Sunday, July 8, 2012

Why Are For-Profit Universities So Popular?

The For-Profit Schools (University of Phoenix, Strayer University, Capella University, Kaplan University, Northcentral University, etc.) continue to be very popular choices for adult learners. University of Phoenix is now approaching 500,000 students (online and on-campus), equaling the number of students attending all California State Universities.
The For-Profit universities attract working professionals with tuition assistance programs (TAP) at their companies. These TAP programs reimburse part or all their employees' education. However, the For-Profits also attract military personnel, new college students and other adult learners.
WHY? Generally, for-profits are more expensive than local state colleges. These schools are generally not considered "prestigious" universities and are not listed as "Top Schools" by US News and World Report or Business Week. Rarely do their academic departments gain departmental accreditation.
So, what makes For-Profit Colleges so popular? Here are some main reasons:
1) Advertising. These schools have money to put ads in magazines, newspapers, radio and even TV. The advertising touts these schools as "the best" or "one of the best". Any Internet search on "online schools", "top accredited schools" or "best MBA programs" will show these For-Profit Schools in the listings. Prospective students may not realize that the school shows up because the school has PAID to show up on the lists.
2) Marketing. The For-Profits do a good job working with corporations to obtain corporate/university partnerships. With these partnerships, the company gains discounted tuition for their employees. Some of these colleges work with the company's training department to evaluate corporate classes into college credits.
3) Customer Service. If a request for information is sent to a for-profit school, a representative will call or email that prospective client back immediately. This may not be the case with local state or private schools. Some state schools' departmental budgets have been so severely cut that there is no money for personnel to call back inquiries or answering general questions. Also part of customer service is to make it very easy for prospective students to enroll. Some for-profits assist in obtaining former transcripts. Most of these schools do not require an admission test.
4) Shorter Path to Graduation. For-profit schools have options for gaining credits for life and work experience and ways to help adult learners finish their degrees faster. There are accelerated programs, online classes, and hybrid courses (online plus a few on-campus meetings). The schools provide options for assessing life/work experience, testing out of classes or easy ways for military personnel to move their military classes and training into college credits.
Walmart recently selected American Public University, an online, for-profit university as their educational partner. APU was selected over other online schools, state universities and more prestigious schools because of the discounts, the ability to assess corporate credits, and the customer service promises. State schools and non-profit private schools are taking another look at their advertising, marketing, customer service and programs to see how they might compete in the future.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Online Education - The Changing Face of Education

Opportunities in education today would have been impossible even a few decades back. With the popularity of the Internet, easy accessibility to computers and the World Wide Web, higher education has been transformed into a new dynamic entity. With technology progressing at a rapid pace and demands changing almost daily, our lives are only becoming busier. The world around us is left with no option but to change and move along with the times to accommodate to our new schedules and requirements. This is more than apparent in the field of education. As times change, fewer and fewer students rely on the traditional method of attending classes at a college campus. The 'brick and mortar' type of education still exists but now side by side with the option of graduating from an online degree program as well.
As the number of people who look for ways to complete their education or improve their skills becomes too large, it is inevitable that a large number of colleges and universities take the necessary steps towards filling that need. But jobs, childcare and other family obligations limit the amount of time people can devote to their education, and thus, alternative arrangements are created. Online education has started gaining popularity and has now completely changed the way we approach education today.
Online degrees are now widely accepted and recognized as authentic educational qualifications. As long as the institution offering the degree is accredited by an accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, there should be no problem in the degree being accepted and acknowledged anywhere. Fully accredited online degree programs are now available in nearly every field. From management to medicine, law to accounting, there is a wide variety of choices on offer. Even obscure subjects and fields of study have found their place on the Internet. With degrees such as healthcare, students are even given the option of combining the practical aspect of their training at local hospitals or clinics along with virtual classes and studying online.
The flexibility of online education has opened up the doors of education to people from all walks of life. Stay at home moms and dads can now study from their own houses and employees can complete their assignments around their work schedules. There is 24 hour accessibility to the study material allowing for all night study sessions as well as the possibility of returning to subject matter again and again if necessary. And as universities continue to expand their options, the flexibility of online education will only increase. Students will be offered more options with the possibility of a custom created curriculum that suits their individual requirements and interests.
Distance learning also allows people hundreds of miles away to graduate with degrees from the college of their choice. Without spending a penny on gas or transport, students can make the most of a world class education with resources and faculty from all over the world. Through pre-recorded lectures, worksheets, assignments, e-classes, online forums, and tests, students can view, interact, and study from the comfort of their own space.
With a more flexible attendance policy, students can choose to tackle their workload as quickly or as slowly as they need to (all within a larger pre-determined schedule, of program). While this freedom may prove to be a little daunting to a new student, after completing a few programs, it becomes easier to get used to this new way of studying. To be successful in an online program, a large amount of self discipline and motivation is imperative. Without which it is all too easy to take advantage of the flexibility of the program and not achieve much. And while online education is definitely less expensive than a traditional degree program, to spend time, money and effort on something that is not taken seriously will not accomplish anything in the long run.
Online education in short offers every individual the right information in the right format at the right time for the best chances of success. Once upon a time online schools were considered the next wave of education and that future is finally here - ready to change the way we look at education way beyond the boundaries of any classroom.
Stevens-Henager College was established in 1891 and is distinguished as one of the oldest colleges in Utah. It has trained generations of graduates through its on-campus and online programs for Master's, Bachelor's, and Occupational Associate's Degrees. Stevens-Henager College also offers FastFlex online degree programs for working professionals. Stevens-Henager's online graduate programs and fastflex degree programs helps in enhancing your career and your qualifications, while placement staff helps to find exciting job openings and even setting up interviews as well.