EDMC Responses to Written Questions

:
What is the organization doing to increase graduation rates and lower
student debt?
Since the appointment of new Chief Executive Officer Mark McEachen
last September, Education Management Corporation has renewed its
focus and its commitment to students by emphasizing program
completion and academic preparation. We have also renewed our
focus on affordability. Representative examples of activities include:

New Student Orientation. All EDMC institutions now provide all
undergraduate students (except those who transfer in with more
than 24 undergraduate credits) with a no-cost orientation. The
goal of this orientation is to assess and general academic
competencies like study skills, organization, literacy
requirements, financial skills and computer competency.

Enhanced Advisory Services. At South University, each student
has a weekly meeting with their assigned academic advisor to
review their grades and attendance, and to address any issues
that might be affecting their studies. South University also
provides campus academic success centers where students can
receive tutoring free of charge. Examples of positive outcomes
include:
o 1As a result, 100% of South University Master of Science in
Anesthesiologist Assistant graduates passed the national,
standardized exam for licensure certification last year.
o South University Doctor of Pharmacy and Master of Science
in Physician Assistant cohorts had certification pass rates
of 90% or higher.

College Bound. The Art Institutes has developed a program that
educates high school students about careers in art and design,
and the programs that prepare them for these careers.
o Ai provides juniors and seniors an opportunity to directly
experience explore an art & design college level course(s)
while in high school. Students are taught by credentialed
faculty and develop critical design, media, and culinary
skills.
o This 12 week course is offered at no charge to students
who have applied to an Art Institutes school, and if not a
part of the program, there is a minimal fee ($325).
Participants develop a portfolio of work and, if they qualify,
earn a proficiency credit towards their future education at

an Ai school valued at up to $1,500. More than 400
students are currently enrolled, and 100 students have
completed the program.

Cost Reductions. In 2015, South University took a significant
step to reduce the overall educational expenses of most of our
students by paying for many of their textbooks. The University
converted to E-textbooks for most undergraduate and many
graduate-level courses, and began paying for those books for
each student. We estimate that this change is saving some
students as much as $2,000 per calendar year.

Accelerated Programs. Our education systems are also exploring
accelerated programs that improve affordability for qualified
students by reducing the time it takes to complete their degree.
For example, this year Argosy University is launching a new
masters accelerated scholar program in select programs for its
students.
o This allows selected, qualified undergraduate students to
take selected graduate level courses as part of fulfilling the
electives for their undergraduate degree. To apply
students must have a GPA of at least a B level and have
completed at least 60 credits to become eligible to apply
for the program. Those accepted will be eligible to apply to
one of the applicable master’s programs with advanced
standing.
o This coursework will be creditable towards Argosy masters
programs should students continue their studies at the
institution. Psychology students, for example, will be able
to use up to 50% (18 of 36) of their course credits to
accelerate their degree program. Students who complete
at least 12 graduate credits will be designated “Accelerated
Scholar”1 on their transcripts, and will be eligible to apply
to one of the aforementioned master’s programs with
advanced standing, which means students do not need to
repeat any courses they received a B- or higher grade on
previously.

Do the organization think it’s students are graduating with some of the
highest debt and upper management/presidents’ salaries have been in
the millions of dollars?

We have called numerous times to clarify your information on this
question without response. We wish to clarify that the data that you
provided to us in support of your question on executive compensation
is inaccurate in all respects.
First, Edward West is no longer the Chief Executive Officer of Education
Management Corporation. Mark McEachen serves as Chief Executive
Officer of EDMC. For your reference, I attach a press release on Mr.
McEachen’s appointment from August 2015.
While we do not comment on the compensation paid to EDMC
employees, I can advise you that neither Mr. McEachen’s salary nor Mr.
Finuf’s salary is accurate. Please provide us further information on the
sources of your inaccurate information, and we can provide further
detail.
We further advise you that the individuals you have listed as
institutional presidents are not the presidents of the institutions listed.
National American University Responses to Written Questions
National American University (NAU) has been providing quality career
education to students for 75 years. It opened its first campus in 1941
and has since grown to multiple locations offering associate,
bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs in technical and
professional disciplines. NAU is regionally accredited by the Higher
Learning Commission, with several academic programs separately
accredited or approved by national educational and professional
associations.

NAU serves primarily non-traditional, adult students, who balance work
and family obligations while attending college. They often take classes
part-time and transfer credits previously earned at other institutions.
Many do not attend continuously, but “stop-out” of academic terms as
determined by their other obligations.

It is the university’s firm belief that everyone who is willing to study
and learn should have an opportunity to continue their education and
should not be excluded from advancing their knowledge and skills. It is
for this reason that NAU offers open enrollment to students who have
earned a high school diploma or equivalent. To serve these students,

NAU offers degree programs in traditional, online, and hybrid formats,
which provide students increased flexibility to take courses at times
and places convenient for them.

The graduation and retention rates referenced in your email appear to
have come from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System
(IPEDS), which measures graduation and retention rates for first-time,
full-time undergraduate students. These calculations are misleading,
since the majority of NAU students do not attend full-time and are not
first-time students.

We are sensitive to the amount of student debt and actively counsel
students to borrow only the amount necessary for direct costs (tuition,
fees, and books). However, many students choose to borrow more than
is required to pay for direct costs. Most students have also attended
other institutions and incurred debt prior to enrolling at NAU, which
affects their total student debt.

We always strive to provide complete and accurate information to
prospective students. I am not able to comment directly on the
unnamed student referenced in your email. However, it is my
understanding that no student from either of the Austin campuses has
communicated a concern to the university through the process
provided in the undergraduate catalog.

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