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PERSPECTIVE Q&A WITH


RICHARD CAPEZZALI Executive Vice President, Education Dynamics


Interview by Ryan Busch R


ichard Capezzali’s work has found its way into many of our homes. His creation Education


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Connection and its catchy commercial jingles have played on television sets across the country—but his career in higher education is fascinating and spans several decades. He has been associated with not only the some of the most successful ventures in higher education (Kaplan University), but some of the most innovative ventures, as well (Test Drive College Online). In a recent transaction, Education Connec- tion was acquired by Education Dynamics (a revered


“YOU MUST ARTICULATE WHAT YOUR VALUE PROPOSITION IS AND IT MUST BE PERSONAL. ASK YOUR STUDENTS WHY THEY CHOSE YOUR SCHOOL AND WHAT THEY LIKE ABOUT IT.”


higher education marketing organization) and Capez- zali is now Executive Vice President and focused on growing the Test Drive College Online program.


You helped grow Kaplan University from a single student to thousands upon thousands over only a six-year period. What can tradi- tional colleges and universities learn from your success in marketing Kaplan? I think it is simple—you must articulate what your value proposition is and it must be personal. Ask your students why they chose your school and what they like about it. What is the culture of the institution? How does your faculty feel about their mission? What sets your school apart? Higher education is a crowded


40 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2011 | TODAYSCAMPUS.COM


and competitive landscape and colleges and univer- sities need a real identity, not gimmicks. Tell your story truthfully and tell it often.


Kaplan and Education Connection are only two of your successes, but your career in higher education spans four decades; how do you view the current higher education environment? It’s an incredible time to be involved in higher edu- cation. We have an immense opportunity and respon-


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