Kendall College sells programs and name to National Louis University for $1

For-profit Kendall College, best known for its culinary arts school, is vacating its Chicago campus and selling its programs to National Louis University.

The price tag for the financially struggling 84-year-old college is $1, according to a filing Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The unusual agreement, announced earlier this week, would fold Kendall’s five degree programs into the broader academic offerings at National Louis, a private nonprofit university, pending approval by federal regulators. The school will move to National Louis’ flagship campus on South Michigan Avenue, while its name will live on as the Kendall College of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management at NLU.

Kendall is owned by Baltimore-based Laureate Education, a publicly traded company operating a global network of for-profit colleges. As part of the agreement, Laureate will pay up to $14 million to support construction of new facilities at National Louis for the culinary and hospitality programs, according to the SEC filing.

“The process of moving to new facilities will occur over a period of time, which depends in part on the timing of necessary regulatory approval,” Esther Benjamin, a Laureate spokeswoman, said in an email Thursday.

Benjamin said Kendall business students would move to NLU’s campus upon approval, but culinary and hospitality students will remain at Kendall’s current Chicago campus until renovations are complete. The deal is expected to close by the latter half of the year.

“We believe this agreement with NLU represents a thoughtful solution for our current students to continue their education in Chicago at a long-standing institution with a strong mission and academic history, and we are also pleased that the Kendall name will continue,” Paul Lussow, Kendall president, said in a news release.

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Founded as an Evanston junior college in 1934, Kendall offered a broad liberal arts education for much of its history. In 1985, Kendall launched its culinary arts school, which quickly became its signature program, training many of Chicago’s top chefs over the years.

Kendall moved the campus to Goose Island in Chicago in 2005. The school has about 800 students enrolled in baking & pastry, business, culinary arts, early childhood education and hospitality management programs.

Laureate obtained an option to buy Kendall in 2004 and helped build the Goose Island campus. Its plans for the site may become clearer in the coming weeks, Benjamin said.

“Laureate is the leaseholder of the property and will embark on a process soon to consider options for the property,” Benjamin said.

A private company when it bought Kendall for an undisclosed amount in 2008, Laureate has grown rapidly, purchasing 41 schools for $2 billion in the last 10 years. The company went public in February 2017, and now has 70 schools in 25 countries.

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Laureate generated a net income of $366 million on revenues of $4.2 billion in 2016, according to an annual report filed in March.

In its report, Laureate said it intended to continue to expand its business through existing properties and the acquisition of higher education institutions, but apparently Kendall didn’t fit into those plans.

Eilif Serck-Hanssen, chief executive officer of Laureate, said in the news release Tuesday the Kendall sale reflected the company’s efforts “to simplify and focus our operations, while continuing to have a meaningful impact on the communities we serve.”

Laureate is making money, but Kendall is not.

Kendall reported an operating loss of $5.5 million on revenues of $24.2 million for the 12-month period ending Sept. 30, according to Laureate’s SEC filing Wednesday.

In 2015, the Higher Learning Commission, a Chicago-based regional accrediting organization, placed Kendall on financial monitoring for two years “over the school’s continued reliance upon Laureate to provide financial support to sustain its operations,” according to SEC filings.

The sanctions were removed after Kendall submitted an interim financial report in January 2017, commission spokesman Steve Kauffman said Wednesday.

“Increasingly, Kendall faced challenges similar to other small colleges in the U.S.,” the school’s board said in a statement Tuesday. “The Kendall board and leadership took deliberate steps to consider how best to preserve Kendall’s mission in Chicago, in the U.S. and internationally.”

A Kendall spokesman did not respond to a request for additional comment.

Founded in 1886, National Louis was long known as the National College of Education, and offered the first four-year teacher training program in Illinois. In 1990, it took on the name of philanthropist Michael W. Louis, who broadened the school’s mission by helping to establish a separate liberal arts college.

The addition of Kendall’s culinary and hospitality programs creates a third college for the university.

“This agreement provides an excellent opportunity to expand professional pathways through established programs, including culinary arts and hospitality management, and serve more students,” Nivine Megahed, NLU’s president, said in an emailed statement Wednesday.

An NLU spokeswoman said the university was not available to discuss the acquisition further.

Founded as Sylvan Learning Systems in 1989, Laureate got into the higher education business 10 years later with its acquisition of Universidad Europea de Madrid. It entered the online arena with the 2001 purchase of Walden University.

The company sold Sylvan’s supplemental and remedial educational services business in 2003, and took the Laureate name the following year.

Laureate bills itself as the “largest global network of degree-granting higher education institutions,” but its North American presence is limited, with only five institutions based in the U.S., including Kendall.

The company may be best known for recruiting a high-profile spokesman, former President Bill Clinton, who in 2010 signed a five-year contract to serve as honorary chancellor for Laureate.

His term ended in April 2015, two weeks after his wife, Hillary Clinton, began her second and ultimately unsuccessful presidential campaign.

Twitter @RobertChannick

Kendall College sells programs and name to National Louis University for $1

Illinois Officials Seek Input On Adult Education Plan


The Illinois Community College Board is calling on residents to give feedback on its draft five-year strategic plan to improve adult education. The plan includes ways to remove financial barriers for adults wanting to pursue post-secondary education. Matt Berry is with the Illinois Community College Board. He said having a college degree is becoming more essential in the workforce. “The economy has changed now, where even manufacturing and some other careers where you could enter straight from high school with a high school diploma now require additional credentialing or post-credential skills,” he said. The draft plan is available on the ICCB website. Informational meetings will be held this week in Bloomington and Palos Hills.

Illinois Officials Seek Input On Adult Education Plan

Black Hawk College names John Erwin interim president Irwin. Buy Now. John Irwin, the new interim president of Black Hawk College in Moline, poses for a photo in a meeting room with a portrait of Chief Black Hawk. … He is grateful to be part of the educational program, and appreciates his chance to “advise and support” at Black Hawk. Black Hawk is a …

Black Hawk College names John Erwin interim president

Medical assistant certification to debut at Richland in fall

DECATUR — Richland Community College will soon offer a new program to meet the growing demand for medical assistants in Central Illinois, where the closest training opportunities are now in Springfield and Champaign. 

Students will join a rapidly expanding field, with the Department of Labor predicting employment would grow 29 percent through 2026, faster than all other occupations in the medical field. Locally, Richland President Cris Valdez said Decatur Memorial Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital representatives asked Richland to develop a program because they need more workers. 

“We started on (the process) probably six to nine months ago,” said Valdez, who anticipates approval by the Illinois Community College Board at its Jan. 19 meeting. “Because it’s a national curriculum, we have to follow what the national curriculum says and align to that curriculum.”

The Richland board approved the program in December, and it could start in fall 2018. Currently, the nearest training opportunities are at Midwest Technical Institute in Springfield and Parkland College in Champaign.

Great news! The @RCCDecaturIL Board of Trustees approved our Medical Assisting program to provide much needed relief and trained graduates for our area acute care providers. One more step and we are ready to go for Fall 2018. #IChooseRichland

— RichlandPresident (@RichlandPres) December 20, 2017

Ellen Colbeck, dean of health professions, said the program must be approved by the Illinois Community College Board before Richland can begin accepting applications.

Medical assistants complete administrative and clinical tasks in hospitals, clinics and physicians’ offices. Training is a certificate program, rather than a degree, and median pay in 2016 was $31,540 per year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Richland’s program will begin with 15 students, Colbeck said. They must be eligible for English 101 and Math 098 and complete the medical terminology course with a grade of C or higher.

The tentative schedule is for each class to take four courses in the fall, five in the spring and one in summer, for 34 total credit hours. Five courses are offered already at Richland, and five are new courses specifically for medical assistants.

A memo provided to the board of trustees for its Dec. 19 meeting laid out the rationale for the program. The memo noted that DMH said in May it had hired 28 medical assistants in the past year, with six full-time and three part-time positions still open and eight new providers to be added before the end of 2017. By Nov. 30, DMH reported it had 15 medical assistant openings, the memo said.



According to Emsi, a medical services information provider based in Moscow, Idaho, available positions within 25 miles of Richland will increase 24.6 percent through 2022. The average monthly job postings on Illinois workNet for medical assistants was 29.

Medical assistant certification to debut at Richland in fall

Elmhurst Ranks No. 3 Among Illinois Colleges With Best ROI for Underserved Students

Elmhurst College ranks third in Illinois among colleges and universities that are considered the best investments for underserved students, according to a new study by the Illinois Education Research Council.
The study, “Cornerstones of Student Success: Institutions Yielding High Return on Investment for Underserved Students,” examined 55 four-year colleges and universities in Illinois, including private nonprofit and private for-profit schools.
Study authors Janet Holt and Daniel Duffy analyzed publicly available institutional data on graduation rates, earnings, student loan debt and loan default rates. They then identified the top seven postsecondary institutions in Illinois that help students from traditionally underserved populations-students of color, low-income students and first-generation students-to graduate and gain employment with less debt.
Among the top seven institutions in Illinois, Elmhurst College had the highest six-year graduation rate, as well as the highest graduation rate for African American students.
Elmhurst College is consistently named one of the Midwest’s best values in higher education, offering a strong academic experience at an affordable price, according to well-known rankings such as U.S. News & World Report, Money and Forbes magazines.
As part of its efforts to support first-generation college students, the College recently launched the American Dream Fellowship Competition, a scholarship contest that will award the first-place winner a four-year, full-tuition scholarship to attend Elmhurst. The second-place winner will receive a stipend to cover four years’ room and board.
“We’re pleased by the findings of the Illinois Education Research Council,” said Elmhurst College President Troy D. VanAken. “They reinforce our commitment to serve all of our students, and our strong belief in the power of higher education to change lives.”
To read the full report, visit
Elmhurst College is a leading four-year college that seamlessly blends liberal learning and professional preparation to help students reach their full potential. Elmhurst College offers more than 60 undergraduate majors, 15 graduate programs, degree-completion programs for busy adults, and the acclaimed Elmhurst Learning and Success Academy for young adults with developmental disabilities. Elmhurst College is one of the Top 15 Colleges in the Midwest, according to U.S. News & World Report; and U.S. News, Money and Forbes magazines consistently rank Elmhurst as one of the Midwest’s best values in higher education.

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Elmhurst Ranks No. 3 Among Illinois Colleges With Best ROI for Underserved Students

Veteran administrator to take interim post at Black Hawk College

John Erwin has been appointed as interim president of Black Hawk College, to take the place of retiring president, Bettie Truitt, according to a news release from the college.

Truitt announced she would retire this past June, effective Dec. 31. Erwin has most recently served as interim president of Marion Technical College in Marion, Ohio.

“I would like to thank Dr. Truitt for her contributions to the college over her 30-year career. We will miss her,” Rick Fiems, president of the community college board of trustees, said in the news release.

Truitt said in a June interview that she loved working at Black Hawk, where she started as a math instructor.

The ongoing budget battles in Illinois were the last favorite part of the job, she said, and have been tough on community colleges. Illinois owes Black Hawk College $3.3 million for this fiscal year, as reported during an Oct. 26 board meeting.

Erwin has spent more than 30 years working in higher education, in administrative and instructional roles, mostly at the community college level. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Indianapolis, in 1977, and a master’s degree in 1982 and doctorate in 1987 from Indiana University.

Final contract terms are expected to be reached shortly. Erwin’s confirmation will come at the Dec. 14 board meeting.

“We are very pleased to have Dr. Erwin to lead our college community as we continue the search for a new president,” Fiems said in the news release.

Veteran administrator to take interim post at Black Hawk College

Dip in number of female freshmen Ginn, Voice Correspondent

MACOMB – Gender proportion can have a role in maintaining a prosperous public university and avoids the stigma being of a male- or female-centric school.
Seth Miner, director of admissions at Western Illinois University, examined trends of male and female new freshman enrollment and reported his findings to the Faculty Senate on Tuesday.
The data sets provided to the Faculty Senate show an annual percentage of change between male and female students in the incoming freshman class spanning a 10 year period from 2007 to 2017.
“The trend shows that over the past few years we’ve had an increase in incoming female freshmen students,” Miner said. He said there has been a “significant decrease” in the percentage of female students from fall 2016 to fall 2017.
Fall enrollment of incoming freshman students for Fall 2016:
Males: 657; Females: 870; Total: 1,527
Fall enrollment of incoming freshman students for Fall 2017:
Males: 575; Females: 633; Total: 1,206
The annual percentage of change represents a decline or increase in the population of male and female incoming freshmen students.
In the 2016 Fall semester, the male population experienced a decline of 7.2 percent and the female population experienced an increase of 5.2 percent.
In the 2017 Fall semester, the male population experienced a decrease of 12.5 percent and the female population experienced a decrease of 27.2 percent.
“From Fall 2015 to Fall 2016, we went up five percent in our female new incoming freshmen,”
Miner said. “So, that adds to the significance of the decline in female students.”
He said the decline in female incoming freshmen is “something that we are looking at, but it is an anomaly and it is a one-year significant change that we need to monitor and see if it’s continuing to happen, and then, if need be determine why it’s happening.”
Mine said that his department is “monitoring our applications across the board, not just by gender, but (also) by academic program – everything.”
He added that this abrupt change in female freshman enrollment needs to be identified as either a one time change or the onset of a new trend in enrollment at WIU.
But making changes in how students are recruited and retained or changes to academic programs that women are interested in, such as nursing and teacher education, Miner said, “would not give us direction; we wouldn’t know how to strategically address it unless we identified this is a trend.”
“And when it comes to recruitment of freshmen students” Miner said, “we recruit all students. We provide all students, male and female — doesn’t matter where they are from; their background – we recruit them all the same. We gather the interests they have in an academic program, size of the institution, location, our value proposition and we provide them that information to make them able to make a decision on their college choice.”

Reach Christopher Ginn by email at

Dip in number of female freshmen