Apollo Group (University of Phoenix) Case

In: Business and Management

1. Briefly describe Apollo group's original mission. What is their mission now? How has their mission changed, if at all?

John Sperling started the Apollo Group, parent company of the University of Phoenix, in 1976. Sperling’s goal was to revolutionize orthodox higher education, and most people would say that he has done just that. Rather than catering to 18-22 year olds looking to find themselves, Sperling focused on the then-neglected market of working adults. He also recruited working professionals as teachers, rather than tenured professors. Most radical of all, while nearly all other universities are nonprofit, Sperling ran his university to make money.

From the Apollo Group’s website, “Apollo Group, Inc. was founded in 1973 in response to a gradual shift in higher education demographics from a student population dominated by youth to one in which approximately half the students are adults and over 80 percent of whom work full-time. Apollo's founder, John Sperling, believed—and events proved him right—that lifelong employment with a single employer would be replaced by lifelong learning and employment with a variety of employers. Lifelong learning requires an institution dedicated solely to the education of working adults.”

The case also provides the following UOP quote:

By providing an accessible, high quality education, University of Phoenix is producing successful outcomes—graduates
who are better positioned to enjoy the professional financial and personal benefits that a degree brings, as well as a
more educated, competitive society as a whole.

Through a framework of thoughtful and consistent regulation, well managed proprietary colleges and universities—
those that are committed to responsible, ethical practices and regulatory compliance—play a vital role in the future
of America’s higher education system, helping it to...

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