Tuesday, June 18, 2024 Jun 18, 2024
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HARVARD ON THE HIGHWAY

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HIGHERED In a nondescript office building in the shadow of Wet ’n Wild and LBJ Freeway, Garland’s 13-year-old Amber University offers frill-free learning-no student activities, no athletics-for 1,600 students each semester. And no kids allowed: Students must be over age 21 and have performed well in another college program to be admitted.

Amber’s classes are held nightly from 6:15 to 10 and on weekends. The academic year is divided into four 10-week sessions, and each class meets just 10 times. “We encourage students to take one or two classes per semester,” says Amber’s president. DR. DOUGLAS WARNER. At that pace, a working stiff with an undergrad degree could earn an MBA in just one and a half years.

Tuition, at $375 per course, isn’t cheap, but it goes toward a well-paid full-time faculty, 95 percent Ph.D.s and all with practical work experience in their fields. “Mature working adults won’t tolerate an instructor who doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” says Warner.

With the middle class squeezing its nickels. Amber may have an edge over the sprawling, landlocked universities throughout the South. “What happens if the population shifts away from those campuses?” Warner asks. “They can’t move to the people. We can. And we will.”

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