Milwaukee’s for-profit colleges do well during recession

Joel Dresang:

At a ceremonial opening of the Bayshore campus of Bryant & Stratton College last week, Peter Pavone alluded to the ballooning popularity of career colleges.
Nine years ago, Bryant & Stratton had 123 students in Milwaukee, said Pavone, the college’s director of Milwaukee campuses. This fall, local enrollment will be around 2,000, including about 100 at its new site, a 37,000-square-foot suite with a capacity for 750 students.
“We’ve had a nice story,” Pavone told a small gathering in the school’s library, overlooking Bayshore Town Center.
Away from the celebration, down the hall from Pavone’s remarks, Michael Anderson was installing equipment for the school’s information technology lab.
Anderson, who’s 39, first turned to career colleges when he got downsized as a production worker at Master Lock. He enrolled in computer classes at Milwaukee Career College and has stayed on there as an instructor. Now, through an affiliation agreement with Bryant & Stratton, he’s continuing to advance his education.
“For a lot of people, they don’t want to go to a traditional college,” Anderson said. “They want specialized skills. They don’t have a lot of time to go back to school.”