Witness Testimony of Ms. Pamela Daly, Campus President, DeVry University-San Diego
October 31, 2013
Bill Flores, Chairman, Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity
House Committee on Veteran’s Affairs
335 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Mr. Flores:
Thank you for the opportunity to provide the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs more information about DeVry University-San Diego.
From training Army Air Corps instructors on electronic devices in the 1940s, to being one of the first schools approved to accept the original GI Bill after WWII, DeVry University has been educating and supporting America’s military personnel and veterans for many years. Today we help veteran and military students make higher education a reality with year-round scheduling, distance learning and degree programs that provide a solid foundation for career success.
Below you will find a brief history of DeVry University, our mission, program offerings and other information that will give you better insights into the high quality of our programs and our commitment of service excellence to our students.
I have also attached a copy of our Academic Annual Report, as well as links to other independent studies referenced below. These reports go into even greater detail on DeVry University’s programmatic offerings, teaching approaches, methodologies we use to measure our performance, and the efforts we make to support students.
Thank you again for the opportunity to submit this information and for all the work you do to support our nation’s veterans.
Campus President, DeVry University-San Diego
DeVry University is one of the largest degree-granting higher education systems in North America. We provide high-quality, career-oriented associate, bachelor's and master's degree programs in technology, science, business and the arts. More than 55,000 students are enrolled at our more than 90 locations in the United States and Canada, as well as through DeVry University's online delivery.
DeVry University’s academic structure includes five Colleges that house its growing list of degree programs. The Colleges are: Business & Management, Engineering & Information Sciences, Health Sciences, Liberal Arts & Sciences and Media Arts & Technology.
The mission of DeVry University is to foster student learning through high-quality, career-oriented education integrating technology, science, business and the arts. The university delivers practitioner-oriented undergraduate and graduate programs onsite and online to meet the needs of a diverse and geographically dispersed student population.
In 1931 the original school opened in Chicago when Dr. Herman DeVry established DeForest Training School to prepare students for technical work in electronics, motion pictures, radio and later, television. During WWII, DeVry University was selected by the United States military to educate Army Air Corps instructors on electronic devices. Following WWII, DeVry was one of the first schools to be approved under the original GI Bill.
In 1953, DeForest Training School became DeVry Technical Institute. DeVry's associate degree program in electronics engineering technology earned accreditation by the Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology in 1953, and in 1957, the first associate degree program in electronics engineering technology was offered.
In 1969, DeVry offered the first baccalaureate degree program in electronics engineering technology and quickly after that, in 1970, DeVry earned accreditation by the Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology for bachelor's degree program in electronics engineering technology.
In 1973, Keller Graduate School of Management was founded in Chicago as the CBA Institute. CBA Institute became Keller Graduate School of Management in 1974. In 1981, DeVry earned its initial regional accreditation from North Central Association. DeVry Inc. was created through the merger of DeVry Institutes and Keller Graduate School of Management in 1987.
Keller Graduate School of Management received approval from the North Central Association to offer its master's degree programs online in 1998. In 2000, DeVry Institute of Technology received approval from the North Central Association to offer its business administration bachelor's degree program online. DeVry Institute of Technology and Keller Graduate School of Management become DeVry University following the approval of The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association in 2002.
Today, DeVry University is a critical part of our nation’s higher education infrastructure, with more than 250,000 alumni, nearly 100 North American locations and the ability to offer on-site, online or blended programs to its students.
As previously stated, DeVry University has a long history serving the military and veterans, and was one the first schools accepted under the original GI Bill. DeVry University has more than 90 VA approved facilities, with many participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program, such as the San Diego campus.
DeVry University has a dedicated Military Affairs team that is comprised of former service members, reservists and spouses, who provide ongoing support to the veteran and active duty member throughout their education. Veteran student issues are routed to the Manager of Military Affairs in their respective region to assure their full resolution.
Student success coaches work closely with military students to complete education plans, identify potential barriers to success and obtain resources to overcome those barriers. We also offer staff sensitivity training through the VA and provide the VA Vet’s Centers open access to the campus, allowing for free communication with veterans and early identification of any issues they may face.
A prospective veteran student goes through a pre-screening with a Military Education Liaison who is a member of the Military Affairs team and is, typically, the veteran’s initial contact. The veteran then goes through a comprehensive interview with an admissions advisor. The advisor explains that the interview is a two-way process; we are interviewing them and they are also allowed to interview us, assuring DeVry is a good fit for their educational and career goals. The interview culminates into a formal assessment.
To further support veteran students, DeVry University has an active veteran community at many campuses. At DeVry University-San Diego, a Student Veteran Association is in the forming stage with the first meeting set for January. Quarterly town halls are hosted by the Military Affairs team. And annual military appreciation, as well as Memorial Day and Veterans Day, events are planned at campuses across the country, including at San Diego.
DeVry University offers the following services to veterans:
- DeVry ASPIRE provides confidential and free counseling services to enrolled students and their family members, including: financial and legal consultation and referrals; mental, behavioral and emotional health including post-traumatic stress disorder; career assistance and job referrals; transitioning back to school, work and civilian life; military family concerns, parenting and childcare issues; relating to other students and school environment; and community-based resources.
- Veteran Resource Center
- A dedicated space for veterans to find military-specific resources and contacts, including an advisor who is trained to handle military issues. Additionally, the San Diego campus has hosted military educator forums in collaboration with local ESOs, and created and promoted designated military job fair opportunities.
- VA Collaboration
- DeVry University campuses provide open access to the local VA in an active relationship, as well as partnership with the SVA. VA counselors are also allowed to establish office hours at our campuses.
- Disability Support Services
- Aside from academic accommodation requests, veteran students are referred to the VA for additional disability support services.
The federal graduation rate measures only first-time, full-time students. Very few veterans fall into this classification, making it difficult to track graduation rates. However, we can measure the retention rate of veteran students. This is measured from a cohort of new students in the fall semester who persist into a second academic year the following summer or fall semester. Nationally, the retention rate for veterans entering in the fall 2011 is 67 percent. This rate is higher than the non-veteran population from the same semester who retained at a 51 percent rate. At DeVry University’s San Diego campus, undergraduate retention was significantly higher for veteran students at 76 percent, versus 49 percent for non-veteran students.
Options for Military Students
To make a DeVry University education more affordable for active-duty military personnel and their spouses, these students receive special tuition rates; we also provide veterans with tuition grants, and veterans and service members alike can qualify for credits based on their military coursework.
We have signed Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with the Department of Defense that enables us to accept military tuition assistance to help active-duty service members pay for college. As part of our MOUs, we participated in a voluntary third-party review to measure military students’ satisfaction and identify best practices for serving this population. A team of assessors visited DeVry University’s home office to interview leaders, department heads and faculty members, and followed up by surveying students who currently serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine.
Their report included recognition of our strengths as well as suggestions for how we can better serve our military students. Notable praise included:
- Military students’ ability to continue their studies seamlessly – thanks to engaging, high-quality nature of online courses – as long as they are stationed in a location with reliable internet access
- Our specialized training for faculty and staff, and our membership in organizations like the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC) consortium, which works to provide quality programs to active-duty military students, their families and veterans
- Responsiveness and flexibility toward service members, exemplified by special tuition pricing and transfer-credit policies
- Our commitment to using student-survey data to evaluate and improve programs, processes and faculty performance
- Our Student Central service model, including specialists trained to work with military students studying online
- Robust career services that will become increasingly more important if predicted personnel draw-downs happen in the military
Independent Studies on DeVry University
There have been several studies in recent years that support the approaches DeVry University takes toward serving students and managing its own operations. Below are brief summaries:
An independent economic-impact analysis, conducted by The Cicero Group, tracked wage growth from 2003 to 2010 for graduates from DeVry University, Chamberlain College of Nursing and Carrington College California across seven states, including California, as well as a control group of individuals who expressed interest in the DeVry schools but ultimately did not pursue a college degree. Both groups had statistically similar starting salaries of $25,000-$27,000 in 2003. But by the end of the seven-year period, graduates from DeVry University averaged wage growth of 60 percent, or an average of $42,661, compared to the control group’s average final earnings of 18 percent, or $29,224.
In addition to wage growth, graduates from the three DeVry schools reported greater job security, were more likely to be employed in salaried positions, and more likely to have a job with benefits like health insurance. And because 85 to 90 percent of graduates from the DeVry Inc. schools remain in their communities five years after graduation (compared with 64 to 67 percent for typical college graduates), the economic benefits associated with higher college degree completion rates are more likely to be felt within the community.
The study is available for download at: http://bit.ly/DVimpact
DeVry University was one of eight colleges and universities profiled by McKinsey & Company as models of how the United States can meet one of its most urgent economic challenges: producing significantly more college-educated workers at a time of shrinking public budgets and rising tuitions.
The McKinsey report, Winning by degrees: the strategies of highly productive higher education institutions, cited best practices at DeVry University and seven other institutions that can serve as examples of how the U.S. can meet its higher education attainment goals without increasing public spending or putting more financial pressure on students.
The international management consulting firm says colleges and universities must produce more graduates without increasing public funding or tuition and without compromising the quality of degrees awarded or reducing access – what it calls increasing “higher education degree productivity.”
According to McKinsey, the eight institutions profiled demonstrate that it is possible to increase degree productivity by as much as 23 percent by 2020 without increasing public funding. Those high performing institutions are achieving degree productivity up to 60 percent better than their peer group average, according to McKinsey’s research. McKinsey estimates the nation will need to produce roughly one million more graduates per year by 2020 – a 40 percent increase over today’s rate – and to ensure it can meet employer demand for skilled professionals.
The report is available for download at: http://bit.ly/vjQa1r
The Pell Institute study
Citing a lack of independent research on “proprietary” education institutions, The Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education (The Pell Institute) conducted a comprehensive review and analysis of DeVry University’s academic and support services for low-income, first-generation college students. The study’s findings showed nontraditional students at DeVry University received high levels of personal and academic support, which similar institutions could look to replicate.
The study highlighted the following three guiding strategies behind the practices at DeVry University as key to their support for these students:
- Approach support services for students as customer service
- Provide early, in-depth, on-campus student opportunities
- Establish and sustain a shared sense of community
Among the essential elements of DeVry University’s support services cited by The Pell Institute are: a one-stop shop advising model, an early intervention warning system, degree progress tracking, academic success centers and career services.
In addition, The Pell Institute found that “valuing students as customers can establish an effective college success culture,” especially for low-income, first-generation students. “Students at DeVry express that they appreciate feeling valued as a customer and receiving individualized attention from the staff, administrators and faculty,” according to the report.
The report is available for download at: http://bit.ly/DVUpellreport
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Successful Sales and Business Development Executive with an extensive record of leading other managers to achieve and exceed stated corporate objectives. Specializes in overcoming barriers to production through innovative strategies. Creates strong cross-functional relationships, optimizing corporate profitability. Outstanding strategist adept at identifying tactics of increasing sales performance using training, establishing performance benchmarks and improving strategic positioning. Known for inspiring both internal and external teams to follow through with assignments at the highest level.
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DeVry University -- San Diego Campus · 2008-Present
Publically-traded university serving over 70,000 students nationwide
Led and managed local campus to meet and exceed growth and service metrics
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Goal Financial, LLC – San Diego, California & Alexandria, Virginia · 2001-2007
The 7th largest holder of student loans nationwide with over 280,000 customers and $8.7B in loan asset
Vice President, Sales
Led sales staff to meet college education funding needs of students with various federal and private grant and loan products; managed $10 million budget and 160-person staff.
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PAMELA DALY · Page 2 · email@example.com
Education Finance Group – San Diego, California · 1999 - 2001
EFG became the #1 Parent Plus education loan provider in the nation within 3 years
Senior Loan Consultant
Managed 200 prospective new customers at all times with a closing rate and production in the top 25% of the company.
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Christian Heritage College/San Diego Christian College – El Cajon, California · 1991 - 1998
Private 4-Year Accredited Liberal Arts College driven by enrollment headcount
Director, Recruiter, Admissions
Managed all aspects of new student recruiting from lead generation, application, and acceptance, developing sales and marketing strategies on market stratification across multiple segments to increase enrollment by 15%, while personally managing a sales territory and exceeding personal sales objectives
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Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology · Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia
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