Bridgepoint Education (NYSE: BPI), a provider of postsecondary education services, announced today the launch of Constellation, an innovative suite of interactive educational materials that will increase both the educational quality and affordability of an education for online students at its Ashford University.
Constellation's highly engaging Web-based course materials include both text and multimedia assets that were developed in cooperation with subject matter experts from across the country, as well as Ashford University faculty. Andrew Clark, Bridgepoint Education's chief executive officer, announced the launch during an Investor Day Conference at the company's San Diego headquarters.
"Investing in learning platforms to drive high quality educational results and positive student outcomes is fundamental to Bridgepoint Education and Ashford University. Innovation has always been at the heart of those investments, ever since our faculty and content experts first began designing course materials that enhance adult learning online.
"We're especially excited about Constellation, which takes student access, and affordability of content, to a new level," said Clark. Noting that competitors had attempted portable, interactive approaches, Clark said, "While many institutions offer electronic books and incorporate some of their digital assets into the learning management system, very few if any provide extensive access to all materials – including textbooks. Constellation does, and also distinguishes itself on several fronts.
"For example, primary and supplemental reading materials have been sourced and are owned by Bridgepoint Education. This allows the institution to provide highly mobile content and allows students to access materials through a variety of devices. In addition, ownership also allows the institution to give students the freedom to use materials in any way they wish; they can download to multiple devices, print without restriction, and keep for future reference. Finally, materials are aligned with Ashford University outcomes and take into account students' prior knowledge and experiential base."
Given the close alignment of materials with Ashford University outcomes, a more relevant and comprehensive education experience is provided to students. Constellation also presents opportunities for tighter integration with Bridgepoint Education assessment tools, including Waypoint Outcomes' interactive assessment tools and surveys that develop rich data on student learning outcomes and help assure optimum online instruction for students. Waypoint Outcomes was acquired by Bridgepoint in 2009.
Constellation materials are displayed in a proprietary, browser-based reader developed and owned by Bridgepoint Education. The innovative Constellation Reader is included with the course materials and gives students an interactive web-based experience. It enables students to search and download multiple versions of the materials like PDF and ePub, and also creates highlights, notes and bookmarks. While full functionality is best enjoyed with the Constellation reader, students may also engage with the materials on a variety of devices, including web-enabled cell phones like the Blackberry and iPhone, as well as devices such as the Kindle and the new iPad.
Students are free to use their course materials in any way that works best for them. They can enjoy a full audio version of the materials, download materials to various devices, print them without restriction, keep them for future reference, or share the materials with colleagues.
A cornerstone of Constellation is student affordability. Constellation materials replace third-party textbooks, which have typically cost online students $150 per course. With Constellation, the cost is expected to be cut in half to approximately $75. Initially, Constellation will be provided in ten Ashford University general education courses and ultimately will include core courses in approximately 80 percent of degree programs over the next two to three years.
Constellation officially launched on April 29 and is currently available to new students who enroll in Ashford University's online programs. Both the Constellation Reader and proprietary content are owned by Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
"Constellation ties directly to our institution's mission to provide affordable, accessible and the highest quality learning platforms that enhance the student experience," said Clark. "Constellation is a strong addition to our robust, four-pillar student value proposition – affordability, access, transferability and heritage. As we move forward and Constellation expands to increasing numbers of students, we are continuing to demonstrate that innovation brings our students the very best educational value in the postsecondary sector."
About Bridgepoint Education
Bridgepoint Education's postsecondary education services focus on offering associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs in such disciplines as business, education, psychology, social sciences and health sciences. Bridgepoint Education's regionally accredited academic institutions – Ashford University and University of the Rockies – deliver their programs online as well as at traditional campuses located in Clinton, Iowa, and Colorado Springs, Colorado and are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (www.ncahlc.org). For more information about Bridgepoint Education, visit www.bridgepointeducation.com or call Shari Rodriguez, director of Public Relations at 858.668.2580.
This news release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include, without limitation, information relating to the following: the availability of Constellation for students at the Company's academic institutions; the Company's expectations regarding the value of Constellation to students at its academic institutions; the Company's expectations regarding the pricing and affordability of Constellation materials; and other similar matters that are not historical facts. Words such as "may," "should," "could," "would," "predicts," "potential," "continue," "expects," "anticipates," "future," "intends," "plans," "believes," "estimates" and similar expressions, as well as statements in the future tense, identify forward-looking statements, but their absence does not mean that a statement is not forward-looking.
Forward-looking statements should not be interpreted as a guarantee of future performance or results and will not necessarily be accurate indications of the times at, or by, which such performance or results will be achieved. Forward-looking statements are based on information available at the time those statements are made and management's good faith belief as of that time with respect to future events. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual performance or results to differ materially from those expressed in or suggested by the forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause such differences include, but are not limited to: failure to achieve the expected benefits from Constellation; unexpected delays in the availability of Constellation to students at the Company's academic institutions; unexpected increases in the pricing of Constellation and related course materials; and other factors discussed in Part II, Item 1A (Risk Factors) of the Company's quarterly report on Form 10-Q filed on May 3, 2010, and in other reports the Company may file with the Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time.
Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date the statements are made. You should not put undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. The Company assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect actual results, changes in assumptions or changes in other factors affecting forward-looking information, except to the extent required by applicable securities laws. If the Company does update one or more forward-looking statements, no inference should be drawn that the Company will make additional updates with respect to those or other forward-looking statements.