In response to COVID-19-led shutdowns, many for-profit education companies have undertaken initiatives to reach students who aspire to complete their courses as planned, with the help of various online education platforms.
Strategic Education, Inc. STRA or SEI — which recently announced free online courses with the Sophia Learning platform and collaborated with Historically Black Colleges And Universities (“HBCUs”) — has extended access to its expertise and products in online learning to more students.
Karl McDonnell, CEO of SEI said, "At SEI, we’ve invested in innovation and reimagined our role as not just an education provider, but an enabler of economic mobility - to ensure that our graduates have the skills and tools to succeed professionally." Moreover, the latest initiative will allow SEI to support HBCUs and the students they serve.
Today, when innovative education strategies have become an economic and social imperative for the world, SEI and HBCUs’ mission of improving the economic mobility of students is commendable.
Online Education a Boon for the Industry
Online education had proven to be a temporary support to schools closed during natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012. As the world struggles to contain the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, various e-learning platforms have regained momentum. Also, classroom type education providing companies like Universal Technical Institute, Inc. UTI, Lincoln Educational Services Corporation LINC and Perdoceo Education Corporation PRDO are cashing in on the unprecedented surge in demand for online education these days.
To encourage e-learning in the time of crisis, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Student and Exchange Visitor Program removed restriction on the number of online courses for international students on Mar 9.
We believe that the pandemic will be a boon for SEI and other industry players amid disruptions. Shares of the company have declined 20.2% compared with the Zacks Schools industry and S&P 500 composite’s 15.2% and 22.7% fall, respectively.
SEI currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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