt Disney Company; and Southern California Edison recently introduced a valuable free resource for students – the Latino College Dollars Scholarship Directory. This up-to-date scholarship guide features hundreds of scholarships available to California Latino students, and is available without registration at

In 2006, The Fund awarded $2.6 million in scholarships to more than 1,000 deserving students enrolled in colleges across the country. More than 14,000 completed applications were submitted by college-bound students from across the country, a significant jump from the previous year and a record for The Sallie Mae Fund’s scholarship programs. For a complete listing of 2006 scholarship recipients and the schools they attend, or for 2007-2008 scholarship information, visit

The Sallie Mae Fund, a charitable organization sponsored by Sallie Mae, achieves its mission – to increase access to a postsecondary education for America’s students – by supporting programs and initiatives that help open doors to higher education, preparing families for their investment, and bridging the gap when no one else can. For more information, visit

What do Jettas have to do with anything?

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Okay, so what does the Volkswagen Jetta I bought back in 1986 have to do with your career college’s curriculum? If you have to ask, then obviously you haven’t read my column in the March edition of Career College Central magazine.

On page 39, I discuss how my Jetta is a good example of how I got in on the ground floor of an innovation that became a huge success. The moral of that comparison is that good ideas stick around awhile. I make the same connection with one of the fastest-growing new curriculums in the career college sector: personal fitness training.

Next time you take a spin in your car – whatever the model might be – take a look at strip malls and notice how many exercise facilities you see. Then think about the number of personal trainers it takes to staff those businesses or who might not be formally affiliated with the management, but use the facilities to train clients.

There are a ton of them. Career colleges are the biggest … suppliers, for lack of a better term … of personal fitness trainers to the fitness industry. If your college hasn’t looked into personal fitness training as a possible program offering, then you’re missing the boat. Personal fitness training is the type of program that gives your curriculum the diversity it needs to stand out from all the other career colleges on your block.

I’m not the only one who has noticed the rise of the popularity with this program. In my article, I quote research from the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association. Studies show there are more than 23,500 health clubs in the U.S. today. Half of them identified personal training as their No. 1 most profitable service.

Those are big numbers, no matter how you look at it, and your career college can help students find careers in this exciting new profession. The jobs are out there. The audience is out there. Why not take a serious look at personal fitness training? If you need more convincing, be sure to check out my article.

SAFE AT HOME – Career Colleges Respond to America’s Homeland Security Need

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The tragic events of September 11, 2001, galvanized both government and public focus on the security of the American homeland. While the measures that need to be taken to ensure security in the 21st century are debatable, events like 9/11, the terrorist plot in
London last August, and Hurricane Katrina have challenged our nation’s view on safety and preparedness, caused terrorism to become a rising global concern, and placed a spotlight on future response strategies.

As Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said in his remarks to federal, state and local colleagues and university officials – Hurricane Katrina served as “a vivid demonstration of the fact that improvisation is no substitute for preparation.”

These tragedies “forced us to focus on the fact that this country had not adequately planned for a true catastrophe,
whether it be a natural catastrophe or a manmade catastrophe,” Chertoff said. The Department of Homeland Security shoulders the heavy responsibility of protecting America’s soil from terrorist attacks and responding to natural disasters. Since its establishment
in 2002, the DHS has embarked on ambitious efforts to secure our nation.

A number of career colleges are playing increasingly important roles in these efforts by establishing degree programs in homeland security. Sonoma College is a prime example of what these programs can accomplish. A provider of postsecondary education in Petaluma and San Francisco, California, Sonoma has overcome geographical barriers by teaming with the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) and the New York EMS Authority to provide more than 15,000 members with an online distance-learning program in Homeland Readiness and Emergency Management (HREM).

The thousands of men and women who make up the FDNY membership are heroes, not only in New York, but worldwide,” said Chuck Newman, CEO of Sonoma College. “Supporting them through education and creating professional problem solvers is the goal of this agreement. As homeland security is the responsibility of both the public and private sector, this agreement brings the two entities together for the common good.”

Sonoma recognizes the quality of the FDNY training from probationary school and beyond and offers direct credit for courses taken in the New York Fire Academies as well as advanced standing for outside college work and other educational experiences.

Sonoma officials have made it clear that they intend to maximize the opportunities for students in their HREM Associate of Applied Science degree program.

“The fact that the courses are all available online further meets the needs of emergency responders whose tours extend beyond that of a traditional student. This may be just what many FDNY personnel have been waiting for to advance their education,” said Dr. Victor Herbert, FDNY Dean of Instruction.

Since homeland security and related concerns have escalated around the globe, Newman hopes Sonoma’s HREM program will expand outside of New York City to serve other fire departments and emergency service organizations throughout the United States.

“Sonoma College’s distance learning program, which is delivered 100 percent online, enables us to reach out to many others who can benefit from the HREM Associate of Applied Science degree program.”

Florida Metropolitan University is also actively aiding in the efforts to protect our nation. Having added Homeland Security to their curriculum three years ago, FMU has served as a pioneer in the field. FMU offers both Associate and Bachelor’s degrees in Homeland Security.

“FMU created this program not only to fill a demand in the industry, but to also allow individuals to make a lasting impression on the war against terrorism,” said Andy Ali, Director of Career Services at FMU. “All it takes is one person with the right skills, training and motivation to make a difference. This program will inevitably give everyone this opportunity.”

FMU strives to immerse students in the world of homeland security by offering classes in domestic and international terrorism, antiterrorism risk assessment and critical incident management.

The University has not only been in the lead by providing homeland security training; FMU graduate Xonia Jaen was the first civil citizen in the U.S. granted a Bachelor of Science degree in Homeland Security.

Jaen’s achievements were congratulated by President George W. Bush, Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Secretary of the State Condoleezza Rice, Senator Mel Martinez and David A. Bergeron from the U.S. Department of Education.

Jaen and thousands of students like her are obtaining the skills and knowledge they need to contribute to the safety of all Americans, while fulfilling the mission of the Department of Homeland Security.

“There will always be a need for qualified individuals specialized in counterterrorism and homeland security because of the emphasis placed on this initiative by the U.S. Government,” said Ali. “Career colleges provide the DHS with highly skilled, qualified individuals whose main focus is on the issues of security, intelligence, operations, emergency systems and crisis management, all necessary in the protection of our homeland.”

New Regulations Protect Proprietary Colleges, Students in New York

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A few bad apples can spoil the whole barrel, and that’s something the New York Board of Regents is trying to prevent. In December, the Regents announced two new rules designed to protect reputable proprietary colleges and their students.

The first of the recently adopted regulations affects new proprietary
colleges seeking to establish operations in the state. The Regents will no longer bestow permanent authority to grant degrees until the State Education Department has been assured the new institution is living up to its educational
mission and offering quality services to students. The Regents will closely evaluate these schools for a provisional period of up to five years before issuing permanent degree-granting authority. The adoption of this regulation ends the moratorium on new for-profit schools that was put in place in January 2006.

The second regulation affects the purchase of existing for-profit colleges. The Regents must first approve the potential new owner before the purchase occurs. Both of the new regulations are designed to protect students from colleges that place more emphasis on making profit than on meeting the needs of their students.

“The majority of proprietary colleges in New York provide a quality education,” said Johanna Duncan-Poitier, Deputy Commissioner for Higher Education in New York. “However, isolated incidents of misconduct not only harm students, who often leave college without a degree but with considerable debt, but also hurt the collective reputation of all for-profit colleges.”

It was one of those fraudulent schools, Taylor Business Institute
in Manhattan, N.Y., that prompted the Regents to push for these new regulations, said Tom Dunn, spokesman
for the New York State Education Department.

In September, The New York State Education Department told Taylor Business Institute to cease operations after its failure to comply with academic standards in the Regulations
of the Commissioner of Education. The school was cited for non-compliance in October 2005 and given an opportunity
to bring its operations up to par. Upon failing to do so, the school was ordered to cease operations at the end of the fall term in January.

Career colleges in New York support decisions like the one made to close down schools like Taylor Business Institute. They drag down the reputation of legitimate colleges operating
nearby. Many colleges have voiced support of the new regulations, viewing them as an opportunity to protect and enhance
the credibility of the proprietary education sector.

“Anything that protects the programs for the students of the state of New York is positive,” said Dr. James Melville Jr., President of Technical Career Institutes in New York City. “These are the kind of universals that could be applied to any college – not just proprietary colleges.”

The New York Association of Proprietary Colleges, the advocacy group for proprietary colleges in New York, also supports
the new regulations. “We see these proposals as protecting those of us who are doing an excellent job,” said Ellen Hollander, President of the New York Association of Proprietary Colleges. “I think it promotes integrity in higher education and it will bolster the quality of our programs.”

While the new regulations might make it harder for new for-profit colleges to set up shop in New York, the APC doesn’t view that as a negative. “Will it make it more difficult for people to just come in and do business in New York state? Yes, but we as an association endorse that. It all goes back to protecting students; this will ultimately benefit the students,”
Hollander said.

Unfortunately, operations like Taylor Business Institute aren’t exclusive to just one state or region. For that reason, advocates of proprietary education hope to see regulations like those recently passed in New York adopted across the U.S.

“I don’t think any of us like it in this business, this industry, when some school is found to be doing things that are fraudulent and illegal,” Hollander said. “Then it’s the wide brush stroke we’re all painted with. I can’t imagine the proprietary institutions in other states would be against any measures that would hold us accountable to these higher standards.”

Greater Expectations

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Near the edge of a parking lot, snow has been pushed into low-lying mountains with peaks darkened by car exhaust. Where the asphalt isn’t caked with ice, it’s been streaked and frostbitten by rivers of flowing wind.

The Midwest has been ravaged by Mother Nature this winter. Blasts of arctic weather killed power to millions of houses, cancelling flights and crippling cities. Major metropolitan areas like Denver were buried in snow no more than 48 hours ago, and temporary ghost towns emerged on the plains.

For at least a day now, the sun has come out from behind the curtains of clouds that begin congregating in November each year
and stay until March. Planes are landing, slanting down through the sky showing no traces of its previous threats. The roads have been cleared, though some cars still sit in medians along the interstate at the ends of great stretches of tire tracks, windblown and abandoned. They served as a reminder to motorists of the previous days’ road conditions. Businesses have reconvened at the usual
hour. Traffic has thickened, and the schedules of important people have been resumed.

Todd Nelson is one of those important people. With his head cocked to a cell phone, he sits on the low end of a chair shaped like a woman’s stiletto – a sharp contrast to his polished demeanor and dapper suit. Behind him, the snow heaps fill up the glass at the front entrance of the ad agency where he has meetings for the morning. Nelson has come to Kansas, of all places, the temperatures biting instantly as he stepped off of the plane from his native Arizona.

At his left is the conference room where the board he has been meeting and continues its session. His jaw tightens. A hand moves to his forehead as the phone conversation intensifies. For a man used to setting his own schedule and answering to no one, he seems especially impassioned. The executive’s departure from Apollo Group one year ago left him financially secure enough to cease working and live comfortably for several lifetimes.

Since January of 2006, Nelson has been working with companies that provide services to the education industry. His knowledge
makes him one of the most respected names in proprietary education. What he knows – or even what he believes – can cause reverberations throughout the sector … and everyone wanted in. In mid-February, word came from Education Management
Corporation that Nelson had been named its new CEO.

They stopped him in hotel lobbies, monopolized his time on elevators, and called on Saturday mornings. They knew his brilliance from a reputation established at the University of Phoenix, whose parent company, Apollo Group, reached iconic heights. This is the man who found ways to make a school in Arizona a household name nationally and emblazoned the Phoenix logo into everyone’s mind.

Now EDMC, which owns The Art Institute of Pittsburgh and more than 70 other postsecondary schools, is banking that Nelson can work the same magic for them. The company went private in a $3.4 billion acquisition in June and has embarked on a growth phase. Among Nelson’s responsibilities will be overseeing a recent increase in marketing and admissions spending and rolling out new programs and campuses at a rapid rate.

In actuality, what Nelson has to share now has little to do with the past and more to do with his vision. What his followers really want is a crystal ball to use in making decisions during one the most oscillating times in the history of proprietary education.

“The calls I get are more about the industry as a whole,” Nelson said. “My response is typically that I believe the industry has great potential for continued growth. The market is far more complex today. To take advantage of the opportunities, it will take far better organization, including reaching out to outside sources for assistance.”

After his departure from Apollo, Nelson unintentionally crafted a role for himself as savant for proprietary education. He continued
to closely follow the sector as a potential investor and champion of its causes. On the conference circuit, he gave away bits and pieces of philosophies, but never enough to bring down the house of cards he helped super-glue together at Apollo. Several job opportunities were offered to him, from the private and public sectors, all of which he declined until EDMC came through with an extraordinary offer last month. During his abbreviated “retirement” from Apollo, Nelson’s schedule was freed to visit new places, including recent trips to EDMC’s home base in Pittsburgh.

Phenomenal Phoenix
Apollo, the nation’s largest operator of for-profit colleges, achieved phenomenal growth and soaring stock under Nelson’s leadership from 2001-2005. He was at the helm of University of Phoenix during
what investment analysts have called one of the most successful initial public offerings in the history of any company. Apollo’s consolidated enrollment of educational programs earned it the title of the largest private institution of higher education in the United States. The school conglomerate today offers educational programs and services at 58 campuses and 102 learning centers in 36 states, Puerto Rico, and Vancouver, British Columbia.

Nelson more than proved his wherewithal within the company over the course of nearly two decades. He joined Apollo in 1987 as the Director of the University of Phoenix’s Utah campus. He was named Executive Vice President of the university in 1989, appointed Vice President of Apollo Group, Inc. in 1994. Four years later, he was named President of Apollo Group, Inc. and appointed Chief Executive Officer in 2001. Nelson’s addition as Chairman of the Board was announced in 2004.

His appointment as CEO came after proving his effectiveness through the company’s solid financial record. Throughout his tenure as President, Apollo experienced remarkable growth, with revenue increasing from $279 million in fiscal 1997 to a projected $961 million in fiscal 2002. According to a press release from Apollo Group at the time of Nelson’s promotion, the company, through its subsidiaries – the University of Phoenix, the Institute for Professional Development, Western International University, and the College for Financial Planning – had grown to a combined degree enrollment of 116,800 students at 160 locations in May, 2001. That was a jump from 64,400 students at 111 locations in February, 1998.

However, Nelson was put on the defensive in September 2005, when Apollo agreed to pay a $9.8 million settlement with U.S. Education Dept. concerning compensation practices at the University of Phoenix – allegations that Nelson termed “misleading and inaccurate”.

The situation smoothed out as stocks quickly rebounded and Apollo’s school group continued their extensive growth. Its strategy involved the further development of its online program, a market which is far from saturated. Apollo has also recently announced the targeting of high school graduates for the first time. In foreign markets, where experts see huge demand for U.S.-style education, Apollo has barely begun to scratch the surface of its possibilities.

On Jan. 11, 2006, Apollo Group announced Nelson’s amicable resignation and departure, with Nelson citing the pursuit of personal investment opportunities as his reasoning. Apollo Group’s founder, John Sperling, immediately took over as interim chairman of the board. Brian Mueller, the CEO of Apollo’s University of Phoenix Online subsidiary, was appointed company president.

At the Core
Before his involvement with Apollo Group, Nelson held several key management positions in the financial and training industries. Each position further developed his do-unto-others management style, yet lacked a connection to an important driving factor behind Nelson’s personal and professional goals: the mission of higher education.

What drives Nelson today is his passion for the industry and his belief that sharing knowledge is critical for the development and improvement of society. His string of accomplishments at University of Phoenix is indicative of that passion, as well as his vision.

“At the core of running a company, the ultimate report card is how well it does in translating into student performance and student success,” said Jerry Herman, Managing Director with Stifel Nicolaus. “One metric (for Todd’s accomplishments) is that his organization is responsible for conferring degrees to more students than anybody in the U.S. With 300,000 students, they dwarf most of the other players that are trying to service the needs of students.”

Stifel Nicolaus is an investment firm that has followed Apollo since it went public in the mid-1990s. For more than a decade,
Herman has been familiar with Nelson’s innovations. Herman was there when Nelson successfully raised capital for University of Phoenix through its landmark IPO. He worked alongside Nelson as tracking stocks were created for University of Phoenix online and while Nelson oversaw the growth of its online division.

Certainly, Nelson’s accomplishments with Apollo Group and University of Phoenix are rather impressive. And what the future holds for EDMC should be no less than impressive, given his track record. In the eyes of investors, though, there is a more important factor distinguishing Nelson from the bevy of higher education execs.

“Longevity is No. 1,” Herman said. “He has been in the business for 20 years and affiliated with Apollo for a very long time.”

Coming onboard with EDMC – a company he said is “in position to become to preeminent global higher education company” –
Nelson still looks to use his experience and past success to shape the education industry as a whole. Guru-like status within the proprietary education field was attributed to him almost by default as he went about searching for his own investment opportunities. But that wasn’t enough for Nelson, who now finds himself deeply submerged again at the leading edge of proprietary

“Having run a company the size of Apollo Group, his experience will be a tremendous benefit,” said John McKernan, who Nelson will succeed in the CEO post. McKernan will become Executive Chairman and remain Chairman of the Board.

Strong Leadership
Like the new professional course Nelson has plotted, the career college sector is facing a similar pattern of expansion and change. Investment analysts are dubbing the sector’s financial performance of late as a “slowdown,” meaning a definite cooling off of the growth from 2000 to 2005. Rising Internet lead costs, regulatory issues and the flood of Wall Street investors buying up colleges have been linked as factors in the changing tide. The latter issue is one Nelson has addressed time and again in speaking engagements.

“In general, the merger and acquisitions concept in proprietary education is really very good,” Nelson said. “It allows for efficiencies to be created in companies. In some instances, consolidating front- end or back-office processes can lower costs and improve student service. But it can go too far. When it’s not strategic – part of a roll up – and just for the purposes of growth, it can be detrimental.”

The biggest challenge facing proprietary education in 2007, and perhaps beyond, Nelson said, involves non-profits. Traditional four-year colleges are entering into territories that have historically belonged to for-profit colleges, which he said is “creating more confusion in the marketplace” for potential students.

“We need some strong leadership for the industry,” Nelson said. “I’m not sure where it’s going to come from, whether it’s CCA or not, but we are facing some issues when there is a lot of money focused on the sector – whether it’s private equity or venture capital. When that happens, that presents a challenge to find ways to keep the standards high. We have to be sure we’re not opening the door to places where they are interested in just financial returns and not educational returns.”

New Challenges
The issues facing proprietary education have changed as the sector has continued to shift shapes with the influence of investor money and the advent of new technologies. Legitimacy might be the sector’s continued struggle, but there have been new, intense discussions at for-profit education conferences about the rising cost of Internet leads and branding or differentiation. These challenges could potentially make lasting impacts on all schools, from independently owned career college chains to juggernauts like Corinthian Colleges and Apollo.

“The inconsistency of the cost of leads as it relates to the quality of leads is a continuing issue,” Nelson said. “You can still buy high-quality leads for $10 and get garbage leads for $100. That correlation with quality and price you pay is a challenge. So finding a high-quality source of leads is a major concern. There is also a tremendous amount of clutter out there in the different choices of schools for potential students. The ability to differentiate the quality of the schools using the Internet as an advertising tool can be very difficult. Those are probably two of the bigger concerns or challenges.”

However, Nelson said finding ways to bring consistency to a college’s message will become a larger issue along with its overall quality of presenting its branding by using the Internet as medium vs. just exposure.

“Unfortunately, branding is going to play a larger role,” Nelson said. “I say unfortunately because it’s not an easy thing to overcome. It is easier for ground-based schools to differentiate themselves because you have to physically be there to compete against them. Whereas the Internet allows any size online school to compete directly with the large schools.”

Political Gain
Those factors – Internet lead cost and branding – are tangible issues that many colleges either saw or have seen coming at them. What haven’t been so predictable are the happenings in Washington with the change of guard from Republican to Democrat in the House and Senate. The change in power sparked an immediate reaction among investors as numerous for-profit education companies closed lower at the stock market. All have since rebounded.

Still, questions remain about the long-range impact the new leadership will have on proprietary schools. Career colleges have undeniably flourished under the Republican-controlled government. Warranted or not, there are those in the sector who are skeptical of the Democrats and what they might do in the driver’s seat on big ticket items, like financial aid and the regulatory environment.

What the Democrats’ influences will remain unknown, Nelson said. In the last couple of years, Democrats have opposed some of the regulatory changes that would benefit for-profit education. Now that they are in control of Congress, Nelson said his hope is that both parties will recognize the great service for-profits are doing for education in the nation by pushing for a level playing field for all of higher education.

“They’ll see this need,” Nelson said. “There are strong Democrats and Republicans on the committee who have tremendous insight and want what is best for education in our country.”

Last Call
Nelson’s plane lands at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Ariz. The temperatures are more desert-like than when he departed three days ago. Before he can make his way to his car, his cell phone rings. Another person wants his time and his insights. He treats them cordially as he steps on the reflections of steel beams and window glass in the tile. This has become the pace of his life, now breakneck, and he proved to himself it would be that way with our without his new involvements with EDMC.

For more than a year, Nelson remained hushed about his business endeavors both to the news media and in professional discussions. Even many of his business colleagues could only speculate about the opportunities he must have. Their hope was that he would share what he knows and continue to contribute to the advancement of the sector, which is a core quality Nelson will bring to his new position.

“He’s incredibly resourceful and a quality individual with an extensive and impressive resumé,” Herman said. “Todd has very substantial knowledge to offer to the industry. His understanding of it is invaluable. There are a lot of things he can do to move career colleges forward.”

The world now knows what comes next for Todd Nelson, and it will be hard to envision it not being a wise or lucrative future. At a time when the outlook for proprietary education is clouded, the expectations for him are as high and wide as the Arizona landscape,
where snow falls only in the mountains and the future is as dependable and familiar as the desert weather.

Corinthian Colleges, Inc. appoints WyoTech Division President

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Corinthian Colleges, Inc. (NASDAQ: COCO) has appointed Frank Stryjewski as division president for WyoTech, a newly created position. He will report to Peter C. Waller, Corinthian’s president and chief operating officer.

Stryjewski will oversee the company’s eight WyoTech schools, which offer training programs in the fields of HVAC and automotive, diesel, motorcycle, aircraft and marine technology and maintenance. WyoTech’s largest campuses are located in Blairsville, Pennsylvania; Laramie, Wyoming; and West Sacramento, California.

Stryjewski’s career spans nearly 30 years in the cinema industry. Most recently, he served as senior vice president of operations for Loews Cineplex Entertainment Corporation, where he was responsible for 130 theatres generating $850 million in annual revenue.

Before that, as senior vice president of strategic development and marketing for American Multi-Cinema, Inc., Stryjewski oversaw company-wide marketing programs and developed new products, sponsorships and partnerships. He later became president of General Cinema Theatres, and while in that role he reversed several years of operating losses. Early in his career, Stryjewski served in a number of successively responsible management positions with American Multi-Cinema.

“Frank is a strategic leader who brings deep and relevant experience to WyoTech in customer service, multi-unit operations and real estate development,” Waller said. “Having long served in an industry with a core customer demographic quite similar to WyoTech’s, he also has an excellent understanding of our prospective and current students. We are confident that he is the right leader to build upon the strength of WyoTech’s top-notch training programs and excellent brand.”

Stryjewski earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Rockhurst University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Fordham University.

About Corinthian Colleges
Corinthian Colleges is one of the largest postsecondary education companies in North America, operating 94 schools in 24 states in the U.S. and 32 schools in seven provinces in Canada. The Company’s mission is to prepare students for careers in demand or for advancement in their chosen careers. Corinthian offers diploma programs and Associate, Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in a variety of fields, including health care, transportation technology, criminal justice, business, information technology and trades.

Academy of Art University partners with Pacific Gas and Electric Company

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Academy of Art University recently announced its partnership with Pacific Gas and Electric Company, the Department of the Environment and San Francisco’s Mayor Gavin Newsom to be the first school to participate in the San Francisco Energy Watch program. Academy of Art University intends to reduce its energy usage by 20 percent annually by lowering electricity use by 2.6 million kilowatt-hours and reducing natural gas use by 80,600 therms. This greenhouse gas reduction is equivalent to taking 300 cars off of the streets of San Francisco annually.

Elisa Stephens, President of Academy of Art University, stated, “Since our founding in 1929, the Academy has been an innovator. We believe that it is artists and designers who create the vision, the products and the environments needed to implement our goals for the future.”

The school has integrated curriculum in green design throughout its 13 majors, including Architecture, Industrial Design, Fashion, Interior Architecture and Design, and Graphic Design programs.

“In addition, in our role as an educational leader, the Academy is systematically improving our transportation system, introducing fuel-efficient biodiesel buses, and low emissions vehicles,” said President Stephens.

“Energy efficiency is a top priority for meeting San Francisco’s environmental goals,” said Gavin Newsom, Mayor of San Francisco, at a speech given in the gallery of Academy of Art University. “The San Francisco Energy Watch program is a great example of how two innovative organizations can partner to create real solutions that directly protect public health and improve our quality of life.”

About Academy of Art University, San Francisco
Established in 1929, Academy of Art University, the nation’s largest art and design university, offers accredited Associate of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, and Master of Fine Arts degrees in 12 areas of art and design. Courses are available online or on campus in Advertising, Animation & Visual Effects, Architecture (MFA only), Computer Arts-New Media, Fashion, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Illustration, Industrial Design, Interior Architecture & Design, Motion Pictures and Television, and Photography. For more information visit or call 1.800.544.2787.

Academy of Art University is nationally accredited by ACICS, NASAD, NAAB, (M.Arch).

Top Reasons Why Students Don’t Attend College

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For some students, making the decision to obtain a higher education can be difficult. Students must overcome several obstacles, and some of the reasons students decide not to go to college are:

No one in their family has gone to college;
They didn’t do well in high school, so college will be too hard;
They don’t know which school to go to; or
They can’t afford college.

These are some tough barriers to overcome, but if taken one step at a time it can be done.

Northcentral University partners with FBI

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Northcentral University (, a provider of online college degree programs and education, recently announced its selection as an educational partner by FBI National Academy Associates, Inc. (FBINAA).

Dr. Claudia Santin, President of NCU noted, “NCU is pleased to be chosen as a partner and anticipates serving both current and former law enforcement professionals seeking online college degree programs. We are honored that FBINAA has accorded this distinction to Northcentral University and only six other U.S. colleges and universities.”

FBI National Academy Associates is the alumni association of the prestigious Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy based in Quantico, VA. Founded in 1935, the FBI Academy has over 38,000 graduates from all 50 states and six U.S. territories, as well as from 152 other nations.

Academy students must be nominated to participate and meet rigorous standards for entrance. Over 17,000 Academy graduates are members of the FBI National Academy Associates. The organization selected NCU as an educational partner in furtherance of its core missions – promoting the leadership, teamwork and courage of its members, and their ability to anticipate and effectively respond to global and community law enforcement needs, ensuring the safety of the citizens they serve.

NCU, an accredited online university that offers a number of academic specializations with direct bearing on law enforcement – e.g., criminal justice, homeland security, organizational leadership, management information systems and public administration – provides an excellent institutional fit for FBI National Academy Associates. Graduates of the FBI National Academy may return home with either Bachelor’s or Master’s level college credit from the University of Virginia only to find that their local college or university will not accept those credits toward a degree. For these law enforcement professionals, NCU is an outstanding choice for continued education because these credits will transfer into NCU academic programs.

According to Mark Willingham, 2005 President of FBI National Academy Associates, “I chose NCU to pursue a Ph.D. in Business and Technology Management with a specialization in Criminal Justice. The reasons I chose NCU are simple. My schedule includes long and often unpredictable days. NCU’s courses are 100 percent online and do not require that I attend class at set times. Courses start each month, and I can complete courses early to accelerate progress toward earning my degree.”

As a 100 percent accredited online university, NCU already serves as the university of choice for hundreds of law enforcement professionals. Modern law enforcement places a high value on education. A college degree is a requirement in many departments, and advanced degrees may be a key factor in promotion to higher ranks, as well as positioning for second careers. Yet, working long hours, odd shifts, nights and weekends in a career where urgency is the stock-in-trade can make attending a traditional college impossible. For this reason, many law officers have found NCU’s convenient, flexible online college degree programs to be the answer to their dreams. In addition, FBI National Academy Associates members receive tuition grants which keep the cost of education at NCU affordable.

NCU is also a corporate partner of FBINAA, contributing generously to support this important organization in achieving its goals. The University looks forward to participating in FBI National Academy Associates’ National Training Conference and Expo, which will be held in Phoenix this July.

About Northcentral University
Founded in 1996 and headquartered in Prescott, Arizona, Northcentral University (NCU) is a private, 100 percent accredited online university serving adult learners worldwide. Learners seeking higher education from a premier university experience the convenience of 100 percent online distance learning and online college degree programs with NCU’s flexible term format that is designed to meet the needs of busy professionals. NCU focuses on customizing academic programs to each learner’s personal and professional interests, and NCU Faculty Mentors provide one-on-one guidance to ensure academic success. For more information on NCU’s online degree programs, call 1-866-776-0331 or visit

Apollo Group, Inc. brings on Brian L. Swartz

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Apollo Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:APOL) recently announced that it has appointed Brian L. Swartz as Vice President, Corporate Controller and Chief Accounting Officer.

“We are pleased to welcome Brian to the Apollo team,” said Brian Mueller, President of Apollo Group. “Brian brings a wealth of finance, accounting and strategic planning experience which will prove invaluable as we continue on our turnaround plan. Brian has already made significant contributions working with Joe D’Amico, our Chief Financial Officer, as we are working through our stock option investigation restatement.”

Swartz, 34, was with EaglePicher Incorporated from 2002 to 2006, most recently as its Vice President and Corporate Controller. At EaglePicher, Swartz was an integral member of their senior management team and successfully guided the company through a bankruptcy restructuring. From 1994 to 2002, Swartz was at Arthur Andersen LLP where he had primary responsibilities in international audit and due diligence projects. Swartz has a strong background in SEC and external financial reporting (including SOX 404 compliance) and technical accounting issues. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and was a member of the Warren Berger Entrepreneurship Program. Mr. Swartz is a Certified Public Accountant.

About Apollo Group
Apollo Group, Inc. has been providing higher education programs to working adults for more than 30 years. Apollo Group, Inc. operates through its subsidiaries: University of Phoenix, Inc.; Institute for Professional Development; The College for Financial Planning Institutes Corporation and Western International University, Inc. The consolidated enrollment in its educational programs makes it the largest private institution of higher education in the United States. It offers educational programs and services at 100 campuses and 162 learning centers in 39 states; Puerto Rico; Washington, D.C.; Alberta; British Columbia; Netherlands and Mexico.

For more information about Apollo Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries, call
1-800-990-APOL or visit Apollo on the company web site at:

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