American InterContinental University
The American InterContinental University (AIU Online, AIU) offers certificates and degrees in business, education, healthcare and other fields. It seeks specifically to provide students with career preparation in their field of choice.
AIU has physical campuses in Georgia, Texas, Florida and California, US; London, UK; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Online courses are available primarily through AIU Online, which was launched in 2001 and recognised as a campus in its own right in 2002. AIU Online’s offices are based in Hoffman, Estates, Illinois, US.
Founded as the American College in 1970, American InterContinental University is now owned by American InterContinental University, Inc., which is wholly owned by Career Education Corporation (CEC). CEC, one of North America’s largest providers of private, postsecondary education, acquired AIU in 2001. In 2006 CEC reported 17,000 students enrolled in AIU Online.
AIU Online course materials may include email, multimedia presentations, synchronous group chat sessions, e-Books or textbooks, CD-ROMS and more. Students must participate in an academic activity comparable to one contact hour of instruction each week. A Virtual Campus and Technical Support are available to students 24 hours a day.
The AIU Online web site is at http://www.aiuonline.edu/
Courses are delivered via "a proprietary learning design known as the Integrated Learning Environment" – often referred to as the "virtual campus" platform: this looks much like Blackboard or eCollege on first glance.
The American InterContinental University considers itself an ‘international institution of higher education’, and as such seeks to provide both an atmosphere of cultural diversity and opportunities for international education. AIU is accredited in the US, UK and the United Arab Emirates, but has suffered several challenges to the academic integrity of its programmes in recent years. In the US, AIU was placed on probation from 2005-2007 by its primary US accreditor, the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). In 2005, AIU London was the first institution to fail a routine UK Quality Insurance Agency (QAA) inspection since the agency’s inception in 1997 (thought this information was not made public until 2006 - see the Times Higher Education article at http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storyCode=202822§ioncode=26 ).
AIU Online offers one Associate’s degree (in business administration); four bachelor’s degrees (in business administration, criminal justice, IT and visual communication); and three master’s degrees (in business administration, IT, and Education). Introduced in February 2008, AIUMobile.com allows students to download podcasts, videos and more to their own PDAs or mobile phones (with optimisation for Apple's iPhone). See http://www.aiuonline.edu/about_aiu/aiu_mobile.aspx for details.
The Associate of Arts in Business Administration is the only programme offered by AIU Online that admits first-time, full-time undergraduate students, and is thus the only program for which AIU Online is required to report Graduation Rates to the US Department of Education. The most recent completion rates publicly available for this course were 32% (as of 2001).
AIU Online students take either one or two AIU Online courses at a time. They may not skip sessions, but must rather proceed through all requirements (sectioned into 10-week quarters) in sequence until completion. Students may transfer in up to 50% of credit requirements from other accredited institutions (and military students may transfer in up to 75%).
The AIU course catalog (2007) offers detailed information about AIU’s mission and history as well as available courses. See https://mycampus.aiu-online.com/schools/5/pdf/course_catalog.pdf
The 2008-2009 Student Handbook is also extremely informative. See https://mycampus.aiu-online.com/schools/5/pdf/studenthandbook.pdf