“Most of you know me as a tennis player,” Ms. Venus Williams opened with at the National Press Club on July 12th in Washington, DC. She was in town to promote her book, “Come to Win”. What you may not know about Venus outside of her amazing tennis career, is that she is a graduate of a for profit college- The Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale. Venus graduated from Ai with a degree in Fashion Design. She launched her clothing line with a major national retailer and also founded V Star Interiors, an interior design firm. Forbes Magazine named her one of the top 100 most powerful celebrities.
While I have often focused on how private sector colleges provide opportunities to students at risk such as low-income individuals, minorities, single parents and many more, Venus Williams is an outstanding example of how individuals chose for profit higher colleges because they play a vital role in higher education.
Obviously, Venus has an income that would allow her to attend any higher education institution of her choosing. The fact that she selected the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale, speaks volumes for the quality of education that institution provides. It’s time critics of these schools take a better look at the industry and education, including not only the bad examples, but the good.