2015 marks the 20th anniversary of Tulsa, Oklahoma based Community Care College. Founded by Teresa Knox in 1995, the college has two branch campuses, Clary Sage College and Oklahoma Technical College, offering a total of 45 accredited diploma or associate degree programs in high-demand career fields such as health care, business, cosmetology, veterinary, welding, automotive, and many others.
The colleges operated under a for-profit corporation for 20 years, and on June 30th, the assets of the colleges were acquired by a newly formed 501(c)(3) public charity, Community HigherEd. Career colleges play a critical role in the nation’s economic growth and development. With the U.S. ranking 14th in people between the ages of 25-34 with a college degree, career-focused training of specialized skills will continue being instrumental in improving that metric so that the country improves international standing.
Although tax status with the IRS has changed, Ms. Knox states that the company currently operates similar to a non-profit on many counts: it is socially wired, has a transparent culture, and is committed to being a contributing force to the community. The college wants to continue being evaluated, as all higher education institutions should be, on student outcomes….graduation rates, job placement rates, and student loan default rates.
“‘For Profit’ is periphery to our primary mission and purpose and minimizes our long-term goal,” states CEO Teresa Knox, “Our strategy is to increase the number and amount of scholarships offered to students in order to reduce student loan debt and expand educational and career opportunities to those that need it most.”