First of a two-part white paper: Fortis helped put thousands of Americans to work in 2010 and its campuses epitomize the value of a private sector learning experience.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 8:45 PM

College educations are important to career success, but traditional universities and community colleges aren’t right for everyone. Private sector colleges, such as Fortis, offer a broad range of educational opportunities to more than three million students nationwide, nearly 12% of America’s college-level learners, educating and training them for 17 of the 20 fastest-growing professions in the United States. For graduating high school seniors, private sector schools, like Fortis, afford a superior alternative, and for some, their only real access to higher education. Health care and technical trades are professions these graduates can easily enter and quickly attain success.

Fortis Colleges and Institutes provide access to higher education and training not readily available elsewhere. The schools are innovators, offering rolling program starts, flexible course schedules, convenient locations, online learning opportunities, focused course studies and extensive job placement support. As educators first and foremost, Fortis administrators and instructors share the same concerns high school teachers and advisors have for their students, which is why Fortis is elevating postsecondary education by investing in the preparation of our future nurses and allied health and skilled trades professionals – solid career opportunities. 

At Fortis, qualified and respected faculty members create engaging educational experiences in which students grow to reach their full potential. They work closely with students to ensure as many as possible complete their program of choice. Campuses are proud of this success, knowing that Fortis completion rates compare favorably with – and quite often surpass – those of community colleges and four-year universities.

Career opportunities in healthcare and skilled trades continue to grow and Fortis is a leader in meeting those needs through a variety of programs that include Nursing, Medical Assisting, Dental Assisting, Pharmacy, Paramedic, Radiologic Technology, HVAC and Electrical Trades. In nursing, our commitment to technology and simulation lab innovation is setting industry standards, as reflected in Fortis’ partnership with METI, the worldwide leader in medical simulation technologies and educational software. The partnership created an unprecedented human patient simulator and simulation-based curriculum at 25 Fortis College and Fortis Institute campuses nationally – one of the largest affiliated networks of nursing and allied health simulation centers in the country. 

Fortis’ reputation as a leading educator of nursing students also is reflected in its excellent pass rates for the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Exam), the examination for licensing nurses in the U.S. Review the Fortis NCLEX pass rates to learn how they compare to programs at other schools, including major universities.

And Fortis achieves results, helping put thousands of people to work last year…exactly what the economy needs. Each year, Fortis re-evaluates employment demand and adjusts its programs to ensure graduates are prepared for “real” careers. It’s a singular reason why Fortis has become one of the largest nursing educators in the country. 

Despite these advances, a strong record of success, and a portfolio of programs that have not been under government investigation, Fortis faces the challenge of being perceived as just another “for-profit” school. At the root of this is a flawed report that the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) own evidence confirms was inaccurate and biased. The agency’s probe of for-profit schools was based upon so many errors and distortions that the GAO made the rare decision to issue a revised report. Even so, many media and public officials continue to cite inaccurate findings from the discredited report, inflicting additional damage to the reputations of many fine educational institutions. 

In Part Two: Reshaping perceptions of for-profit colleges and institutes.