Apollo Education Group
Fall is back-to-school time for your employees
No entrepreneur wants a team of uneducated employees. Or even average ones. Yet amid the hunt for the best and brightest, recent statistics paint a grim picture of the labor pool’s brainpower.
While more than 60 percent of jobs require advanced skills training or education in today’s information-based economy, currently only 35 percent of American workers over age 25 have achieved a four-year degree. Of those workers who only made to 12th grade, 65 percent can’t read and 77 percent can’t do math at that level, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
Worried? You should be. But Brian L. Swartz (right), senior vice president and chief financial officer of Apollo Education Group, Inc., which has subsidiary for-profit schools like University of Phoenix, believes his organization has an innovative solution— providing easier access to higher education to so-called “nontraditional” students who are juggling jobs, families and education.
Meanwhile, Swartz says Apollo Education Group is investing more than $100 million in building the university classroom of the future—one that is mainly digital and online. “The whole idea is to create and make a very flexible model for our students,” he says. “We want to deliver content and curriculum in the way the student wants to receive it. For example, if someone is an audio learner, why can’t they learn through streaming media?”
At a time when for-profit colleges have received criticism for aggressive sales tactics and encouraging students to take out costly student loans, Apollo Group has developed an electronic student borrowing calculator that shows how much they should be borrowing on the basis of their income and household expenses. “Students are encouraged not to borrow the maximum amount if they don’t need it,” Swartz says.
Apollo Education Group, Inc.
-Written by Lori K. Baker. This story originally appeared in the October 2010 issue of IMPACT Magazine.