Full Scholarship for Working Father-to-be From York

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Work in criminal justice sector spurred interest in higher education degree.

Joe Gardham

Money and time would have proved immovable barriers to studying for a degree without the flexibility of an online course and without the opportunity of a scholarship through Kaplan.

Joe Gardham, a York-based coordinator of communications for Clinks, the umbrella organisation of more than 2000 charitable groups working within the criminal justice sector, has won a full scholarship to study for a higher education degree in Criminal Justice. The scholarship was awarded for a foundation course through Kaplan Open Learning, the online education college.

The wholly online course is aimed at the more than half a million people currently working in the criminal justice sector, either as employees or volunteers, many of whom do not have higher education degrees. Because students can study wherever they have access to the internet and are not required to attend classes on a campus, they can pursue a degree without disrupting their work or family life.

Joe, who expects to become a father for the first time in June, said: "Having worked in the criminal justice system for three years, I have been keen to underpin the practice with the theory. This would have meant sacrificing my job to study - an impossible scenario with ongoing family and financial commitments.

"Money and time would have proved immovable barriers to studying for a degree without the flexibility of an online course and without the opportunity of a scholarship through Kaplan."

The distance learning course, which offers multiple start dates throughout the year, covers crime and its impact, criminal investigation, skills for the criminal justice sector, terrorism and anti-social behaviour. Scheduled online classes connect staff and students through both live audio and chat rooms to encourage active discussion and interactive learning in real time. Students can contact their own dedicated academic adviser and tutors outside regular class hours.

Alan Jenkins, Managing Director of Kaplan Open Learning, said: "After working for years to finance his university education as a mature student, Joe was then unable to achieve the grade he was seeking. With his extensive experience of the criminal justice sector through his work for Clinks, and his incredible drive and determination, we are thrilled to be able to offer Joe another chance at achieving his goal of earning a criminal justice degree."

The Foundation degree is awarded by the University of Essex. A third year 'top up' course is under development that, if successfully validated, would lead to the award of a BA (Hons) in Criminal Justice by the University.

The course was recently accredited by the MoD under the Enhanced Learning Credits (ELC) Scheme, a funding initiative to promote lifelong learning among members of the Armed Forces. Services personnel can now apply for up to £2,000 a year for a maximum of three years in funding to study for a Foundation or Bachelor's degree with Kaplan Open Learning.

The partnership between Kaplan and Essex combines Kaplan's global reputation as a provider of education and training for the past 70 years with the University of Essex's excellent academic standing and reputation for high-quality research and teaching excellence. Kaplan Open Learning benefits from the expertise Kaplan has gained in running US-based online Kaplan University, which currently has more than 38,000 students enrolled on its home learning courses.

About Kaplan, Inc.
Kaplan, Inc. is a leading international provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools and businesses. Kaplan, which had 2007 revenue of $2 billion, is a subsidiary of The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO). For more information, please visit http://www.kaplan.com.

About the University of Essex
The University of Essex is one of the UK's leading academic institutions, consistently ranking among the top 12 universities in the country for the quality of its research and teaching. Founded in 1964, it has more than 8,000 students drawn from around 120 countries. For more information, please visit http://www.essex.ac.uk.

About Foundation Degrees
Introduced in 2001, Foundation degrees are a distinctive higher education qualification combining academic study with work-based learning. Typically taking two to three years to complete, they are equivalent to the first two years of an Honours degree programme and can lead to entry into a Bachelor's degree programme. In 2006, more than 60,000 students were registered for Foundation degrees in the UK.

For more information, please contact:
Elizabeth Hess, Kaplan Open Learning
+ 020 7645 8968
Elizabeth.hess(at)kaplan.com

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