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Bridgepoint Education's Ashford University Announces New Online Long-Term Care Specializations


SAN DIEGO, May 7, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --Bridgepoint Education, Inc. (NYSE: BPI), a provider of post-secondary education services focusing on higher access to higher education, announced today that Ashford University has a new online long-term care specialization in its Health and Human Services bachelor's degree program and a long-term care management specialization in its Health Care Administration and Health Care Studies bachelor's degree program.

The healthcare industry is generating much of the new job growth in the United States, and the country's aging demographic creates demand in careers serving the long-term care population. According to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, the number of patients using paid long-term care services is expected to double to 27 million by 2050.

Dr. Alice Jacobs Vestergaard, Ashford University's program director for the College of Arts and Sciences, said the new long-term care specializations are "innovative" academic programs with "strong roots" augmented by the university's various health care-related programs.

"As the U.S. population needing long-term care continues to increase, our new specializations prepare people for work in institutional, community-based and public sector settings," she said. "These specializations are designed to introduce students to the full spectrum of long-term care settings and services to promote the maximum level of independence for people with functional limitations."

Although seniors make up the majority of the groups using long-term care services, younger people also require long-term care, such as physically- and mentally-challenged children, traumatic injury victims and adults diagnosed with AIDS and HIV.

Students who complete a long-term care specialization may pursue further studies and/or employment in fields such as aging services, gerontology, allied health careers, public sector and social service programs, adult daycare centers, assisted living facilities, continuing care communities, group care homes, acute care settings, home healthcare or health education.

"We designed the long-term care specializations with a holistic approach emphasizing appropriate use of technology, evidence-based practices, promotion of positive psycho-social dynamics and optimum quality of life for the long-term care population," Vestergaard, an internationally recognized author, educator and consultant in the field of aging and long-term care, said.

"There's no doubt the delivery and management of long-term care is undergoing an evolution," she added. "Technology is evolving which enables people to remain at home or in communal settings versus staying in the more costly acute care setting."

Ashford University's Bachelor of Arts in Health and Human Services with the long-term care specialization and the Bachelor of Arts in Health Care Administration and Bachelor of Arts in Health Care Studies with the long-term care management specialization are currently available online only. They do not include any additional professional licensures or certifications.

About Bridgepoint Education

Bridgepoint Education's postsecondary education services focus on offering associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs in such disciplines as business, education, psychology, social sciences and health sciences. Bridgepoint Education's regionally accredited academic institutions - Ashford University and University of the Rockies - deliver their programs online as well as at traditional campuses located in Clinton, Iowa, and Colorado Springs, Colorado. For more information about Bridgepoint Education, visit or call Shari Rodriguez, director of Public Relations at 858.668.2580.

About Ashford University

Founded in 1918, Ashford University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools ( The university offers graduate and undergraduate degree programs online and at its Clinton, Iowa campus. The university is known for its high quality yet highly affordable online and on-campus programs. For more information, visit or call Shari Rodriguez, director of public relations, at 858.513.9240 x2513.

 Contact: Shari Rodriguez, Director of Public Relations 858.668.2580 | 

SOURCE Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

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