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June 24th, 2011,
For-Profit Colleges & Universities

By W. H. Deyamport

There is plenty of debate about for-profit colleges versus traditional institutions. But to date, I haven’t seen the reports on why students choose for-profit schools over the traditional ones.

I had to go to a for-profit institution. I say this because I am a family life educator, and I needed a master’s degree program that would give me a solid foundation in the best practices of teaching and learning. Unfortunately, at traditional schools that meant getting a degree in Adult Education. However, until a few years ago, I worked with young people in after-school programs, and I needed a more flexible degree program, a program in which I could focus my coursework on my individual professional needs. And, I found such a program at Capella University.

Benefits of a For-Profit College

Capella’s Professional Studies in Education master’s program “is designed for educators working in a variety of educational, business, and community settings” (, 2011). Not only was I able to build a knowledge-base in educational philosophy, classroom assessment, and numerous educational theories, I was able to take other courses and further develop the skills most relevant to me as a family life educator. In addition, I was able to lay the groundwork for the next phase of my career.

Types of For-Profit Colleges

There are different kinds of for-profit institutions. Some are career colleges that prepare students to enter the workforce as massage therapists or medical coders, while others have academic missions similar to those of traditional four-year colleges and universities. Each for-profit school is different, just like each traditional school is different. Some do a great job at educating its students and some suck. The same can be said about traditional schools as well.

It’s important that each person who considers attending a for-profit institution do their homework like they would with a state school. Conduct the same kind of research they would when looking at a traditional school. It may turn out that a career or technical degree is the best fit for their career aspirations. Or maybe going to school online better fits their lifestyle. Either way, they must do their due diligence.

I couldn’t be happier with my experience at Capella. What I learned there has been invaluable to my growth and practice as a family life educator. In the beginning Capella may have been my only option, but in the end it turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

W. H. Deyamport, III, MSEd., is a student whose blog aims provide resources, share personal insights, and offer a space for other professionals to share their expertise on a variety of topics, within the subject areas of leadership, social media, career developments, and education. You can follow him on Twitter at @peoplegogy. This post was originally posted on his blog and has been reposted with permission.