May 29, 2012

For more information:
Heather Greenaway, 571-215-6151
Charles Ellison, 202-251-8102



Washington, DC - The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU) today announced their 2012 annual achievement award recipients. These awards honor the accomplishments of students, teachers and institutions within the career college community.

Included are the Hall of Fame, Educator of the Year, Most Innovative New Program, and Community Service awards. Over 90 nominations were reviewed by APSCU. Award winners will be honored at a special luncheon hosted by APSCU at their annual convention in Las Vegas, NV.

The following list outlines the esteemed winners of 2012:

Hall of Fame Award:

The Hall of Fame is awarded to Amy Nelson, Graduate of the Minnesota School of Business in Elk River, Minnesota.

At the age of eighteen, after working two years in the homecare industry, Amy decided to start her own home care company, Accurate Home Care. Amy founded the company on theprinciples of compassion and precise care. As a testament to her dedication to these standards, she continued pursuing her own higher education goals as a way to better serve her clients. She initially took courses in nursing, but then decided to focus more on the business side of home care. As a result, she attended the Minnesota School of Business in Elk River, where she studied health care management and business administration.

Today, Amy is the founder and CEO of Accurate Home Care. Amy oversees the operations of the entire company, which has grown as Minnesota's largest home care provider. Rated among the top 25 providers in the state, her company serves as a resource for local hospitals, county workers, physicians, and the community at large.

"The Hall of Fame award honors a graduate of an APSCU member school who has gone on to achieve great heights in his or her field of study, and has had an immense impact on their profession and surrounding community," said Steve Gunderson, president and CEO of APSCU. "Amy continued her education in order to establish and grow a business known and sought after for its excellence in home health care. Amy is committed to her work and her community and APSCU is honored to award her with the 2012 Hall of Fame award."

Educator of the Year:

The Educator of the Year award has been awarded to Catherine Romeo of CollegeAmerica- Flagstaff, Arizona.

The Educator of the Year award honors one spectacular teacher who has established a longstanding commitment to his or her field and the transformative power of teaching. Catherine Romeo, Assistant Professor at CollegeAmerica Flagstaff, has shown her commitment in various ways within her school and community.

Catherine has been teaching full time in the medical program for nine years. Catherine holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Fine Arts from Arizona State University and a Masters of Organizational Management in Business from the University of Phoenix. With two decades in health care administration, telemedicinedevelopment, and health care education, Catherine has been routinely involved in community service with the March of Dimes and American Cancer Society, and regularly communicates with local, state, and federal lawmakers on issues concerning health care policy and health education issues.

In 2010, Catherine earned the Instructor of the Year award for her pursuit of success with each individual student. Her kindness and effective teaching style in the classroom earned her an overall 97% satisfaction from student surveys from over 191 classes she has instructed throughout the last 9 years. She now also serves as a retention specialist for CollegeAmerica and has helped achieve retention in the 90th percentile.

"Catherine's compassionate and giving spirit, coupled with her high standards of achievement for herself and her students, have made her APSCU's choice for the 2012 Educator of the Year award," said Steve Gunderson. "Catherine sets the standards for the dedication needed by those who teach our students and serve our communities."

Most Innovative New Program:

The Innovative New Program award has been awarded to Anthem College - Maryland Heights, Missouri.

The Innovative New Program award honors a campus that has developed a unique and inventive program, empowering its students to achieve even greater success in their college and career goals.

Anthem College in Maryland Heights, MO took a look at the traditional approach to Alumni engagement and decided that a different approach to alumni relations would greatly benefit their student body. Realizing that their students are career-focused and need support, Anthem College developed a program of peer support and professional development between alumni and the current student body.

They created the ACA, the Anthem College Alumni, to provide career support, guidance, tutoring, and a network that would extend well beyond graduation. The ACA hosts its own committee with Anthem Alumni serving in leadership roles to develop connectivity between students, faculty, alumni, and the greater community. The committee focuses on social networking, events, fundraising, and professional development, as well as having graduates connect to the community. They help students create professional profiles on Facebook and LinkedIn, reunite graduates from years past, and provide opportunities for other Anthem Alumni to get involved.

"The ACA views giving back to the community and being connected to their community as a huge strength and invaluable resource to their students, and has taken this great step to equip their graduates for a bright future," said Steve Gunderson. “APSCU proudly honors Anthem College - Maryland Heights with the 2012 Most Innovative New Program award."

Community Service Award:

The Community Service Award has been awarded to Pima Medical Institute - Mesa, Arizona.

The Community Service Award honors a campus that goes above and beyond to implement charitable community programs, and engage staff and students in volunteer efforts. The students at the Pima Medical Institute are encouraged to participate in service projects through their collaborative input, development, and organization of community initiatives throughout the year. In 2011, Pima's Mesa campus created a calendar consisting of 14 community projects throughout the year supporting organizations that were both local and global.

Their "Hope Fest" was designed to provide multiple resources to the homeless all in one location, and throughout the day the students provided 50 of their neighbors with health screening and counseling services. The students also raised $13,857 for the American Lung Association, and participated in charity walks/runs for the Nurses Foundation Scholarship and the American Cancer Society. They have collected school supplies, held several drives to collect a variety of needed items, supported the Lions Club and the Girl Scouts, and even extended their reach internationally to donate flocks of chickens to communities in developing countries.

"Pima Medical institute in Mesa, Arizona exemplifies the spirit of generosity that APSCU hoped to honor when it created the Community Service Award," said Steve Gunderson. "The students participate in all of these projects while attending school, and APSCU couldn't be happier to present the 2012 Community Service Award to the students and faculty at the Pima Medical Institute."

Honorable Mentions:

APSCU also announced the following honorable mentions for the 2012 awards below:

Hall of Fame: Heidi Thomas, Brown College of Court Reporting in Atlanta, GA

Educator of the Year: Paul Danner, Rosedale Technical Institute in Pittsburgh, PA

Community Service: WyoTech in Laramie, WY


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PSCUs open doors to many of the 9 million unemployed and 90 million undereducated Americans by providing a skills-based education. To remain competitive over the next decade, we must identify between 8 and 23 million new workers with postsecondary skills. PSCUs are a necessary part of that solution, having produced over 800,000 degrees last year alone.