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Alliant U comes to South County Robert Moreno | Sat, Jul 27 2013 12:00 PM

It is a done deal. The Sweetwater Union High School District and Alliant International University finalized a partnership that, for the first time, brings a four-year university to the South Bay.

Sweetwater Union High School Superintendent Dr. Ed Brand, and Alliant International University President Dr. Geoffrey Cox signed a memorandum of understanding on July 18 that will allow the private university to offer undergraduate degree programs in business, psychology, child development and criminal justice to students in the Sweetwater District.

Brand said the need for a four-year university in the South Bay was long overdue.

“We’ve for a long time seen not only a need, but a necessity to have a university that we call home,” Brand said.

“With over 70,000 seven-through-12 and adult-ed learners in the district, every single one of them has to leave our community to go to a four-year institution.”

The partnership called Alliant International at Sweetwater will be located at the National City Adult School at 517 Mile of Cars Way.

Adult education programs will continue to be offered at the adult school.

The university will give 12th- grade college-ready students the option to take lower division courses while still attending high school.

Sweetwater District’s 11th- and 12th-grade students will have access to the university’s early college program, which gives students the opportunity to complete college-level courses and receive transferable credits to community colleges and other four-year universities.

This isn’t the first time the district has created a pathway for its students to seek a four-year institution.

In 2000, the school district and San Diego State University partnered to create Compact for Success, a program that guaranteed admission to San Diego State for district students fulfilling certain requirements.

Sweetwater Union High School District board member John McCann said the partnership with Alliant would encourage more students from the district to attend college.

“This is going to increase access and opportunity for our students,” McCann said. “When you’re looking at the number of students we’re sending to San Diego State through the Compact for Success, we want to see even more of our graduates be able to take advantage of going to college.”

Although it is a satellite campus, Alliant International at Sweetwater becomes the first four-year university in the South Bay. The city of Chula Vista has plans to bring another four-year institution to the South Bay with its Chula Vista University project.

Chula Vista officials have been publicizing their proposed university project as the first in the South Bay, but Alliant at Sweetwater beat them to the punch.

Chula Vista Councilwoman Pamela Bensoussan said Alliant International at Sweetwater has not debunked any plans to bring the potential Chula Vista University to the South Bay.

“I don’t see them as impacting our university,” she said. “Chula Vista University will be a way bigger endeavor and from my understanding, Alliant is more targeted for certain trades or specialties.”

Bensoussan said graduate courses would be offered at the proposed Chula Vista University which are not offered at Alliant at Sweetwater.

Bensoussan added: “It is great to have as many educational opportunities as possible in the South Bay.”

Cox said Alliant at Sweetwater gives students the ability to live life in the South Bay while pursuing a degree.

“We do recognize that higher education is not going to change the way it delivers its services to be more relevant, to be more accessible, to be more affordable,” Cox said.

“So this experiment with Sweetwater is exactly that. Rather than have students travel the 30 miles up to our main campus and disrupt lives in order to take advantage of higher education, we’re going to come here.”

The Sweetwater board of trustees approved the partnership at a May school board meeting.

Alliant International Unversity classes begin Aug. 26.

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bankalchemist Says:

Thu, Aug 22 2013 05:04 PM

this is just another self serving scam by Ed Brand aka SAOS (slick as owl sh*t) FAST EDDY.

anniej Says:

Wed, Jul 31 2013 04:27 PM

I was contacted today and told that a 'certain' principle was contacting students regarding Alliant. WHY????? Why is a principle, whose salary we pay, allegedly spending one iota of District paid time on Alliant? Are other District Administrators doing the same? Are other District staff employees also being directed to do so as well? While it would be easy to say it is just a rumor, there have been other incidents of like behavior surrounding other endeavors.

It is clear things will NOT change until and unless we lay a new foundation - the corner stone, electing three new board members in 2014, and replacing Brand - hopefully the
Board will see the light and realize that the majority of the fire they are under is being laid at their feet by Ed Brand.

sosocal Says:

Tue, Jul 30 2013 03:52 PM

Great questions have been asked by the three people who have posted already.

Will we ever get answers from anyone at Sweetwater?

Not if Sweetwater UHSD's administration can help it. I have never seen a group as dedicated to obfuscation, diversion, misdirection and outright lying as this Sweetwater administration since--hmmm, let me think. The Nixon Whitehouse, maybe?

But, as out of control as Nixon was, was he deliberately building an adjacent college/university system with public funds--that the public has not signed off on?

Who authorized this venture? Was the authority legally entitled to do what they have done?

The many layers of disrespect that this majority Board and their leader, Mr. Brand have displayed toward the public is nothing short of astonishing: ignoring all public input; operating in bizarre and capricious ways; spending money from designated funds on items not in the mandate; hiring pals for schemes too numerous to name; NOT funding the expenses of a BOC member and playing insulting games with that process.

Low behavior. Not what we want or need as examples for the children in this district, unless Mr. Brand's next scheme is prison education.

Fran Brinkman Says:

Mon, Jul 29 2013 01:11 PM

The Sweetwater Board never voted for Alliant University to become a part of the district. As I recall the last words from Mr. Cartmill's mouth was that the public would have input before Alliant was voted on. This never happened. The costs are of concern of the public as was stated at the board mtg. The district claims there is no cost which is not true. This was forced through in my opinion so that the vetting process could not take place. It's just another dog and pony show put on by Dr. Brand at the tax payers expense. Otherwise they would have discussed it openly with the public and explained their reasoning for bringing Alliant to our district.

Maty Adato Says:

Mon, Jul 29 2013 11:57 AM

I wonder why the SUHSD has been so secretive and not forthcoming about Alliant University. I have repeatedly asked for information regarding expenses that SUHSD has incurred and all I receive back is "there are no responsive documents". I have recently asked many more questions and still have not heard back from our Superintendent since all PRAs have to go through him to be approved. Although it is all public information and we are entitled to the information. Here are my list of questions, now lets see what the answers will be

• Please furnish all the names titles and hourly rates of staff, including executive staff that analyzed and developed the recommended partnership with Alliant University. Including legal fees and which law firms were used.
• Please include all the names titles and hourly rates of staff, including executive staff, that implemented the agreement with Alliant University
• The total number of hours each staff member, including executive staff, contributed to the development and implementation of the agreement with Alliant University
• I would like the calculation for the facilities use fees through the District's normal process of determining facilities use fees, that are applicable to the agreement with Alliant University
• Whether or not Alliant University has been required to pay facilities use fee and if not, the basis for determining the fee waiver and the responsible party for that determination
• Does the National City Adult School have any loans on the property or is that 100% owned outright through the district? Please provide documentation on this item.
• I would also like to have a list of any/all non-profits that pay rent to use the SUHSD facilities; an example of these would be churches, dance and performing arts groups and other schools that occupy SUHSD facilities etc. Please include the total amount of rent paid to SUHSD and by which entity. I would also like to have a copy of the facilities use permit.

Now I will leave it to the public to determine how can SUHSD and Alliant go into a partnership without any expenses?

anniej Says:

Mon, Jul 29 2013 08:53 AM

Yes there is a cost and it is not cheap! Oh, but if you listen to Ed Brand there are going to be all of these scholarships given out. Hmmm, I seem to remember they said the same thing for Compact for Sucess, yet if one takes the time to research the non profit they would be astounded to see the large amounts paid to those who were suppose to be 'managing' the charitable financial donations. Those who read Alveys comments saw the good old boys network running like a fine tuned Porsche engine. Does it matter to those who commented that our young college students or Adult Ed students will be paying out excessive monies (when in fact Southwestern is a stones throw away) or that Alliants credentials are argued by some to be suspect or financial aid loan questions that plague Alliant? Ah, that would be a NO. Does it matter that the MOI/MOU has been kept secret or that new questions about 'this' MOU that has finally been released, alas no, or should I say 'not yet'.

And what of the athletic part of this so called great opportunity? Hmmm, new opportunity for Brand and McLaughlin to slide into a new position when the NEW board is seated - time will tell. I seem to remember when Brand hired McLaughlin as one of his now infamous 'consultants'. 'Oh, but look at all of the money I am saving you tax payers' he is being paid a mere $30k' - and how long did that last? Not long, no, Brand bestowed a second title to his friend Compliance Officer - and with that came a increase in pay. Compliance Officers are usually held responsible, you know signing their John Henry on the line, that they are verifying a certain issue is legally compliant? What of the monies used for the alleged Hall of Champions located at the L street property? You know the property that was purchased by Brands on his first watch and then given away. The property we are now upside down on in the tune of an alleged 30+ million greenbacks. I mean hey, we all know how many parents and taxpayers take a family trip to dilapidated buildings on L street.

Brand is touting Alliant as if it is a nevel idea, REALLY? First 4 year college, REALLY? Well let me offer this up, I am wondering how many other colleges would have jumped on board if Sweetwater offered up the National City location, didn't we read SUHSD was given a sweetheart deal on that property way back when?

Remind me again who brought Brand back?

William Richter Says:

Sun, Jul 28 2013 07:30 PM

What will the cost be? I took a college Political Science class in my senior year of high school (and got college credit) but it didn't cost me a dime. The article doesn't mention the cost to the student. Is there any cost?

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