- By: Dave Johnson, M.B.A., M.P.A., Director of Center Operations of National University – Fresno, Chamber Ambassador
Though the recent downturn in the economy certainly has had a tremendous affect on both crime and poverty rates, educational institutions and education as a whole have continued to offer society a positive influence. These establishments assist in the production of a more educated, employable workforce who can become productive members of society that contribute to, rather than take from, cost, or hinder the wellbeing of its members.
As an Alumnus, I can speak to the positive influence my particular institution has had and continues to have on the many members of society it has come in contact with.
Even as the “Higher Education Landscape” continues to evolve, NationalUniversity remains true to its “core values” of quality, access, relevance, accelerated pace, affordability, and community. Historically focused on working professionals, National now increasingly attracts younger students, community college transfers, and members of the military. Dedicated to the promotion of continuous learning, the University offers a variety of instructional approaches, encourages scholarship, engages in collaborative community service, and empowers students to become responsible citizens in an interdependent, global community.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, state budget cuts for higher education have resulted in a 15% average tuition increase at four-year public universities, with increases as high as 40% in California and other states. In contrast, financial stability at National University (National has an unrestricted net asset value of $595 million with no debt) benefits students in the form of undergraduate tuition costs that are 60% lower than the average private, nonprofit, four-year educational institution.
NationalUniversity recognizes that the way in which society communicates has changed dramatically. Accordingly, it engages in all major social media sites to create greater access to students and interested individuals. It understands the sometimes hectic life of working adults and has done a tremendous job of making earning a degree a little easier by offering flexible schedules and an accelerated one-course-per-month format.
As it has been from the beginning, NationalUniversity continues to make lifelong learning opportunities accessible, challenging, and relevant to a diverse student population. In fact, National provides more master’s degrees in education to minority students that any other college or university in California. NationalUniversity also ranks first in California and in the top 10 nationally in granting master’s degrees to women.
There are a lot of factors that can contribute to an increase in poverty or an increase in the overall crime rate but obtaining a professional education or earning a college degree is certainly one factor that can make a positive societal impact. Whether it is simply by eliminating the dangers of idleness/lack of productivity, or providing an individual person with the ability to earn a good living and thereby contribute financially to their community, education is always a step in the right direction.