Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

What DeVry Does Differently

Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

What DeVry Does Differently

Article excerpt

By directly tying degree programs with today's marketplace demands, universities can better serve underrepresented students.

Our nation's economy relies heavily on the preparedness of its work force. Higher education has a responsibility to enable individuals to become contributing members of society. Today, minority students need and place great value on the effectiveness with which institutions of higher learning help prepare them for an increasingly competitive marketplace. In addition, they seek environments that fit their unique lifestyles. More important, how quickly one can expect to see a return on his/her educational investment has become a critical factor in choosing a college or university.

At DeVry University and its Keller Graduate School of Management, our priority is offering career-focused associate, bachelor's and master's degree programs. We believe it is our duty not only to educate our students, but to prepare them adequately for their future careers. Our success in graduating and assisting students with achieving employment in their desired fields differentiates DeVry University from the vast and growing landscape of postsecondary institutions. In fact, since 1975, 90 percent of graduates from DeVry's undergraduate programs who were in the active job market have been employed in their field of study within six months after graduation.

DeVry's mission appears to have been embraced by minorities as students of color composed approximately half of our fall 2007 undergraduate student population. We are often asked, "What does DeVry University do differently to achieve such success with minority and nontraditional student populations?"

Foremost, we have placed a significant emphasis on becoming familiar with the unique needs of this population. It's likely that such students may be older than most traditional college students, they most likely work full time or, at least, part time, and many have families to support. Understanding these unique needs is vital in communicating with and accommodating this population. Therefore, such students require special and attractive options, including flexible scheduling, online course offerings, and accelerated programs enabling them to earn a traditional four-year degree in three years or less.

In meeting these special needs, we believe DeVry University excels at three core competencies that make us a compelling and attractive option within this unique student population.

First, DeVry University's approach to education is simple and clear. Every bachelor's and master's degree program we offer is tied directly to an in-demand career, such as accounting, computer engineering and information technology. …

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