5 ways a ‘corporation’ status is transforming colleges

Adopting a Public Benefit Corporation Status (PBC) is helping communities and recruitment & retention

status-PBC-collegesColleges and universities often say they help students develop the skills needed for an enriched life and provide services that benefit the community; but a recent trend in adopting a formal status for higher education institutions is not only helping with regional accreditation and state standings, it’s helping recruit and retain millennial students and innovative staff.

It’s called a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC) status, and it’s a status being mulled by The Higher Learning Commission—an independent corporation and one of two commission members of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA) that accredits, and thereby grants membership in the Commission and in the North Central Association, degree-granting postsecondary educational institutions in the North Central Region—for colleges in the region.

Not only could adopting the PBC mean better accreditation standards for institutions, but it also helps institutions currently mired in a tough economy stand out among peers, mainly due to the status’ ability to formalize a plan to better support the regional community, allow campus faculty and admin to volunteer for paid community service hours, give students the skills pathways necessary to find a career post-graduation, and help students land internships and jobs with local businesses.

And though colleges and institutions won’t receive any funding or tax benefits, the PBC status can provide clarity and receive support from boards of directors, help create inter-departmental collaboration, help maintain and enhance institutional mission, and create stand-out marketing opportunities.

One of the leaders in adopting this PBC status, specifically under the “Building Community Through Education” platform, is Rasmussen College—partly because they’re one of the first institution’s to adopt the status.

(Next page: How Rasmussen uses PBC to bolster its community, student, faculty and business standing)

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