A year ago, the Department of Education tighten its regulation of for-profit universities and career colleges. By 2015, these institutions will lose their ability to grant federal student aid if their graduates fail to meet new benchmarks for loan repayment, ratio of debt to income and marketable skill sets.
My company, the University of Phoenix (UoPX), took this new decree seriously. UoPX fully embraced the notion that no more then 10 percent of the student tuition can be fulfilled by student loans. This required a new strategy be designed.
Founded on the ideal that working adults and other non-traditional students have different learning needs then the traditional residential undergraduate, UoPX made the strategic decision to stay true to this purpose. Providing access to education is the driving force for UoPX, the new challenge was to re-envision the product to do just that in a way that displayed value to the Department of Education.
Given our national unemployment rate, the need for training and education for the jobs that are available, and changing dynamics of our workforce, created a blue ocean that meets the productivity imperative with a service approach to company’s learning and development needs. Very few universities are actively engaging corporations and organizations to create academic partnerships that address their company’s long-term human resource needs. This approach has proven successful, UoPX has seen an increase in employee-students from our partnership and less then 10 percent of student tuition is paid by loans.
I joined UoPX and their workforce solutions team six months ago because I share the value that education should be accessible and available for everyone and that an educated workforce is essential for economic sustainability.