In a world where “bigger is better” our school does not fit the typical mold. Platt College San
Diego is not a huge school, our campus does not expand over acres of land, we do not have
sports teams or sororities and we are alright with that. Do you know who else is alright with
that? Steve Gunderson, the President and CEO of the Association of Private Sector Colleges and
Mr. Gunderson is a former member of the United States Congress, where he spent sixteen years
representing Wisconsin’s 3rd congressional district. During that time, he became a leader on
education, employment policy, human rights and health care issues. Now, as the President and
CEO of APSCU, his focus is on helping private sector colleges and universities stay updated
with essential information, including new legislation, that impacts them. His position also entails
him educating Congress on the types of schools that are a part of the private sector. He is the link
between Congress and the private sector, bringing them together to focus the best outcome for
the students. Fortunately, like our teachers, students and staff, Mr. Gunderson understands that
sometimes good things come in small packages and that all schools are not the same.
Mr. Gunderson showed us his true acceptance of our type of school, a small, specialty, private
sector college that focuses on teaching the skills of the Digital Media Design industry, by visiting
us on January 25, 2013. While visiting our school, he was able to discover first hand who we
are. Spending time with our Chairman, Robert Leiker and Vice President, Al Medro, gave Mr.
Gunderson an opportunity to learn about our goals as a specialized college and the political
legislation that we feel impacts our school. Mr. Gunderson also had the opportunity to meet
with students and tour our campus. Filled with student work, it was easy to see that our school
is proud of the students we serve and the work they do. We may not be a traditional college,
our students may not fit the typical college student stereotypes, but our goal is the same as our
public sector counterparts: educate and prepare our students for the workforce and create good
According to the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, each year four million
students attend private sector colleges and universities and in 2009-10, the private sector colleges
and universities in California educated 397,868 students, ten percent of the college population
in the state. Our students are diverse and dedicated. They may be recent high school graduates,
single parents or former military service members. No matter what their backgrounds are, we
want to help them see their full potential. We believe that our school gives our students a choice.
We are specialized, we focus on teaching our students the fundamentals of the Media Arts
industry with particular focus on 3D Animation, Digital Video Production, Visual Effects and
Compositing and Graphic and Web Design. Our focus is quality over quantity, we may teach
fewer subjects, but we work diligently to teach them extremely well. With that being said, we
feel the same way about our students. We do not strive to have a large population of students,
just dedicated ones, who feel like we can provide them with the stepping stones they need for
a career in the Digital Media Design industry. To serve them we have morning, afternoon and
evening classes, so that every one of our students has the opportunity to attend classes when it is
convenient for them. We realize that all of our students are not the same, so it is crucial that we
understand their needs and work to accommodate them.
Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change
the world,” and we agree. Mr. Gunderson could have easily skipped over our small school, but
he didn’t. He didn’t because he sees us as a valuable resource in our community and country.
He understands that although private sector colleges and universities often do not receive the
compliments they deserve, they are incredibly significant. He knows that the work done at
these schools are just as important as the work being done at the public universities and that
just because a student takes a different path for the education they desire, it does not make
that student or the path they take wrong. It makes them an individual and we are proud of the
individuals we serve at Platt College San Diego.
Fun Fact: Why did Mr. Gunderson visit Platt College San Diego?
Interestingly enough, Platt’s Vice President, Al Medro was encouraged to read one of Mr. Gunderson
speech delivered at the Hill Day Conference since it spoke about the benefits of bipartisan, partnerships
with private/public education sectors and moving forward toward the same goal of educating our
students. After reading his speech, Mr. Medro wrote a simple email thanking him for the motivational
speech. This simple gesture of gratitude was received and replied with a curiosity to come and see who
we are! Platt College San Diego was proud to host Mr. Gunderson for an afternoon and honored that he
will be representing the private sector college and universities (PSCUs).