Sylvan Learning Systems Announces Formation of Online Higher Education Division; New Division Will be Headed by Sylvan Veteran Paula Singer
Sylvan Learning Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:SLVN) today announced it has created an Online Higher Education division focused on broadening the Company’s presence and reach in the fast-growing sector of post-secondary and adult continuing education delivered through distance learning.
The new division will build on the success achieved by Canter & Associates, Sylvan’s teacher training business, and one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing distance learning organizations.
Each year, Canter enrolls more than 35,000 teachers in graduate programs, including nearly 10,000 in master’s degree programs offered through Canter university partners. Earlier this year Canter also joined with Walden University to offer an online master’s degree in education with a specialization in elementary reading and literacy.
“Canter has become one of Sylvan’s great success stories. Since we acquired the business in 1997, enrollment growth in Canter’s distance learning master’s degree programs has averaged 28% per year. We believe our success in providing distance learning-based post-graduate education for teachers can be replicated in other growing professions, such as business, technology and healthcare. Our partnership with universities, and especially our flagship relationship with Walden University, offer a platform to pursue these expanding markets,” said Doug Becker, chairman and CEO of Sylvan Learning Systems.
In addition to Canter, the Online Higher Education division will manage Sylvan’s partnership with Walden University, the accredited online and distance learning university in which Sylvan Ventures has a 41% ownership stake.
The new division will also comprise the Sylvan Teachers Institute, which offers alternative teacher certification programs to school districts; and OnlineLearning.net, a leading supplier of adult continuing education which Sylvan is in the process of acquiring.
“Sylvan has aggressively transformed itself into a leader in post-secondary education. We started by identifying the international post-secondary market. Through the creation of our Sylvan International Universities subsidiary, we are now a recognized leader in that field,” Becker added. “With our new Online Higher Education division, we believe we can build a similar leadership position in the U.S. market for online post-secondary education.”
Paula Singer, a senior Sylvan executive since 1993 who has been serving as president of Sylvan’s Education Solutions division, has been named president and CEO of the Online Higher Education division.
Her current duties will be handled by Jeffrey H. Cohen, previously a Sylvan executive, and most recently Senior Vice President, Business Unit Management at Thomson Prometric, who has been named president of Sylvan Education Solutions. Sylvan Education Solutions will now include Sylvan at School (providing supplemental education services under contract to schools) and Career Starters (offering workforce skills development).
“In her role as president of Sylvan Education Solutions, Paula Singer has been responsible for Canter, and guided the company’s growth and success. In addition, she oversaw the start up and growth of our Sylvan at School, Sylvan Teachers Institute and Career Starters businesses. She will bring all of that experience to her leadership of the Online Higher Education division,” said Becker. “We also welcome back Jeff Cohen, a top-performing executive at Sylvan before he joined Prometric, where he was responsible for the majority of that company’s business.”
About Sylvan’s New Online Higher Education Division
Sylvan’s newly formed Online Higher Education division will provide coordinated management of the following business units:
- Canter & Associates – The largest teacher training
organization in the United States, Canter has more than 100
products and programs for teachers and administrators, works
in partnership with 16 degree-granting institutions of higher
education, and this year has enrolled more than 35,000
teachers in courses, including nearly 10,000 in graduate
- Walden University (owned 41% by Sylvan Ventures) – Having
received accreditation from the North Central Association in
1990, Walden University is a pioneer in distance education,
offering a range of graduate degrees in management and the
social and behavioral sciences. Walden University has
graduated thousands of students representing all 50 U.S.
states and more than 30 countries.
- Sylvan Teachers Institute – The Sylvan Teachers Institute was
formed in 1999 in response to the growing shortage of
qualified K-12 teachers nationwide; current estimates suggest
that more than 2.5 million teachers must be hired and
certified over the next 10 years. Sylvan Teachers Institute
offers school districts a range of services to support
certification and professional development of teachers.
- OnlineLearning.net (acquisition by Sylvan Learning Systems pending) – OnlineLearning.net is a leading supplier of
continuing adult education, and holds the exclusive worldwide
rights to classes developed by UCLA Extension for online
delivery. Since its founding in 1996, OnlineLearning.net has
enrolled more than 20,000 students in 1,700 online offerings,
including such subjects as business & management, computers &
information systems, accounting, and education.
About Sylvan Learning Systems, Inc.
Sylvan Learning Systems, Inc. (www.sylvan.net) is the leading provider of education services to families and schools worldwide. The Sylvan Learning Centers and Sylvan Education Solutions divisions provide personalized instruction services to K-12 students through direct consumer relationships and under contract to school systems.
Sylvan provides courses to adult students throughout the world in the areas of teacher training, accredited university offerings, and English language, through the Online Higher Education division, and the Sylvan International Universities and Wall Street Institute subsidiaries.
Sylvan International Universities is pioneering the largest and most ambitious network of post-secondary education institutions worldwide. Sylvan Ventures, Sylvan’s e-learning investment vehicle, focuses on bringing emerging Internet technology solutions to the education and training marketplace.
This release may include information that could constitute forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any such forward-looking statements may involve risk and uncertainties. Political, economic, currency, tax, regulatory, technological, competitive and other factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements.
Additional information regarding these risk factors and uncertainties is detailed from time to time in the company’s filings with the Security and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to our most recent Form 10-Q, available for viewing on our Web site. (To access this information, please click on “Investor Relations,” “SEC Filings”).