kaplan-university-online-collegeOne of the most daunting decision about going back to school may be…Where do I go?

To that end, I present you with some information to consider. I got some time with Kaplan University’s Dean Kara VanDam. She heads Kaplan’s School of Generation Education…plus, she’s a University of Michigan alum, and you gotta love that. (Go Blue!)

About Kaplan University: What makes Kaplan stand out is that it offers a different school of thought for higher education. It strives to help adult students by providing a practical, student-centered education that prepares them for careers in some of the fastest-growing industries. The University, which has its main campus in Davenport, Iowa, and its headquarters in Chicago, is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Kaplan University has more than 125 academic programs and offerings, and serves more than 75,000 online and campus-based students. The University has 11 campuses in Iowa, Nebraska, Maryland and Maine, and Kaplan University Learning Centers in Wisconsin, Indiana, Missouri and Florida.*

And now, with no further ado, I present you my Q&A with Dean VanDam.

Q: What three things should potential students know about Kaplan? Request information from Kaplan University

A: First, we want people who are considering furthering their careers through higher education to know that Kaplan University strives to help adult students unlock their talent by providing a practical, student-centered education that prepares them for careers in some of the fastest-growing industries.

Secondly, it is important for potential students to know that online education at Kaplan is rigorous and requires self-discipline. While Kaplan University students are assigned academic advisors to help guide and track their progress and we offer extensive support services, students must be motivated to actively engage in their courses and study hard to reach their goal of earning a degree.

Finally, Kaplan University recently unveiled its “Kaplan Commitment” program, which allows prospective students to attend classes for an introductory period, worry free, without paying tuition. Under the new program, first-time students can enroll in classes for an introductory period (3-5 weeks) and assess whether the Kaplan coursework meets their educational needs before making a financial commitment. Students who choose to withdraw from the program during this time frame or students who do not meet the University’s academic standards will not have to pay for the coursework.

Q: What is the biggest innovation at Kaplan in the last 12 months?

A: The previously mentioned Kaplan Commitment is the first program of its kind in the country, so we are very proud of this innovation. From a technology perspective, Kaplan University will soon announce the launch of a new iPad application called KU Campus that is believed to be the first for private-sector higher education. It will be available for download from the iTunes Store to Kaplan online students free of charge.

Kaplan University’s online students already enjoy the convenience and mobility that comes with studying online. The KU Campus app takes this a step further by making most of the features of the standard student portal, KU Campus, available on the iPad. Students can now participate in class discussions, access course content, keep track of documents and financial aid, review grades and credits, and receive alerts and announcements all from the convenience of an iPad.

Q: How does an education from Kaplan make sense for a mom (woman with children)?

A: Kaplan University students are attracted to the flexibility and convenience of online education because many of them are adult learners, juggling work and family responsibilities with their education, while continuing their education. Online learning allows mom’s to remain at home with their children and working adults to remain on the job or able to look for work while pursuing their degrees. The online classroom is accessible virtually anywhere, at any time. This platform allows students to work their education into their lifestyle, which has its obvious benefits for parents.

* Here’s the rest of the story: Kaplan University is part of Kaplan Higher Education, which serves more than 100,000 students online and through more than 70 campus-based schools across the United States and abroad. Kaplan Higher Education schools offer a spectrum of academic opportunities, from certificates and diplomas to graduate and professional degrees, including a juris doctor degree. Kaplan Higher Education is part of Kaplan, Inc., a leading international provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools and businesses. Kaplan, Inc. is a subsidiary of The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO), and its largest and fastest-growing division.

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