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The Apollo Group, Inc. Essay Sample

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The Apollo Group, Inc. Essay Sample

Strategic Plan for Domestic and Global Environments

            On its thirty-fifth year for the Apollo Group, Inc. the focus is on student success and on keeping levels of retention and graduation rates high. This is the plan of the company which it believe can be achieved through curriculum improvements, programmatic expansion, instructional innovation, services given to students by all of the Apollo Group, Inc. crew and tutoring services. The improvements on curriculum are geared towards addressing the growing needs of students. The modern age of today calls for innovative and multi-faceted curriculum that answers the need of the times. The plan of the Apollo Group, Inc is to efficiently and effectively offers a wide range of educational programs with improved curricula.

Programmatic expansion involves dissemination of promotional materials that position the programs of the Apollo Group, Inc. To date, information on the company has reached a wide range of the international community. These programs include those that the company believes in a way that will identify the right kinds of students who can benefit from it. The company plans to provide education when and where students need it. This company is offering a vast array of degrees for any demographic audience. Irregardless of demography, several degrees are offered that will suit the needs of a wide variety of students. Instructional innovation of the Apollo Group, Inc. includes online instruction. Its international reach is continuously expanding through its online programs.

They advocate learning through distant education. They believe that due to the complex, modern life nowadays, online education is sometimes, advantageous than the traditional education. Distance education, or distance learning, is a field of education that focuses on the pedagogy (art of teaching) and andragogy (having the characteristics of both males and females). The instructional systems design aims to deliver education to students who are not physically “on site”. Distance learning dates back to at least as early as the seventeenth century seeking students for lessons to be sent weekly. Modern distance education has been practiced since many years ago. And lately, it is getting wider acceptance. Success in online learning has been all around. There are proofs that learning through distance education is better than traditional education because one can do school work at their own phase. The students do not have to travel to the school. And they have time freedom. Most of the time, distance education nowadays are being computer based. The advent of the computer system has made online education an exciting world.

Among the services offered to students by the Apollo Group, Inc. is hiring of guidance counselors. These guidance counselors are very important to the students in the course of their study. Hence, these guidance counselors are provided by the Apollo Group, Inc. with continuous education that will enhance their capabilities in providing guidance counseling to students. Tutoring services is also offered by the Apollo Group, Inc. Tutoring augment the learning especially in key areas. Varied educational services are offered at the Apollo Group, Inc.’s more than two hundred campuses and learning centers in various states and countries including the Canada, Puerto Rico, British Columbia, Mexico, The Netherlands and others mentoring more than three hundred thousand students. To date, the Apollo Group, Inc. is a tested educational leader.

Organizational Value

            The Apollo Group, Inc. aims to maintain its position as a trusted brand offering higher education for the students of different demographics. Half of these students are adults and over eighty percent of whom work full-time. This company believe that this will be achieved .through its educational institutions such as the Western International University, University of Phoenix, College for Financial Planning Institutes Corporation, Insight Schools, Inc. and the Institute for Professional Development.

Creativity and innovativeness are the core organizational values of the Apollo Group, Inc. The company is infusing creativity and innovativeness within the company. To have the edge over competitors, this company aims to be unique. However, there is much confusion as to what makes a certain person creative as opposed to being innovative. Creativity is the ability to create or design new things, works of art, or new ways of solving problems. A creative person is able to find new solutions to old problems or to update old solutions to old problems. Creative people can develop new ideas; conceptualize original and unconventional things.

Innovativeness, on the other hand is defined as originality by virtue of introducing something new. Innovation is anything that somebody thinks is a great idea. However, when applied to team processes, creativity would often mean being able to identify problems when others may not even know exist. It also mean finding out real problems as opposed to the commonly supposed or conventionally accepted ones, or problem identification. Creativity also means idea generation or the ability to generate new ideas either out of previously existing ones or by applying existing ideas to old problems or situations. It is the coming up with original concepts. It is usually referred to as idea generation. These are usually the people in the class or group who tended to churn out the most number of ideas during a brainstorming session.

High-performance Business Management Techniques

There are numerous high performance business management techniques. Those management practices that are found to be effective are those that recognize the individuals in the company as amongst high-performance businesses. High performance is encouraged when the contribution of one to the organization is appreciated. Try-before-you-buy recruiting style can be done if those to be hired are would-be efficient employees. This usually comes in the form of rigid orientation or training of would-be staff.

Experience- or observation-based learning can be provided to newly-hired employees if high-caliber human resource is desired. This is done by letting the newly hired employees to undergo hands on-training or experiential learning. Mentoring and coaching can be adopted. The senior staff can provide support to new employees. Frequent, informal performance feedback needs to be extracted from the staff if proper feedbacking and continuous improvement are desired. Fluid career development practices will help enhance the capabilities of the workforce. According to Cantrell (2008), management practices that recognize the individual tend to develop human capital more through line management practices or general work environments than through highly formalized people practices that are defined and driven by a centralized function such as human resources or training.

Problem-solving within Professional Standards

            Problem-solving is easy when professional standards are adapted by any organizations. In the case of the Apollo Group, Inc., its characteristics is evolving through the years and adapting to match the highly competitive environment. Problems are present in all company. To solve problems, there are procedures and techniques that are developed to resolve them. What is important is to follow the procedures and adopt techniques suited for the organization. Keeping track of best practices and adapting them would usually provide positive impacts.

Problems are usually focused on situations and professional conflicts. Each problem has specific causes and specific solution. This is when proper judgment is employed. Problems are usually dealt with through the three processes. This include identifying first the nature of the problem and the person involved in this particular situation, collecting the data which relates to the problem identified and analyzing follows taking down all possible solutions and finding the right solution.

Good problem-solving is learned by experiences and facing different situations. For problems concerning one or few persons, advises are organized thoughts that follow the same process. It may take shorter period to resolve. The way in which we perceive and resolve a gap between a present situation and a desired goal with the path to the goal blocked by known or unknown obstacles is called Problem Solving Process (Huitt, W., 1992). This author further explained that in general, the situation is not previously encountered. It is also possible that a specific solution from past experiences is not known and then in this process, one of two or more possible solutions is chosen to reach a desired goal. In order to deal with a specific problem or difficult situation, the following can be done. Identify the problem. Then think of the possible solutions to the problem. Evaluate these possible solutions to the problem. Then implement the preferred solution to the problem (Woodward, J., 2007).

On the other hand, different techniques are employed specifically to problems involving groups. As many conflicts the company faced and resolved the easier it would be for the company to help solve bigger problems. Some of these problems could be rivalry, pressures, conflicts in the workplace, and other problems.

One effective technique is the original group idea-generated, classical brainstorming method. Related creative approaches in dealing with problems were patterned in this group technique. Each group composed of the elements of a leader, the members and recording secretary and maintaining a relaxed and friendly atmosphere should be set prior to the main activity. With the smaller groups formed, a common problem, situation or main topic is given to the group and they are provided with writing materials wherein they will answer the guide questions and will think of varied ways to present the solution during the general assembly of all groups.

The participants should follow main parts of brainstorming which is fact-finding. There should be a process wherein each member of the small group will say personal ideas on a situation. All ideas must be treated fairly. No idea is wrong. Give the opportunity to each one “open up”. Follow the guidelines. This way, ideas are then generated.

To conclude the activity, a summary or output containing how the groups have defined the problem with many possible answers such as generating ideas for a design. The ideas that may relate to the problem could be included as a result of brainstorming. Then the ideas are then evaluated. Ask each of the participants how they viewed solution to the problem. Creative presentations of output are expected since the human mind is capable of both judgment and creativity.

In the end, clear view of the problem is defined in all aspects and solutions are viewed in different perspective. However, with this brainstorming originally classified as group technique, various designs have been adapted and used as an individual creative method wherein only one person follows the same procedure of writing while sharing his/her personal ideas on the problem.

Appropriate Financial Models and Principles to Support Decisions

            The principal cause of an organization failing financially is the absence of adequate financial leadership and vision and the failure of good financial governance (Financial Failure in the NHS, 2006). This is where the company’s executives’ capabilities come into play. In order to exercise effective governance, it is important for the Apollo Group, Inc. to have access to appropriate financial information. The financial information should be transparent and easily accessible by those working on it. This company has positive growth through the years in terms of building good financial record. In fact, in the early 2000, the company has more than double its revenues. In particular, in an environment of greater choice, it becomes more important to understand the underlying cost base in order to provide confidence that the organization can be managed within resource limits. The costs of delivering specific courses should also be analyzed to understand cross subsidies. Strategic decision making in assessing which markets to focus on and to evaluate potential collaboration/amalgamation options should be supported.

            It is important t for the Apollo Group, Inc. to have a clear understanding of their financial position. As financial pressures increase, the Apollo Group, Inc. will need to be able to demonstrate sound financial management to potential funding agencies. Achieving robust ratings is important to raise debt cost effectively in the market (Refinancing and Extension of the Lancaster University’s Accommodation Project, 2007).

            A set of principles should inform governance arrangements. Accountability should be observed. It requires transparency in taking decisions underpinned by robust financial reporting and management accounting. There should also be effectiveness to create governance and management structures which can achieve the agreed objectives. Efficiency should be aimed at, such that the governance structure ensures that decisions are taken in a timely and sufficiently deliberative manner. Establishment of expertise is critical, which requires that those with the authority and responsibility to take decisions within the company, and those with the power to hold them to account, possess the appropriate expertise.

Effective Communication

            The human resource of the Apollo Group, Inc. can be the official communicator within the organization. Specifically, the communications facilitated by the human resource of this company will be the vehicle for the management both to external and internal clients. Effectiveness of communication within the company depends largely on the efficiency of communication system within the company.

The Apollo Group, Inc. provides an open environment with effective lines of communication between management and the workforce, including employee representatives. The positive and open environment has provided positive growth within the organization. There is some sort of trusting environment which emanates from within and diffuses quickly to its clients and other stakeholders within the company. The collaboration and effective communication among the employees of the Apollo Group, Inc. are strengthened for smooth flow of communication within the company. With the efficient flow of communication, efficiency will increase. Hence, the major client of the Apollo, Inc., the students, will be greatly benefited.

REFERENCES

Annual Report. 2006. Apollo Group, Inc. http://www.apollogrp.edu/annual-reports/2006%20Annual%20Report-10K.pdf

Audit Commission. Financial Failure in the NHS. NHS, 11 July 2006.

Cantrell, Susan & Foster, Nicole Di Paolo. 2008. Techniques for Managing a Workforce of One: Management Practices that Recognize the Individual. Accenture.

Huitt, W., Problem-Solving and Decision Making: Consideration of Individual Differences Using Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Journal of Psychological Type, 24. 33-44. 1992

Lancaster University. Refinancing and Extension of the Lancaster University’s Accommodation Project. Lancaster University News, 11 June 2007. L.U.

Rasiel, Ethan M., Some Brainstorming Exercises, Across the Board. June 2000.

Woodward, John, Problem Solving. NCA Commission On Accreditation and School     Improvement, 2007.

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