Cenquest Signs Deals With Both IBM & Microsoft To Develop Company-Specific Online Graduate Programs

January 29, 2002

PORTLAND, OR – January 28, 2002 – E-Learning company Cenquest announced the signing of two separate deals – one with IBM and one with

Microsoft – to develop and deliver a new kind of online education program

for employees. Cenquest is the only e-learning company to work with leading

universities, tailoring their established graduate programs to address individual

company needs. For participating companies, the result is a university graduate

program that dramatically increases the return on investment for their corporate-reimbursed

employee education programs.

IBM employees will have an opportunity to earn a master’s degree in technology

commercialization from The University of Texas at Austin through its IC2 Institute.

Microsoft employees are participating in accredited graduate technology management

courses from Oregon Health & Science University’s School of Science

& Engineering.

In each case, Cenquest is working closely with an established university and

the company to deliver graduate business education that augments a degree program’s

core curriculum with company-specific content. Delivered online through Cenquest,

the programs will allow corporations to gain unprecedented control over their

investment dollars currently spent in tuition-reimbursed education programs.

“By placing The University of Texas’ leading edge curriculum within

the context of IBM’s ongoing projects, we believe we will be offering our

employees an education with value and relevance that is unprecedented,”

said Bruce Aumack, a manager at IBM’s center of learning. “IBM clearly

understands that the marketplace is continuously evolving. The custom degree

program will help ensure that our employees are prepared to meet the challenges

of a changing marketplace and help IBM lead the industry into the future.”

“We are interested in the flexibility this new education model promises

in both content and implementation,” said Kim Robitaille, program manager

of Higher Education at Microsoft Corp. about the OHSU offering. “As a leader

in innovation, Microsoft is interested in the potential of this program.”

Company-Specific Degrees

Cenquest creates company-specific online degree programs by working closely

with individual companies and established universities to offer curricula that

are both academically rigorous and responsive to individual company needs. Companies

are given several avenues for customizing the programs to meet their specific

requirements. These may involve:

  • Including assignments and group projects that focus on the company’s

    critical business issues.

  • Integrating company-specific readings, discussions and examples within courses.
  • Involving company executives and customers as online “speakers”

    or discussion moderators.

  • Choosing specific course options.
  • Designing a delivery schedule to fit the company’s calendar.

“The traditional wall between academia and business is beginning to crumble,”

said LaVonne Reimer, CEO for Cenquest. “We are seeing the marriage of academic

curricula and company-specific needs spark the imagination of CEOs looking to

generate a more substantial and visible return on their employee education investment.”

While e-learning programs in general have afforded companies a new level of

scheduling flexibility and geographic freedom, Cenquest believes the growing

interest in company-specific degree programs delivered online is due to added

benefits this learning model provides. These include:

  • Employee recruiting: Offering a degree program from a prestigious college

    or universities has proven to be an effective recruitment tool.

  • Employee retention: Since coursework addresses company-specific needs, the

    employee’s value to the company increases. When employees have the professional

    satisfaction of contributing to an organization’s success, they are less

    likely to be recruited away.

  • Reduced consulting costs: Since real work projects and company issues are

    addressed in an academic setting with the mentorship of industry-experienced

    professors, the need for expensive outside consulting is reduced.

  • Business relationship building: The online collaborative learning environment

    provides company employees with an excellent opportunity to build valuable

    relationships throughout an organization.

Cenquest has delivered corporate-specific degree programs and graduate courses

for employees from a number of top technology companies. Intel employees are

currently enrolled in a Cenquest-delivered company-specific MBA program being

offered by Babson College. Cenquest is also providing the e-learning component

for the highly acclaimed TRIUM international executive degree program that includes

New York University Stern School of Business (NYU Stern), the London School

of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and HEC, Graduate Business School

in Paris.

About Cenquest

Cenquest is the only e-learning company to offer corporations university-branded

degree programs and other university courses that are tailored to meet company-specific

needs. Cenquest courses are highly interactive, instructor-mediated and event

driven. They offer the interactive element of traditional classes through online

discussions and collaboration between students and faculty. Cenquest also offers

a full range of necessary support and delivery services required to enable e-learning

events, including faculty support and training, student registrations and tracking

and event management and hosting. For more information about Cenquest visit

www.cenquest.com or call (503) 276-7900.

About The University of Texas at Austin’s IC2 Institute

The IC2 Institute is a strategic center for technology commercialization at

The University of Texas at Austin. IC2 – which stands for Innovation, Creativity,

and Capital – is a prestigious international, multi-disciplinary research

and education institute that links technology, entrepreneurship, and education

to foster sustainable social and economic development around the world. The

Institute, founded by Dr. George Kozmetsky, former Dean of The University of

Texas Business School and co-founder of Teledyne, is the home of the Austin

Technology Incubator and the founder of The Austin Software Council and The

Capital Network. The IC2 Institute also offers the world-renowned one-year Master

of Science Degree in Science and Technology Commercialization. For more information,

please see URL www.ic2.org/msdegree or call (800) 687-8532.

About OHSU

Oregon Health & Science University is a top research university focusing

on medicine, engineering, nursing and dentistry. It is a national cancer research

center, and the largest private research university in the U.S. Northwest. OHSU’s

department of Management in Science and Technology attracts the best technical

professionals in these fields, providing rigorous and relevant preparation for

the management of technology-intensive organizations. For more information about

the department, contact Victoria Tyler at vtyler@admin.ogi.edu or 503-748-1335.

Other product or service names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their

respective owners.