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Academic Partnerships Launches New Online Global Specializations Credential With Top U.S. Public and Private Universities

Submitted by on January 21, 2014 – 8:56 pmNo Comment

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Academic Partnerships Launches New Online Global Specializations Credential With Top U.S. Public and Private Universities

Specializations Expand Reach and Increase Revenue for U.S. Universities; Fill Need for Accessible, Affordable Higher Education Around the World

DALLAS (Jan. 21, 2014) – Academic Partnerships (AP), one of the world’s largest representatives of online learning, today announced that it has launched a new Specializations initiative designed to help partner universities capitalize on the globalization of higher education. AP has been working with prestigious, private universities that are leaders in the digital education space, such as Rice University, as well as top public universities on the development of this credential.

Under development for the past 18 months, Specializations are designed to expand reach and increase revenues for U.S. universities, while filling a void for accessible and affordable higher education globally.

“Globalization is becoming the most important trend in American higher education,” said AP Chairman and CEO Randy Best. “It has become clear to us that while institutions of higher learning in the United States have a growing affordability problem, billions of citizens around the world have an accessibility problem. The globalization of U.S. universities powered by technology has the potential to resolve both issues. We believe that our Specializations initiative, which we originated and are launching with partner universities, will significantly increase post-secondary enrollment around the world, resulting in untold benefits for citizens everywhere, while simultaneously addressing the financial challenges faced by U.S. universities.”

Harvard Business School Professor and AP Senior Advisor Dr. Clayton Christensen added, “Specializations are designed to optimize time and minimize cost. The integrity of AP’s Specializations initiative is based on the indisputable competence and expertise of the course authors, the reputations of the institutions that grant them, and the content’s alignment with the market.”

Representing a concentration of relevant knowledge in high-demand fields of global interest, such as cybersecurity, management and leadership in healthcare, and entrepreneurship and innovation, that are developed and presented by upper-level faculty with expertise in a specific field of study, Specializations consist of three progressive certificates that are offered in multiple languages and can be earned in nine months.

AP’s partner universities will provide course content, while AP will maintain responsibility for translation, marketing, and recruitment.

AP’s partner universities outside of the United States, meanwhile, will serve as host universities for the Specializations, a distinguishing factor that will allow U.S. universities to enter these new markets with unprecedented efficiency.

Specializations and the forces that have made them so attractive to universities around the world will be the focus of AP’s upcoming conference “The Globalization of Higher Education.” To be held in Dallas on March 24 and March 25, 2014, the conference, which is co-hosted by Governors Jeb Bush and Jim Hunt, as well as Queens’ College, University of Cambridge, will provide a conversational platform to collectively consider the benefits of expanding access to higher education through the export of the United States’ globally recognized brands.

World-renowned thought leaders from academia, government, and international organizations, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, bestselling author and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, CNN host Dr. Fareed Zakaria, and former President of the World Bank Robert Zoellick, will meet with the leaders of top U.S. and international universities at this first-of-its-kind event to discuss the emerging circumstances that will soon change how post-secondary institutions view the world and the ways we can dramatically expand access to higher education—and the opportunities that result from it—for the benefit of both the institutions themselves and citizens everywhere.

For more information about “The Globalization of Higher Education” conference, please visit

For more information about Specializations, please visit

About Academic Partnerships

Academic Partnerships (AP) assists universities in converting their traditional degree programs and certificates into an online format, recruits qualified students, and supports enrolled students through graduation. Serving public and private not-for-profit universities in the United States and top international institutions, AP is guided by the principle that the opportunities presented through distance learning make higher education more accessible and achievable for students in the United States and around the world. The company was founded by social entrepreneur Randy Best, an 18-year veteran of developing innovative learning solutions to improve education. For more information, please visit


Jaquelyn M. Scharnick


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