Thursday, November 28, 2013

SNHU Divorces HELP

Photo illustration by 731; Campus: Courtesy SNHU

Bloomberg BusinessWeek carried this interesting article about Southern New Hampshire University on May 09, 2013: Its quaint red-brick New England campus is home to 2,750 undergraduates, making it the size of some high schools. A casual visitor would never suspect that another 25,000 students are also enrolled online. That’s roughly how many are in the bachelor’s program at the University of California at Berkeley. 

Harvard, Stanford, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have gained attention with their MOOCs, or massive open online courses, which are free and feature famed professors. Critics of these programs say that with no business model, they’re little more than a branding exercise. 

Southern New Hampshire’s College of Online and Continuing Education is no vanity project. The school’s management forecasts that revenue will reach $200 million in the next academic year – four times what it took in for 2010-11 – making it one of the biggest and fastest-growing online operations at any not-for-profit college in the U.S. 

“They are one of the most important players in the online space,” says Robert Lytle, co-head of the education practice at Parthenon Group, a Boston-based management consulting firm. “They’ve painted a pathway for other schools.” 

I know SNHU well because I managed and taught on the HICT's 4+0 SNHU program in Malaysia in 2008-2010. But this is not the only reason why I am suddenly blogging about the “Little College That's a Giant Online”. 

[After all, SNHU has been present in Malaysia for a long time. They came to this country by working with Rima College and offering the 2+2 twinning program. They soon parted ways and SNHU then tied the knot with Sepang Institute of Technology in Klang. Later, they introduced the 4+0 franchised American Degree Program and provided opportunities for Malaysians to complete the whole degree here (rather than studying two years in this country before transferring to the US of A for the remaining two years). SIT soon transformed into HELP International College of Technology (HICT) and it again mutated into HELP CAT (HELP College of Arts and Technology), based at KL’s Fraser Business Park, i.e. Kompleks Metro Pudu]. 

And now SNHU is divorcing HELP CAT. There will be a cessation of enrollments with “teach-out” for current students until they have graduated. The word on the ground is that the break-up is due to the issue of the honorary doctorate degree that was awarded to North Korea’s Kim Jong Un (Kindly read my post at this link, dated October 25, 2013. You may also want to check out other related readings dated October 27 and November 15, 2013).

An unfortunate turn of events. 


Aahhh, I forgot to mention that, finally, I had a Magnum on November 21, 2013 – in Australia! There, the Unilever brand is Streets. That was my first consumption of a Unilever product since I ended my Unilever boycott on April 09, 2013!

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