Washington, D.C. (Jun. 25, 2014)- Her name is synonymous with career education. Throughout a career spanning five decades, Jan Friedheim has made a lifetime of dreams come true - and not just her own. She has touched the lives of countless students and colleagues while serving in a variety of roles: instructor, administrator, school owner, counselor, political advisor, and role model for aspiring female leaders. She has been a steward and champion of higher education - and career education, in particular - her entire professional life.
This year, it is the Imagine America Foundation's pleasure to honor Jan V. Friedheim for its Lifetime Achievement Award. Jan has made many significant contributions, accomplishments, and achievements that have benefited the career college sector over 50 years. In that time, the realm of higher education has changed considerably and faced many challenges. But no aspect of education has faced more turmoil than career colleges.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, career colleges were targeted by the government for a number of issues. During those years, Jan was at the forefront, fighting for the sector both at the state and national level. She testified on behalf of career colleges on numerous occasions before subcommittees of congress and did so on her own time and at her own expense. On one occasion she came to the defense of career schools before Senator Nunn’s committee who wanted to limit the sector's participation in the federal aid programs. Jan rose to the occasion again when the Federal Trade Commission was attacking the career college sector and she served as a point-person to defend it. She was one of the leaders that stood behind the sector through those times, allowing career colleges to grow and benefit the students it serves.
Over the years, Jan has served as Chairperson, President, Committee Chair, for all the major organizations serving the Career College sector including ACICS, BERA, and APSCU. Perhaps Jan's greatest contribution to the field has been her encouragement to women to become involved in the organizations and accrediting bodies that serve this field. Through her efforts, female involvement and leadership has become a reality. She blazed a new trail to make this possible with her active involvement in AICS, COE, SACS, and ACICS as well as state and local career college associations. Jan was the first female chair of the AICS Accrediting Commission and AICS Board of Directors. Presidents Carter and Reagan both appointed Jan to the Secretary of Education's Advisory Committee on Accreditation and Institutional Eligibility.
Above all, her primary goal has been to encourage the best possible education and training for students. Her school certainly served as a model for such presentations.
Jan, we all owe you a debt of gratitude. Congratulations on receiving this year's Lifetime Achievement Award.