Concord Law School Merges with Kaplan University
October 30, 2007
Merger Creates First Online Law School within a Regionally Accredited Institution
Davenport, IA, , Oct. 30, 2007—Kaplan Higher Education today announced the merger of Concord Law School, the first wholly online law school in the United States, and Kaplan University, a leading provider of online higher education. In addition to expanded course offerings, qualified Concord students will now have access to Title IV student loans for the first time.
“Concord Law School has been a pioneer in the world of online legal education. The Law School’s merger with Kaplan University will enhance the level of service and program offerings for students, and opportunities for collaboration between the two institutions,” said Andrew S. Rosen, CEO of Kaplan Higher Education and CEO and President of Kaplan University. “Since we launched Concord in 1998, Concord has been challenging the conventional wisdom about legal education. This merger is a natural step in its development and we’re excited about the possibilities it brings.”
Both Concord Law School and Kaplan University are owned by Kaplan Higher Education Corporation, the largest business unit of global education provider Kaplan Inc. Concord Law School is now Concord Law School of Kaplan University, making it the first online law school to be part of a regionally accredited institution.
The merger opens up opportunities for the two institutions to develop joint programs and provides Concord students with expanded course offerings through the University, including graduate courses in business, health sciences and education. Concord students will also have access to the University’s library resources. Concord’s administrative operations are already integrated with those of Kaplan University.
“Having regional accreditation is a logical and important step for Concord’s evolution,” said Barry Currier, Dean of Concord Law School. “The programmatic possibilities presented by the merger are compelling, but also significant is the fact that our students who qualify can now use federal loan programs to finance their Concord education. Part of Concord’s mission is to provide access to legal education to those who cannot feasibly attend a traditional law school. One component of access is affordability.”
Concord’s Juris Doctor program satisfies the legal education requirement for eligibility to sit for the California Bar Exam. Although Concord now shares Kaplan University’s regional accreditation, at present, Concord graduates may not be eligible to sit for the Bar Exam in states other than California.
Concord Law School, which will remain based in Los Angeles, was founded in 1998 and today has 1,500 students across the country. Since Concord’s first graduating class in November 2002, more than 600 students have completed the School’s Juris Doctor (JD) and Executive Juris Doctor (EJD) programs . More than 40 percent of its students have graduate degrees upon entering the program. Many pursue a JD to advance their current careers and others plan to start a new or second career with their legal education. The school’s EJD program also provides a legal education for individuals who want a professional law degree but who do not plan to sit for the bar examination to become practicing lawyers.
In addition to now being part of a regionally accredited University, Concord is also accredited by the Distance Education Training Council (www.detc.org). Concord is registered as a distance learning law school with the California Committee of Bar Examiners (www.calbar.ca.gov). It is also a member of the International Association of Law Schools (www.ilsnet.org) and is an institutional member of the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (www.chea.org). For more information on Concord, visit http://info.concordlawschool.edu.
Kaplan University, based in Davenport, Iowa, is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). The University’s online programs have grown from 34 students in 2001 to more than 27,000 students today, placing it among the largest universities in the United States. The University also has 4,000 on-ground students studying on its eight campuses in Iowa and Nebraska.
The University offers master’s, bachelor’s and associate’s degrees in more than 100 programs and has online student support centers in South Florida, Chicago and Phoenix. Kaplan University’s market-driven curriculum is designed to prepare students to pursue careers in fields such as business, criminal justice, IT, nursing, legal and education. Many of its students are working adults who appreciate the flexibility of the online platform which allows them to juggle work, family and other responsibilities while attending classes online. For more information about Kaplan University, click onwww.kaplanuniversitynews.com.
About Kaplan Higher Education
Kaplan Higher Education serves more than 75,000 students through 70 campus-based schools across the U.S. and additional schools in Europe, Asia and Australia. It also has online programs through Kaplan University and Concord Law School. Kaplan Higher Education schools offer a spectrum of academic opportunities, from high school diplomas to graduate and professional degrees, including a Juris Doctor degree. Kaplan Higher Education is part of Kaplan, Inc., a subsidiary of The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO). For more information, visit www.kaplan.com.
PRESS CONTACTS:Michele Snipe