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Under continual fire for saddling students with debt while spending more on marketing than education and lately accused of preying on African-Americans, San Diego’s Bridgepoint Education has announced that it’s branching out from its for-profit degree programs and adding a unit targeting white collar workers seeking business certifications or continuing education credits required for maintaining professional licenses.

Denver Learning Institute, Bridgepoint’s latest venture, will offer courses “designed for students who seek the knowledge necessary to complete national certification exams in information technology, business, project management, and health care,” according to a June 10 release.

As with other companies under the Bridgepoint umbrella, most classes will be offered online. Pricing ranges from $400 for courses to prepare for LEED green building exams to $1,600 for an IT course in Java certification.

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Visduh June 11, 2013 @ 5:14 p.m.

This appears to be a first for Bridgepoint, some education that actually can be measured. In other words, they will be selling something that has built-in accountability. Why? Well, if you take a course to get ready for a certification exam, you will quickly know if the course was effective when you either pass or fail. This isn't something that takes four years and that, even then, cannot be measured. (Your BA doesn't help you gain employment? Maybe that's due to your appearance or personality or overall fecklessness. Can't blame that on Bridgepoint, can we?)

But these courses that have some sort of obvious outcome, that's what is different. They have to deliver, or the word soon gets out. Same thing with bar exam review courses, and to a lesser extent with LSAT prep classes. If they don't deliver, they are soon out of business.

The CEU's are another matter, but people have many of those to choose from, and if the course is obviously a sham, they will just head to another provider. Bridgepoint may soon be hoist on its own petard.


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