About Us

About Academic Partnerships


Academic Partnerships' mission is to help public and private not-for-profit universities increase enrollment and revenue through online delivery of high-quality instruction. AP helps faculty members convert their on-campus courses and programs into an online format, recruits qualified students for those programs and helps retain enrolled students through graduation.

AP also provides the upfront capital required to launch and market an institution’s online portfolio. Universities that select AP experience accelerated enrollment and revenue growth without incurring the substantial cost of building an online infrastructure.

Helping Universities Grow


AP's Global Footprint

AP supports more than 50 universities around the world from operations and service hubs in the U.S. and 10 other countries.

History of AP


For more than 20 years, the founders of Academic Partnerships have devoted their lives to increasing access to high-quality instruction, supporting educators and helping students succeed. In 2005, they focused exclusively on post-secondary education, believing in its most profound impact on people’s futures, and created Whitney University System (Whitney), a network which partners with and operates universities across South America. As Whitney institutions outgrew the physical capacity of their campuses, distance learning was added to accommodate the surging demand for higher education in the region.

New to the U.S. online providers, Whitney’s distance-learning model comprised unique features, which facilitated rapid and sustainable enrollment growth with undiminished quality. Eager to add more students, two public universities in Texas agreed to experiment with the Whitney approach. The results were dramatic: Within two years, both schools’ online enrollments became a third or more of their total student body. One of the institutions became home to the nation’s largest public university nursing program, while another became the largest online graduate education program. As word of these successes spread, a number of other public universities across America also asked for assistance, and AP was born. Today, AP serves more than 50 universities in 11 countries.

Note From AP Founder

Letter from founder

Academic Partnerships emerged from a deep belief in the transformative power of higher education to change the lives of countless global citizens. While the value of education has been recognized since Ancient Greece, the ability to provide universal access to top-quality higher education is new. Technology is a game changer for post-secondary and a great enabler. Its extraordinary ability to disseminate knowledge unbound by geography and time has captured the imaginations of people around the world. AP is excited to participate in this movement, which is transforming higher education by expanding access and helping millions achieve their aspirations.

Thousands of high-quality degree programs are becoming universally accessible through online learning. The resultant increase in educational attainment among global citizens is a precursor to better standards of living and a more rapid and sustainable economic development of nations.

It is a true privilege to participate in this transformative process. AP is committed to maximizing the latest online learning technologies for the benefit of its partner universities and the millions of students these institutions can serve.

Randy Best
Founder, Academic Partnerships

Latin American Sister Company


In 2005, a group of social entrepreneurs committed to expanding access to higher education established Whitney University System (Whitney) to partner with and operate universities across South America.

Whitney has become one of the most respected institutions of higher education in Latin America, operating the Ilumno University network in seven countries with 32 campuses and 520 learning centers, and serving nearly 200,000 students. As enrollment at Whitney universities outgrew the physical capacity of their campuses, the network embraced innovative approaches to distance learning to meet the surging demand across the region.

Whitney’s experience with technology-aided learning became the basis for AP’s low-cost approach to growing online programs at U.S. public universities.

Today, Whitney’s high quality is widely recognized by many Ministries of Education in Latin America. In 2013, the Organization of American States’ (OAS) Virtual Educa program selected Whitney to serve as the lead provider and strategic partner in the design, development, deployment and management of the OAS’ Virtual C@mpus of the Americas.