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Industry Leaders Collaborate to Award College Credit for It Certifications.

BALTIMORE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--October 7, 1999--

Sylvan Prometric Pairs Regents College with Microsoft and CompTIA

to Develop a Program that Bridges the Divide between Formal Academe

and Industry Training

Information technology (IT) professionals will soon be able to receive college credit for technical skills gained through industry training and certification exams with a new program developed with collaboration from industry leaders Sylvan Prometric, Regents College, Microsoft Corp. and CompTIA, the Computing Technology Industry Association, it was announced last week at the Results '99 conference in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

This new program, to be launched on January 1, 2000, is based on the existing Regents College Bachelor of Science degrees in Computer Information Systems (BS/CIS) degree. It will, in part, utilize college credit awarded by the college for successful completion of Microsoft and CompTIA certification examinations. Regents College faculty and testing experts will evaluate all Microsoft and CompTIA certification examinations for college-credit equivalency thus giving IT workers around the globe the opportunity to leverage their certifications into a college degree.

"What is so exciting about this degree program for IT professionals is that it demonstrates for the first time the true convergence of IT and formal academe," said Martin Bean, executive vice president, IT business unit and marketing at Sylvan Prometric. "The Bachelor of Science/ CIS degree not only validates industry training and certifications within the academic world, but provides bachelor recipients with recognizable credentials they can take with them into the workplace."

The first such program based on industry certifications and to be offered in a Web-based environment, the endeavor is geared toward those wishing to further their IT careers and provides a means to use recognized industry training and certification exams toward a college degree.

"The fact that Regents College is recognizing MCP exams as part of their course curriculum is a testament to the value of certification and the recognition it is receiving among the IT community," said Donna Senko, director of Certification and Skills Assessment at Microsoft.

"IT professionals work in a hectic, fast-paced world, and this alliance creates a flexible cyber-solution that makes a college degree accessible," said C. Wayne Williams, president of Regents College.

"The certification component transfers real-world learning to a valuable degree. These certifications represent significant learning and discipline as well as the most current knowledge in the field. Preparing for these exams is rigorous, but now passing them carries the added benefit of college credit."

The degree completion program was developed in consult with Microsoft and CompTIA. Representing more than 7,500 companies, CompTIA has developed a number of vendor-neutral certifications for the IT industry, including A+, Network+, CDIA and I-Net+.

In addition to evaluating the Microsoft and CompTIA certificate programs for college credit, Regents College will provide online resources to support degree candidates including study materials and other learning support services. The Web site under development (www.regents.edu/BS/CISdegree) will also host a full cadre of student services including advising, credit tracking, student "lounges," and "study groups." A prototype was presented last week at the Results '99 conference.

Designed for students already working in the IT field, this BS/CIS degree program is open to candidates who hold an associate degree or who have already earned 60 or more college credits. Candidates for the degree will also be able to register online for a wide array of IT and general education programs to advance their skills and fulfill degree requirements at the same time. Upon successful completion of all requirements, the candidate will be awarded the BS/CIS degree from Regents College.

"The project comes at a time when the need for skilled IT workers has reached a critical point, particularly in the domestic marketplace," said John Venator, president and CEO of CompTIA. "CompTIA is committed to workforce development initiatives that will help its industry members fill open positions with trained and qualified professionals, and help individuals identify the tremendous potential in career paths in IT. The new IT degree completion program will effectively heighten the importance and relevancy of skills training both within the industry and to the public at large."

Last week's announcement at the Results '99 conference represents the steps industry leaders are taking toward seeking partnerships in the academic community, with the common purpose to bridge the skills gap and promote the relevancy of higher education in the professional environment. Bringing together executives from the academic; IT; aviation; banking and finance; government; healthcare; legal; market research; and telecommunications fields, the Results '99 conference was hosted by Sylvan Prometric.

About Sylvan Prometric...

As the global leader in delivery of technology-based assessment services for IT industry certification, academic admissions and professional licensure/certification, Sylvan Prometric(R) delivers standardized tests for more than 100 clients, through its network of more than 2,500 Authorized Prometric Testing Centers(tm) and Sylvan Technology Centers(R) in 141 countries. Based in Baltimore, Maryland, Sylvan Prometric(R) is the technology-based testing division of Sylvan Learning Systems(R), Inc. (NASDAQ: SLVN), the world's leading provider of educational services to families, schools and industry. Sylvan Prometric(R) is accessible via the Internet at www.prometric.com.

Sylvan Learning Systems, Sylvan Prometric and Sylvan Technology Centers are registered trademarks and Authorized Prometric Testing Centers is a trademark of Sylvan Learning Systems, Inc., in the U.S. and Canada. Other trademarks are properties of their respective owners.

About Regents College...

Regents College (www.regents.edu) is the only institution in the country offering degree programs based exclusively on outcomes-based assessment of learning, usually acquired at a distance. Regents College is considered a standard bearer in distance learning, having served as a model for numerous other college programs across the United States. Based in Albany, New York, since its founding in 1971, Regents College is an accredited degree-granting institution designed for adults who cannot or choose not to complete the residency requirements of most colleges but whose goal is a college degree.

A recognized leader in the field of distance higher education, Regents College has approximately 17,000 students enrolled in its 32 degree programs. It has enabled more than 83,000 individuals to earn, at a distance, accredited associate and baccalaureate degrees in liberal arts, business, technology and nursing. It also offers a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies degree and a Master of Science in Nursing degree with a major in clinical systems management, both of which are also completed at a distance. Annually, Regents College serves more than 60,000 adult learners in its examinations and degrees programs.

Students attending Regents College earn credits toward a degree through courses offered at accredited colleges and universities in the US and overseas, accredited distance learning courses and military and industry training that has been evaluated for college credit by the American Council on Education (ACE). Credits can also be earned through college-level proficiency exams such as Regents College Examinations, a series of 40 nationally normed examinations developed and administered by Regents to measure college-level knowledge in a variety of disciplines.

Regents College is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Its undergraduate nursing programs are accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, a specialized accrediting agency recognized by the US Secretary of Education. It baccalaureate degree programs in electronics engineering technology and nuclear engineering technology are accredited by the Technology Accreditation Commission of the US Secretary of Education. All the College's academic programs are registered (i.e., approved) by the New York State Education Department. Regents College Examinations are recognized by the American Council on Education for the award of college-level credit and are accepted by more than 900 colleges and universities across the nation for credit and advanced placement.

About CompTIA...

CompTIA, the Computing Technology Industry Association, is a 17 year-old association representing over 7500 computer hardware and software manufacturers, distributors, retailers, resellers, VARs, system integrators and training, service, telecommunications and Internet companies. In addition to providing a unified voice for the industry in the areas of public policy, workforce development and electronic commerce standards, CompTIA certifies information technology and service professionals with its widely adopted and vendor-neutral A+(tm), Network+(tm) and Certified Document Imaging Architech(tm) (CDIA) certification programs. Headquartered in Lombard, Ill., the association's World Wide Web address is www.comptia.org.
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