VEGAS! - Education Management Corporation

VEGAS! - Education Management Corporation




















The Definitive Voice of the Career College Sector of Higher Education










founded more than a century and a half ago – according

to some estimates – career education began with a focus

on student outcomes. The programs and the related

professions have changed over the years, as have the

technology and the way students are instructed. Gone are the days

of typewriting schools, to cite just one example. But what has not

shifted in all those years is the focus on student outcomes and the

importance of student success in sustaining a viable and evolving

sector of higher education.

Now, with more attention being paid to it than ever before, career

colleges are continuing on its central mission: to change students’

lives. Not much more than a decade ago, the sector was making

advancements quietly. Those steps forward came by the way of

online education and program flexibility that students needed to make

the pursuit of education feasible. And nothing has changed in that regard

despite all the new attention being paid to career education in general.

Career college students have continued to graduate and find personal

success, and its leaders have continued to innovate. At a time of great

challenge, we’ve seen the leaders on the following pages make critical

contributions to career education in the areas of education models and

delivery, student financial planning, business management, marketing

and advertising, law and politics, and more. Each of them shares a

common motivation: the success of today’s career college students.

These leaders are the group that has remained at the forefront of

innovation, offering continued advancements and keeping students as

the unchanging core of all it does.

Subscribe at | 21

Anthony J. guida Jr.

Senior Vice President, External Affairs, Education Management


Please explain the innovations you’ve brought to (or observed

in) career education. What led you to recognize the need for

these innovations? What has been their impact on students and

higher education?

Education is an establishment based on trust, and trust begins with

transparency in the way we do business, especially in how we

communicate with students. I am proud of the compliance initiatives that

our company has established and that our employees have embraced. For

example, student consumer information pages available on the landing

page on all of our schools’ websites include required and voluntary

disclosures, such as job placement rates, financial aid facts, tuition and

housing data, career services information, and more to help students

become informed consumers. For employees, trust and accountability

are maintained through mandatory Code of Conduct training, which

certifies faculty and staff in the areas of compliance, business ethics,

legal responsibilities, and maintaining a professional work environment.

What quality about career colleges or their students motivates

you personally?

What motives me is the combination of who we serve and what we

deliver. Many of our students come from an underserved population –

career changers, working adults, low-income individuals, minorities

or being the first in their families to attend college. They are at risk of

failing to complete their education, but we are able to adapt quickly

to their needs and to help the students be successful.

Regardless of our students’ statuses, we give them all the skills, tools

and confidence they need for a lifetime of success – from preparing

graduates for their first foray into the business world to helping busy

professionals broaden their career possibilities. We deliver through

credentialed faculty, caring staff, financial aid counseling and career

services, relevant academic programs, and industry-current facilities.

In fact, because of these attributes, I proudly supported my son’s

decision to attend The Art Institute of Tennessee – Nashville to earn

a Bachelor’s degree in Audio Production.

Susan wolford

Managing Director, BMO Capital Markets

Given the extraordinary regulatory and political challenges facing

career education, what improvements/innovations does the

sector need to implement to remain a leader in higher education?

The sector needs to implement practices that address the concerns that

students ultimately focus on, mainly the quality of the job a student

obtains as a result of their education and the tuition level the student

had to pay in order to earn the credential that enabled getting that job.

This translates into having programs that serve in-demand professions,

providing quality teaching that allows students to learn the skills

needed to succeed when employed, and offering student services

as needed to help students graduate from the program. Placement

services are critical. For the schools to serve a purpose beyond what

community colleges provide, they should provide the guidance,

class scheduling and career-building opportunities that community

colleges typically don’t provide. In doing so in a quantifiable way, the

differences in tuition levels between community and career colleges

can be understood and appreciated by the public and the government.

Please explain the innovations you’ve brought to (or observed

in) career education. What led you to recognize the need for

these innovations? What has been their impact on students

and higher education?

The innovations we have observed are in the level of student services

and in online learning. There is much greater emphasis placed on

career counseling and placement services. We are impressed when

we learn that a school has as many placement personnel as they have

in the admissions offices. Much more rigor seems to be exerted in

understanding and exploring what employers want in the grads they

seek to employ, and our school clients are actively seeking their input

in creating relevant curricula to advance their students’ immediate

impact in the workplace.

MAY 2012 | 32

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