A former military education powerhouse is trying to re-establish itself after being out of the market for years.
The nonprofit Touro College and University System University sold off its online operation serving largely military students — now a for-profit known as Trident University International — in 2007 to raise money for a medical school. Now Touro is back in the military market after serving out the terms of a five-year noncompete agreement. Its new online school, Touro University Worldwide, must rebuild from a total of 200 students and hopes to do much of that by going back to the military community, said Yoram Neumann, the school's chief executive officer and a veteran of the Israel Defense Forces.
Neumann and wife Edith founded the old TUI, which quickly became one of the nation's biggest educators of military students.
"Certainly, Touro was a very big player," said Jeffrey Cropsey, a former director of the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support.
By 2007, Touro was bringing in $50 million in revenue annually. Neumann then took the helm of the for-profit school, which changed its name to TUI University and later Trident.
The new TUW offers four master's degrees and one certificate program, focusing on business, psychology and communications. Officials said Touro is planning to add a handful of additional programs at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels. The military education market that Touro returns to is much more crowded than the one it started in back in 1998. "It would be a tough road for anybody" to return to the position Touro once held, Cropsey said. "Having said that, they do have a tradition."
Neumann said TUW will implement a "learning guarantee" in 2013 for students who complete all of a course's requirements but don't take away the promised skills. The courses could be retaken at no cost. Students will have access to Touro's electronic materials, eliminating the need to buy books.