Strayer University or Strayer Education, Inc. As it is formally known, has a history of more than a century in providing business education for working adults. Dr. S. Irving Strayer founded the Strayer’s Business College in 1892, with the primary purpose of providing professional education to adults who have already entered the workplace. This is a purpose that is still honored by Strayer Education, Inc. today. The primary output of the university is therefore education to working adults, with concomitant factors such as student support, appropriate educational technology, and instructor expertise. Given the growth of the university over the period of its existence, the conclusion is that its output performance has been high.
The school was renamed Strayer College in 1969, when it received licensure to offer Bachelor of Science degrees, and it received permission to offer Master of Science degrees in 1987. Strayer Education, Inc. was founded in 1996 as a component of the College to raise expansion capital. Strayer College obtained university status in 1998, and Strayer Education, Inc. completed a major recapitalization process for the university in 2000. This included new senior management, headed by Robert S. Silberman.
Today the university has more than 56,000 students and has a reputation as one of the best-capitalized and most successful providers of proprietary higher education. This has only been achieved by continuous attention to excellence in terms of outputs.
Specifically, Strayer University’s outputs can be classified as business education. Clients are generally working professionals who wish to further their business education. Financial assistance is also a component of these outputs, and is granted to prospective students who are considered to deserve it on the grounds of excellence in their field of work or study. Furthermore, staff are chosen in terms of the excellence of output that they can deliver. Generally, education providers are those who have worked in their particular field of education. They therefore have both educational skill and expertise in their field of study in order to provide students with a balanced education in the chosen field of study. Specific fields of study are all aimed towards business education. These include fields such as Business and Management, Computer Science and Engineering, Education and Teaching, Family and Social Work, Hospitality, Liberal Arts, Medical Administration, and Security and Law Enforcement. Degrees range from Associate to Masters Degrees.
In order to enable working adults to study conveniently at the University, courses are presented from an online platform. Hence, technological outputs also need to be optimized, with an easy platform for students to access study materials. Here also, performance is high, as indicated by the student enrolment numbers, satisfaction reports, and general reputation of the university.
Organizational performance is measured by means of student enrolment figures, revenue, net income, and earnings per share. From the year 2002-2009, Fall Term student enrolment increased from 16,500 to 54,300. Revenue increased from $116.7 million to $511,9 million. Net income rose from $25,8 million to $105.1 million, while earnings per share increased from $1.78 to $7.60 (Strayer Education, Inc., Financial Performance, 2010). These performances have therefore been exceptional, particularly from 2008 to 2009.
According to a Strayer University press release (2010), the University’s performance improved even more for the first three months of the year, with revenues rising by 27% to $157.9 million, income from operations by 26% to $59.9 million, and net income at 25% higher, coming to $47.6 million. Student enrolment numbers for the Spring term were also at record highs, amounting to 55,970, which is 22% higher than those entering the university during Spring 2009. Performance in all these areas were therefore excellent.
The structure of the University’s employees include managers and employees, with top management made up of six persons, each with varied expertise in the fields of finance, communication, law, leadership, and education. Each person’s task is to optimize outputs in the various required fields of university management.
It has been mentioned above that staff are chosen on the basis of the field expertise as well as educational excellence (Strayer University, 2010). Staff and faculty are dedicated not only to the teaching and learning process, but also to the students themselves. Input by these individuals concern the clients directly, and is provided in the form of direct service. All staff are available for consultation outside of classroom hours, to provide extra help to students who need this. In addition to such personal communication, education is also provided in a practicable way, so that students can use the education they receive immediately within their existing workplace or when entering a new profession.
Groups are identified both internally and externally. Within each campus, the University has functional groups in the form of various faculties, including Business and Management, Liberal Arts, and so on, to cater for each subject field offered. Within each faculty, various departments specify directions of study such as Business Administration, Accounting, Public Administration, and Criminal Justice, among others. The student body is the client group identified, with both campus and online students receiving education.
The average age of the student body is 34, because of the nature of education offered by the University. Students are able to balance their home, family, and university life because of the online and night class facilities offered. Students are also generally very goal-oriented, being that they have been in a profession for some time, and that they have specific career goals that they are seeking to further by means of their studies. This is a contributing factor to the success rate of Strayer University in terms of their educational product outputs.
Externally, groups are defined in terms of geographic regions. In his 2009 annual letter to shareholders, Robert Silberman indicated that uniform high demand for Strayer’s educational services across the country has driven significant growth of geographic expansion. This has however been limited by Strayer University’s concern with a proper focus on academic quality. According to the director, it is much easier for administrators and academic deans to keep track of academic performance when campuses are located within a reasonable travel distance. Strayer University has therefore expanded form its base in Washington D.C. To the mid-atlantic and southeast regions of the United States. Nevertheless, growth has been significant, with a current total of 31 new campuses operating for three years or less.
Academic outputs are therefore ensured by a hands-on approach, with academic staff regularly visiting campuses to maintain uniformity of quality. Students attending any Strayer University campus or online environment are therefore assured of the highest quality of education that is not only academically relevant, but also in the practical business world.
Both functional and geographic groups therefore work together to reach the University’s overall goal of excellent business education to adult students. Faculties and departments focus upon the most relevant and up-to-date presentation material and technology, while individual lecturers commit themselves to providing each student with the specialized attention and care they need to make a success of their studies and careers.
In this way, there is an integrated commitment from top management to individual professors and administrators to further the goals and outputs of the University. Excellence is therefore ensured, and the output performance of the University and all the groups functioning within it, can be said to be at a very high level.
Silberman, Robert S. (2009). Letter to Shareholders. Strayer Education, Inc. Annual Report 2009. Retrieved from http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/STRA/916322741x0x353509/C4984D55-27AA-440A-B370-CE3D306CF2D5/STYR_09AR_Final.pdf
Strayer Education, Inc. (2010). Financial Performance. Retrieved from http://www.strayereducation.com/growth.cfm?pageSection=growth
Strayer Education, Inc. (2010, Apr. 29). Press Release reporting Record First Quarter 2010 Revenues and Earnings; and Record Spring Term 2010 Enrolments. Retrieved from http://www.strayereducation.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=464858
Strayer University (2010). CTI College Search. Retrieved from http://www.citytowninfo.com/school-profiles/strayer-university
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