American InterContinental University is owned by Career Education Corporation (CEC), a publicly traded company, and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). AIU consists of seven campuses and AIU Online, a division of the Atlanta (Buckhead), Georgia campus. AIU Online offers five undergraduate online degrees and three online master's degrees. These online degree programs include:
- Associate of Arts in Business Administration
- Bachelor's in Information Technology (degree completion program)
- Bachelor of Business Administration (degree completion program)
- Bachelor of Fine Arts/Visual Communication (degree completion program)
- Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (degree completion program)
- Master's in Information Technology
- Master's in Business Administration
- Master of Education
All AIU campuses operate on a ten-week quarter system. AIU Online, and some of the onsite campuses, offer courses in an accelerated format through two five-week mini terms in each of the ten-week quarters. Students enrolled in the online degree programs are required to take a minimum of one to two courses per term depending upon their degree program of study.
AIU requested the 50 percent waivers. Since AIU was not approaching either of the 50 percent thresholds, and does not offer correspondence courses, the Department elected to defer a decision on granting these waivers until the time that AIU needs them.
Financial Aid Issues/Alternatives
AIU brings to the Demonstration Program a well-designed and comprehensive online student services system, including financial aid advising and administration. AIU has integrated systems that, among other things, allow for dynamic recording of attendance in the student records system (the most recent academic activity is recorded as the last date of attendance in the student's academic record) and electronic SAP verification. AIU is offering their Online Financial Aid Processing Center model as one solution to the complex systems issues associated with non-traditional education. It will be important to evaluate this system and its potential for wider adoption or replication. Since joining the Demonstration Program, AIU Online has implemented an electronic signature option for students in all documents incurred during their degree matriculation.
Additional Goals for Participation
AIU will work with the 81 other CEC institutions to develop formal articulations of courses to facilitate degree completion for graduates of short career-focused programs. The goal is to increase the number of these students who pursue an associate or bachelor's degree by providing access to online degree programs. AIU Online has experienced a continued increase in participation in this option since joining the Demonstration Program.
AIU received state authority from Georgia in July 2002 and Illinois in December 2002 as a branch campus of the main campus in Atlanta, Georgia. Their objective is to establish AIU Online as a separate campus of the AIU system rather than a distance education services center for the main campus in Georgia, which is its current status. They obtained approval as a branch campus from their accreditor (SACS) in December 2002 and continued to be recognized as a division of the main campus by the Department of Education.
After joining the Demonstration Program, AIU expanded its consortium agreements with many other CEC-owned institutions and continues to deliver general education and lower level program courses to students enrolled at onsite CEC-owned colleges and schools (includes AIU onsite campuses). Participation in the consortium has continued to increase since AIU joined the Demonstration Program.
Demonstration Program Cohort
American InterContinental University joined the Distance Education Demonstration Program in July 2001 as part of the second cohort.