BSG From the Boardroom

A curated selection of executive opportunities, industry highlights, and unique insights in executive search.

    [Closed Search] American College of Education: President



    Reporting to the board of this private equity-owned online college, the new President will continue the dramatic growth of the school through new degree programs, new distribution channels, and aggressive marketing. HLC-accredited and a leader in affordable, online Masters degrees in Education, ACE is well positioned to build on its reputation to move into disciplines—and into undergraduate instruction.


    American College of Education is a private, regionally accredited, socially responsible doctoral level university, serving over 5000 students annually with an online delivery format. All programs are evidence based, applicable and relevant to the needs of working adult educators. Students enroll from 46 states and 16 countries in national cohorts through high quality programs taught by doctoral faculty.

    Located in Indianapolis, Indiana, the American College of Education (ACE) delivers affordable online degree programs for working educators and professionals who desire to expand their knowledge.

    Committed to providing high quality, affordable online programs
    American College of Education is committed to providing high quality, affordable educational programs for teachers, administrators, researchers and other professionals. The College increases access to educational opportunities by offering its programs online and reducing geographic and scheduling hindrances for busy professionals while keeping tuition and fees low. With programs grounded in current research, American College of Education enables its students to develop the knowledge and skills to be effective teachers and leaders.

    A history grounded in innovation
    Founded in the digital age, American College of Education exists to improve education across the United States through online graduate programs and professional development for educators.

    American College of Education has been incorporated in Illinois since February 25, 2005. American College of Education then applied to The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association for regional accreditation. The Higher Learning Commission approved this request in March 2006. ACE maintains regional accreditation through The   Higher Learning Commission today.

    Statement of accreditation
    American College of Education is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). The College’s accreditation includes approval to offer degree programs through distance education via the Internet.

    Does this sound like a good fit for you?


    The American College of Education's investors are seeking a proven leader with extensive executive experience working in collaboration with a wide variety of constituencies, including board members, faculty, staff and students as well as external audiences, to bring vision and strong execution to the company as its new President.. This individual will be expected to accomplish these broad objectives—

      • Improve the operational, marketing, technology, financial, and human capital infrastructure to support the company’s expansion; manage this business profitably while achieving rapid growth in revenues.
      • Build and improve processes and systems required to sustain and support this rapid growth
      • Continue to build ACE’s awareness and reputation among students and education professionals seeking certification and continuing education
      • Evaluate and upgrade the quality of ACE’s staff, programs, and organizational culture
      • Successfully create and market new programs that leverage the school's curriculum and its growing reputation
      • Identify new market opportunities associated with ACE’s core strength in education training, and develop comprehensive business plans and financing models for creating revenue streams in these markets
      • Develop successful strategic partnerships with channel partners that include both corporate and academic resellers
      • Work with the investors to identify future organizational and people capabilities necessary to support the company’s strategic plan, and build those capabilities
      • Foster a culture where performance is rewarded, ideas are freely shared, innovation is encouraged, and where career development and continuous learning is possible
      • Operate as a “Pied Piper”—recruiting and mentoring talent into the organization from previous companies as well as other for-profit colleges
      • Performance will be measured by a number of quantitative and qualitative criteria, including enrollment and revenue growth, student retention rate, placement success, faculty reputation, and profitability.

    The new President will be expected to live in the Greater Indianapolis area.


    The ideal candidate has significant experience running an online, for-profit school or training center that offers private-pay diplomas and certificates to students and working adults. The online component is important—ACE delivers its courses through the Internet and not through site-based campuses.

    He or she should rapidly have taken his or her company or division to and beyond $50M in revenues. A strong track record of execution against plan for a marketing-driven organization is mandatory; a background in sales and marketing is preferred, as is experience in running a major online program. Above all, the individual will be a proven leader whose team-building skills and results orientation are acknowledged by all.

    Equally important, this individual will be a true leader--outstanding communication skills, presence, self-awareness, "learning agility," integrity, and intelligence.

    Specific competencies that are important to the position include:

      • Experience as President, COO, or GM of a for-profit college offering online degree, diploma, or certificate programs
      • Specific experience in the non-degree, private pay, non-Title IV segment of the for-profit postsecondary and continuing education markets
      • A track record that includes growing a small company or division to double or more in revenues and EBITDA.
      • Specific experience directing and/or conducting online marketing/lead generation programs, either in the post-secondary field or elsewhere
      • Experience selling/finding/developing financing options for students enrolling in career training and development programs
      • Experience developing or directing the actual development of online content and courses
      • Knowledge of financial statements and the specific issues that relate to management of a for-profit college

    This is a both a building and optimizing task—the PRESIDENT will be working long hours to drive the success of the school. This involves a range of personal attributes--flexibility and adaptability; a great work ethic; strong leadership and communication skills; an ability to develop a strategic commercial plan and implement it; an ability to analyze and evaluate one’s own (and other’s) performance and to develop plans to improve performance; excellent presentation skills; willingness to take responsibility for both success and failure; a thick skin; self-confidence; a positive attitude about self, company, marketplace; and a strong desire for success.


    To an experienced President with relevant online post-secondary school experience, this opportunity offers several attractive features—

      • The chance to build on an already successful, profitable educational platform
      • The chance to partner with a CFO/COO of his/her own choosing
      • The chance to work with committed , knowledgeable, and experienced investors
      • The chance to gain a significant ownership stake in a company the investors believe can sell within a five-year time frame at an attractive multiple
      • The chance to do this in the highly attractive Indianapolis area


    Travel will be no more than 30%.


    Compensation will include salary and bonus in line with the individual’s experience.


    Resume should be sent as a Word document to Ralph Protsik and Todd Hand and also posted on the BSG website. No phone calls please.

     Request Information

    -by Ralph Protisk on Nov 18, 2013 12:36:44 PM
    Find me on:


    7 High-Risk Search Strategies to Avoid Guide Download

    Subscribe to BSG

    Recent Posts


    Ready to work with BSG?

    We help the best in the business find the best for their business.