Good Neighbor Initiative Celebrates 1-Year Anniversary More Than 22,000 Residents Benefited from the Service in its First Year

SALT LAKE CITY, May 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Center for Excellence in Higher Education, which operates Stevens-Henager College, CollegeAmerica, Independence University and California College San Diego, celebrated the one-year anniversary of its Good Neighbor Initiative (GNI). In its first year, the GNI helped more than 22,000 community members improve their lives through a number of free courses and workshops offered at local campuses.

The GNI is a community outreach service that provides classes, workshops and education at no cost to participants, including covering the costs of exam fees such as the GED® exam. The GNI offers training and further educational opportunities at each of its campuses in Utah, Idaho, Arizona, California, Colorado and Wyoming.

"The success of the Good Neighbor Initiative is indicative of the need our communities have for this type of service," said Eric Juhlin, CEO of CEHE. "The Center for Excellence in Higher Education actively seeks and promotes educational opportunities that support communities and families. Many of our GNI students have gone on to pursue additional higher-education opportunities within their communities, strengthening their local economies and providing more stability for their families."

More than half of the participants took advantage of the service's free GED preparation classes. The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that by 2014, 80 percent of the fastest-growing occupations in the United States will require some level of postsecondary training or education (1). Individuals with a GED credential benefit from a personal income nearly 30 percent higher than those with less than a high school diploma (2). Those with higher education are also more likely to live healthier, balanced lives and make greater contributions to their communities and economies (2).

By offering a free GED preparatory course and even paying for students to take the GED exam, the Good Neighbor Initiative supports workers in their first step toward obtaining these opportunities. It is the only service of its kind that pays for the certification exam fees in addition to all preparatory courses.

The availability of specialized GNI courses varies by campus depending on the needs of the community, but all on-ground campuses offer free GED preparation classes. Some of the more specialized offerings include CPR, computer skills, employment workshops, and more. To find out which GNI offerings are available in their area, community members should contact the campus closest to them.

For more information about the Good Neighbor Initiative, visit www.goodneighborinitiative.com. For more information about the Center for Excellence in Higher Education, visit www.cehe.org.

About Center for Excellence in Higher Education
The Center for Excellence in Higher Education (CEHE) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to improving and promoting higher education. Originally established in 2006 by a group of philanthropists, the goal of CEHE was to educate the public about the state of higher education and help donors promote excellence in higher education. In 2012, CEHE merged with CollegeAmerica Services Inc., the parent company of Stevens-Henager College, CollegeAmerica, Independence University and California College San Diego, and the group was restructured as a 501(c)(3) educational organization. Offering both undergraduate and graduate degree programs in healthcare, business, graphic arts and computer science, CEHE and its system of colleges are committed to preparing professionals for meaningful careers and an increased sense of satisfaction as it continues to pursue excellence in higher education. For more information, visit www.cehe.org.

(1) National Commission on Adult Literacy. (2008). Reach higher, America: Overcoming crisis in the U.S. workforce. New York.
(2) General Educational Development Testing Service of the American Council on Education. (2008). Economic and noneconomic outcomes for GED credential recipients. Washington, D.C.

SOURCE Center for Excellence in Higher Education



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