Southern New Hampshire buys Kenzie Academy to grow alternative credentials

by Jeremy

Dive Brief:

Dive Insight:

The pandemic accelerated partnerships between colleges and boot camps, which give institutions access to companies that can quickly launch and deliver programs — often in fast-changing technical fields. These were on pace to more than double in count worldwide from 2019 to 2020, according to market research firm HolonIQ.

Such pairings are often between institutions and online program managers, which have been buying boot camps to differentiate their offerings as enrollment swells in the short-term programs. But SNHU’s scale has enabled it to take a different approach.

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“We’ve come full circle here” with an accredited university “cutting out the middleman” and buying a boot camp itself, said Ryan Craig, managing director at ed-tech investment firm Achieve Partners. Craig expects there are only a handful of institutions positioned to follow a similar path.

To Rich Flynn, managing director at an investment bank and consulting firm, Tyton Partners, it’s another acknowledgment that colleges are looking to add shorter-form, nondegree pathways that align with a future career.

This isn’t SNHU’s first time working with a boot camp, said Liz Eggleston, co-founder, and editor of Course Report, a coding boot camp review site. In 2015, it announced a partnership with Flatiron School in which participants could study at SNHU for three years, followed by six months with the coding boot camp and then an internship or apprenticeship.

Eggleston said that other universities have since integrated boot camps more fully, pointing to Dominican University of California’s partnership with Make School. The boot camp could offer a bachelor’s degree accredited through Dominican; the university added a computer science minor through that arrangement.

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