National University's novel recruitment efforts reflect the increased competition for students among public and private colleges and universities in California. That competitiveness is evidenced in the opening of satellite campuses by schools such as National, Chapman University and the University of Phoenix. Founded in 1971, National University is now the second-largest private, nonprofit university in the state. It offers 100 undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as 16 teacher credential and certificate programs.
Many of the shoppers who walk into National's Sunrise Mall center in Citrus Heights ask if they can take classes there, Emery-Sherman said. But that's not the case. The center's staff are there to explain and demonstrate online education, with the help of several large computer monitors, and advise prospective students about classes and degree programs they can take at home or even on a lunch break at work.
I think this is a great idea, and said as much in the first (and so far only) comment to the newspaper story:
When I went to Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia, local colleges and universities not only had outreach centers in the malls, they had classroom space in the malls! Made a lot of sense to me.