Americans with Disabilities Act Discussion 2
Americans with Disabilities Act Discussion 2
Walden University is an accredited institution that for more than 45 years has provided an
engaging learning experience for working professionals. Our mission of producing
scholar-practitioners has attracted a community of extraordinary students and faculty, all
sharing a common desire to make a positive social impact—to make a difference.
Highlights of Walden’s commitment include:
• Diverse and comprehensive core curriculum: Walden University provides students the intellectual foundation necessary to see the interrelationships among
the central ideas and means of expression that are specific to the disciplines. This
foundation supplies a context for knowledge and makes possible the cross-
fertilization of ideas to enhance creativity, innovation, and problem-solving.
• Student-centeredness: Our faculty and staff are devoted to helping students balance their education with their personal and professional lives. Walden’s
library, tutoring, and other student services also provide essential resources.
• Real-world application: Degree programs are developed by scholar-practitioners who continually assess courses to make sure they are current and relevant.
• International perspectives: Walden University is part of the Laureate International Universities global network of more than 80 accredited campus-
based and online universities in 28 countries, serving more than 1,000,000
students around the world. Students in the Laureate International Universities
network have an unprecedented opportunity to expand their international outlook
and gain insights that they can apply directly to their professions.
• Positive social change: We believe that knowledge is most valuable when put to use for the greater good. Students, alumni, and faculty are committed to
improving the human and social condition by creating and applying ideas to
promote the development of individuals, communities, and organizations, as well
as society as a whole.
• Scholar-practitioner model: Our goal is to help students become scholar- practitioners by challenging them to integrate scholarly research with their own
expertise as skilled practitioners in their fields.
“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the
direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will
meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
—Henry David Thoreau, Walden (1854)
2018–2019 Walden Univers ity Catalog (September 2018) Page 2
“Evidence for the failure of higher education is all around us,” wrote Harold L. “Bud” Americans with Disabilities Act Discussion 2
Hodgkinson in a 1969 issue of the journal Soundings. “Many of our brightest students are
telling us that higher education is insulating them from reality rather than assisting them
to peel off its infinite layers.” Though more a critique of the academy than a blueprint for
a new institution, “Walden U.: A Working Paper” helped inspire the university that bears
the name made famous by Henry David Thoreau.
As Hodgkinson was writing about the need for change in higher education, two New
York teachers, Bernie and Rita Turner, fresh from graduate work at the New School for
Social Research, were becoming interested in effecting social change by developing a
new kind of institution for higher education: one that focused on significant problems
affecting society from the vantage point of the professional and one that permitted
professionals the opportunity to continue working while earning a degree. Thus, Walden
University was born.
Walden began by offering a Doctor of Education (EdD) degree focused on dissertation
research for midcareer professionals who had postponed finishing their doctoral degrees.
Conferring its first degree in 1971 and implementing a formal curriculum in 1977,
Walden provided learner-centered programs to professionals in education, business, and
government who pursued doctoral degrees in related disciplines, including health and
human services. In 1982, Walden’s academic office moved from Bonita Springs, FL, to
Minneapolis, MN, in an effort to gain accreditation in a region that nurtures innovative
education. The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools granted Walden
University full regional accreditation status in 1990.
After more than 20 years with the university, satisfied that it was well-established, the
Turners decided it was time to move on. Don Ackerman, a partner in a venture capital
firm in Florida, became the university’s owner and chairman of the board in 1992. It was
at this time that today’s Walden began to emerge as an online university with curricula
that emphasized a scholar-practitioner philosophy: applying theoretical and empirical
knowledge to professional practice with the goal of improving organizations, educational
institutions, and whole communities.
To further advance access to higher education, in 1995, Walden offered its first master’s
degree, the Master of Science in Educational Change and Technology Innovation. The
web-based PhD in Psychology program was introduced in 1997, and after a rigorous 2-
year self-study process, the North Central Association reaccredited the university for 7
years in 1998.
In February 2002, following the transfer of majority interest in Walden University from
Ackerman to Sylvan Ventures, the university began changing from a graduate institution
to a comprehensive university, offering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. In
2004, Ackerman sold his remaining interest in Walden to Laureate Education, Inc.
(formerly Sylvan Learning Systems, Inc.).
2018–2019 Walden Univers ity Catalog (September 2018) Page 3
In January 2005, Walden University merged with National Technological University, an
online engineering graduate school also owned by Laureate Education, Inc., providing the
university reach into another major profession in need of access to high-quality
education. With this change in ownership, the university has made significant
improvements in its infrastructure, its faculty, and its student services. Walden was
reaccredited by the North Central Association for another 7 years in 2005. The
university’s curriculum for the master’s program in nursing was accredited by the
Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education in 2006. Americans with Disabilities Act Discussion 2