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Apollos University News & Events

Letter from the President: 2019 in Review

3/3/2020 12:24:34 PM

Dear Apollos family,

As I reflect back on our achievements in 2019, I cannot help but be excited about what the rest of 2020 has in store.  And, as we look ahead, I would like to take a few moments and reflect back on an exceptional year. In my welcome speech at the Apollos University 2019 Graduation, I included a quote from writer Karen Lamb: “A year from now you may wish you had started today.”  I feel this aptly captures our achievements and initiatives from 2019 as we started many things, we achieved many things, and we laid the groundwork for many exciting projects worth noting in these reflections. In 2019, we welcomed new team and faculty members who enhanced our academic delivery and support services, we gained approvals for on-ground course offerings and secured physical classroom space, we met and surpassed accreditation compliance benchmarks, we honed our institutional effectiveness processes, we earned several community awards, we expanded our stakeholder outreach channels, and we expertly navigated the reaccreditation cycle.

Last year, we hired new team members who directly engage prospective students, applicants, and current students.  These 2019 additions to our support team have allowed us to enhance our services and has led to innovation in the ways we provide individualized student services through automation, delegation of tasks, and the application of new procedures for ensuring our students are happy and actively working toward achieving their academic and professional goals.

Another key achievement of 2019 was the approval and launch of on-ground course offerings.  We applied for and were approved through the Distance Education and Accrediting Commission (DEAC) to launch in-residence and blended course offerings.  As part of this project, we secured and furnished classroom space, expanding our physical footprint in the process. Students can now choose to take their courses entirely online or through the new blended platform.  This feature enhances our attractiveness to Great Falls residents and also opens doors for welcoming both domestic and international students. Achieving approvals to sponsor student visas and invite international learners to participate in blended classes is the next step in this strategic initiative.

The DEAC requires that accredited institutions meet established benchmarks pertaining to consumer disclosures, government regulations, external review of curriculum and services, and graduation and stakeholder satisfaction rates.  In 2019, Apollos met and surpassed all benchmarks and the Apollos team submitted all compliance requirements on or prior to the stated deadlines.

We also engaged in a complete overhaul of our institutional effectiveness and assessment processes.  Throughout 2019, the assessment team worked to enhance our data collection and reporting processes. In so doing, new measurements were established and improved benchmarks and targets were identified.  Throughout the process, assessment findings returned high levels of student, alumni, staff, faculty, and stakeholder satisfaction with Apollos program offerings and services. The assessment team also engaged various other departments throughout the university and challenged them with effectiveness improvement projects that are currently underway, and, when completed in 2020 will add additional layers of institutional achievement and effectiveness that will continue to drive the university forward in achieving our mission, growing the brand, and striving for excellence.

In 2019, Apollos University was awarded the Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce 2019 Business of the Year Award.  The Chamber also honored me with the Ambassador of the Quarter award. Our involvement with the Chamber and the Great Falls community in general has expanded our network here in the local area and furthered our brand recognition among key stakeholders.  We are proud to be a part of this vibrant community and excited to be part of the growth and rebirth of the downtown area.

2019 also witnessed the expansion of our outreach channels.  We established numerous educational partnerships with both local and international organizations.  We honed our social media strategy and messaging and captured a wider following of social media-based stakeholders.  We also launched a new marketing campaign in late 2019 that has already resulted in greater brand recognition, growing interest in Apollos programs, and increasing enrollments.  

Finally, the biggest achievement of 2019 was the successful navigation of the DEAC reaccreditation compliance process which began for us back in October of 2018 and continued throughout 2019 with various deadlines and requirement milestones along the way.  The process culminated in the onsite visit of August 2019, which, I am proud to say, our team expertly handled. We responded to the Chair’s Report in early November 2019 and the DEAC Commission met in late January 2020. On February 24, 2020, we received notification from the DEAC that we achieved reaccreditation for another 5 years and that our application for in-residence course offerings is finalized and fully approved.  This process understandably was a major undertaking and I would personally like to thank our dedicated staff, faculty, and administrators as well as members of the Board of Directors, our Advisory Council members, and our students and alumni who participated in the process and made it such a success.

A year from now, Apollos will realize the benefits of all of these strategic initiatives and achievements.  Apollos leadership is focused on a vision of the future that adds value to awarded degrees, that makes the dream of achieving an advanced education available to more individuals, and that ensures the mission and core values of Apollos remains sustainable for many years to come.

Best wishes and Onward Bison!

Dr. Scott Eidson

Apollos President & COO

February 24, 2020


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