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What can a student learn at a for-profit school? The growing sector offers everything from diplomas in massage therapy to MBAs – on campuses and online – along with certificates in areas such as “addiction counseling” and “diversity studies.” Online, students can even earn a J.D. from Kaplan’s Concord Law School or a doctoral degree in Business Intelligence, Public Safety Leadership, Emergency Management or Epidemiology from Capella University.
For-profit college shakeup
Enrollment in for-profit schools has nearly tripled in under a decade, from 673,000 in 2000 to 1.8 million in 2008. Tuition at for-profit schools averaged $14,174 in 2009, according to the College Board. And federal aid to for-profits totaled $26.5 billion last year, up from $4.6 billion in 2000, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
The Hechinger Report had a look at the wide range of degrees and programs on offer. Here’s a sampling of what we discovered in the for-profit universe:
- American InterContinental University: offers associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees; programs include associate’s degree in interior design, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration, master’s in Internet Security.
- Ashford University: offers associate’s degrees online in business and early childhood education; offers bachelor’s degrees in standard subjects, as well as Law Enforcement Administration, Supply Chain Management, and Homeland Security and Emergency Management; offers master’s degrees in education, teaching and learning, business administration, public administration.
- Capella University: offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in standard subjects – all online only; also offers certificates in subjects like Addiction Counseling, Diversity Studies, Leadership; bachelor’s in Software Architecture, master’s in Sport Psychology, Gerontology, Management of Nonprofit Agencies; doctoral degrees in Business Intelligence, Public Safety Leadership, Emergency Management, Epidemiology.
- DeVry University: offers associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in five areas – Business & Management, Engineering & Information Technology, Health Sciences, Liberal Arts & Sciences, and Media Arts & Technology; offers an associate’s degree in electroneurodiagnostic technology at its North Brunswick, NJ campus; offers a bachelor’s degree in Game and Simulation Programming.
- Kaplan: offers “diplomas” in Medical Assistant, Medical Billing and Coding Specialist, Pharmacy Technician, Practical Nursing, Computer Support Technician, at its campus in Las Vegas; offers associate’s degrees in Criminal Justice, Computer Networking Technology; offers an online J.D. through its Concord Law School; offers online certificates through Kaplan University in areas that include Corrections, Internet and Website Development, Legal Secretary, Private Security and Crime Scene Technician.
- Strayer University: offers associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as diplomas and certificates – both online and on campuses across the country (mostly in the South); programs in Accounting, Business, Criminal Justice, Education, General Studies, Health Services Administration, Human Resource Management, Information Systems and Public Administration.
- University of Phoenix: offers associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in standard subjects like English and psychology but also more obscure subjects like a Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership or a Master of Health Administration in Gerontology.
- Walden University: offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in standard subjects – all online only; also offers “endorsement” programs and certificate programs; endorsement programs are in special education; certificate programs include Engineering and Applied Science, Instructional Design, Post-Master’s Certificates in Nursing, Psychology, and Public Policy & Administration.
- Academy of Healing Arts (Las Vegas, NV): programs such as Medical Assistant, Medical Administrative Assistant, Massage Therapy, and Phlebotomy.
- American College of Hairstyling (Des Moines, IA): Courses in barbering and hairstyling; the full course-load in basic barbering and hairstyling costs $15,120 and takes 60 weeks.
- Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology (Denver, CO): Students earn an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Veterinary Technology that costs $27,250 for the two-year program.
- Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts: offers programs in Culinary Arts, Pâtisserie and Baking, Hospitality & Restaurant Management that come with associate’s degrees and diplomas. The cost of an associate’s degree in occupational studies (culinary arts) at the Los Angeles campus is $48,308.
- Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences (Tempe, AZ): offers Master Recording Program II, which takes 42 weeks to complete, at a cost of $18,440.
- Divers Academy International (Erial, NJ): Commercial Diving Program Diploma (which takes 720 hours to complete), as well as other credentials such as the American Petroleum Institute RP2D Rigger Qualification.
- Ex’pression College for Digital Arts (Emeryville, CA): offers Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Sound Arts, Animation and Visual Effects, Motion Graphic Design, and Game Art and Design. The bachelor’s degree takes eight semesters to complete, at a cost of $84,320.
- Pennsylvania Gunsmith School (Pittsburgh, PA): offers Master Gunsmithing program, which takes four semesters to complete, at a cost of $20,800.