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Online University Consortium Research Indicates Corporate Preference for Traditional University Programs and Graduates Continues to Climb
12-Month Study Suggests For-Profit Institution Popularity Slipping
as Company Standards Call for Quality, Well-Educated Candidates

July 15, 2004, Washington, D.C. - Traditional universities remain top choice for corporations over for-profit providers of online education and degree programs, and candidates with credentials from traditional universities are more likely to be hired and promoted than those from for-profit schools. These results were gleaned from data compiled over twelve months by the Online University Consortium, and further support recent findings from other industry experts.

Data was gathered through surveys of corporate decision-makers attending major trade events including Society for Human Resource Management and American Society for Training & Development. When compared to the previous year's findings, the following trends were noted:

  • The number of companies preferring traditional universities is up 15% with 65% of respondents selecting traditional schools compared to 50% in 2003.
  • The number of companies choosing for-profit businesses has declined with 14.3% now indicating they would select a for-profit compared to 22% in 2003.
Online UC research indicates these shifts are due to the failure of for-profits' and their ability to produce an academic quality in job candidates that transfers into corporate success. Companies recognize a marked difference in competency and performance levels of individuals from for-profit verses traditional universities and now search for candidates with quality credentials from schools they value and trust.

According to Deborah Besemer, President and CEO of recruitment services provider BrassRing, employers are actually avoiding schools that have flooded the market with online degree programs having no regard for quality. "We see this when they search for candidates and specifically eliminate certain schools from their search. Reputation of the educational institution is what matters the most," says Besemer. "Employers want to hire students who have a full college experience whether online or in the classroom. They are looking for well-educated individuals to join their companies."

One reason for-profit institutions fail is substandard admissions requirements. Industry studies have shown many students graduating from for-profit schools need help in basic areas - reading, writing and mathematics. According to one for-profit executive, many of these students have not been successful in high school and would have difficulty at a four-year college or wouldn't be accepted at all.

Another criticism is that minimally qualified instructors are delivering watered-down curriculum. One for-profit instructor said he can take a three-month course from a traditional school and teach it in two weeks. Consequently, regulators such as The Association of Advanced Collegiate Schools have refused to accredit several for-profits, citing their inability to provide sound programs for education.

Online UC recommends careful scrutiny of an institution's reputation, quality of programs, and primary motivation to educate. The Online UC website provides a directory of schools who have met a set of seven standards required for Consortium membership. An industry checklist is also available at www.onlineuc.net, which features criteria for choosing a quality online education.


About Online University Consortium
Online UC was founded by leading universities to help companies and employees secure quality online education, high return on investment and relevant degree programs from trusted institutions of higher education. For more information, call 435.649.2190 or visit www.onlineuc.net.