TCS community recognized at the 2021 PR Daily Content Marketing Awards

The TCS Education System Marketing department is always looking for new and creative ways to tell compelling stories that highlight TCS’ college communities and their commitment to serving students. These efforts were recognized at the 2021 PR Daily Content Marketing Awards, which recognizes creative storytelling and compelling marketing content. In all, the TCS community received four awards and 13 honorable mentions.

Read below for a roundup of the honors received.

Winning Entries:

Honorable Mentions:

Three ways TCS Education System embraces the principles of andragogy

TCS Education System’s communities support the guiding principles of andragogy by providing a flexible, skills-based, and applicable learning environment.

At its core, andragogy is defined as the art and science of teaching adults. On a deeper level, however, andragogy emphasizes learning through lived experience, applied skills, and practical problem-solving. Malcolm Knowles is considered the first person to popularize the concept, defining it through six characteristics:

  • Need to know: Adults want to know why it’s important to learn something
  • Foundation: Adults use experience in learning activities
  • Self-concept: Adults want a role in deciding what to learn in their education
  • Readiness: Adults want to learn things they can apply immediately
  • Orientation: Adults want a problem-centered education rather than content-oriented
  • Motivation: Adults respond better to internal rather than external motivators

In order to create a successful environment for students, it’s important to center an educational approach around their specific needs. Learn about three ways TCS Education System communities support and advance the success of all learners.

Generating increased opportunities for field learning experiences

For many students, field work is one of the most valuable aspects of the educational experience. TCS communities embrace the principles of andragogy by providing opportunities for students to work directly in the field through internships, study abroad opportunities, and international and local partnerships. This practical skills training allows students to immerse themselves in their field of interest long before graduation, preparing them to enter into the workforce. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology understands the importance of providing students with hands-on training in their field of interest, and many of their programs integrate practicum and field experiences into the curriculum.

Offering online and hybrid learning options

For students who are juggling priorities outside of school like work and family, flexibility may be of greater value than in-person interaction. TCS communities recognize the importance of creating a flexible learning environment, and they offer online and hybrid programs that give students the opportunity to better balance other responsibilities with classes. The Colleges of Law’s Hybrid J.D. program—one of the first of its kind in California—was specifically developed to provide better access to legal education for students with priorities and responsibilities outside of school. Saybrook University also recognizes the benefits of online learning, and its Hybrid Online Learning Model allows students to earn a degree while learning online.

Creating meaningful programs that allow students to serve communities and populations

According to Malcom Knowles’ andragogy principles, adult learners benefit more from a problem-centered education that will allow them to apply what they’ve learned right away. TCS communities offer programs that provide students with meaningful experiences that can help them serve the populations they aim to work with after graduation. For example, Pacific Oaks College has a variety of programs—including a suite of Marriage and Family Therapy program specializations—which are centered around addressing the unique needs and feelings of individuals and families who are a part of certain cultural communities.

By creating an environment in which adult learners can thrive and grow, TCS and its communities affirm their commitment to advancing institutional sustainability, student success, and community impact. TCS President Michael Horowitz, Ph.D., is especially passionate about the importance of embracing andragogy principles in higher education. Read his perspective here.

TCS community recognized as a finalist in 2021 Eddie and Ozzie Awards

The Eddie and Ozzie Awards is a premier, global competition that honors excellence in design and editorial work. This year, the TCS community has been recognized as a finalist in 14 award categories. Winners will be announced at the formal awards gala on October 14 in New York City.

Categories for which the TCS community was recognized as a finalist are listed below:


  • Pacific Oaks Colleges’ Voices Magazine is in the running for the category: Design > Graphic Art
  • Pacific Oaks’ Voices Magazine is in the running for the category: Design > Single Magazine Issue > Alumni / University
  • Saybrook University’s UNBOUND Magazine article, “A colorblind future”is in the running for the category: Design > Graphic Art
  • Saybrook’s UNBOUND digital magazine is in the running for the category: Design > Digital Edition Design > Association / Nonprofit
  • Saybrook’s Executive Press Kit is in the running for the category: Design > Microsite / Custom Website
  • The Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s INSIGHT Digital Magazine is in the running for the category: Design > Website Design > Website Design
  • The Chicago School’s INSIGHT Digital Magazine is in the running for the category: Design > Digital Edition Design > Association / Nonprofit
  • The Chicago School’s INSIGHT Magazine Print Edition is in the running for the category: Design > Single Magazine Issue > Alumni / University
  • The Chicago School’s INSIGHT Magazine Print Edition is in the running for the category: Design > Cover Design > Alumni / University


  • The Colleges of Law’s “The Mission Remains” video is in the running for the category: Editorial > Video > Association / Nonprofit
  • The Chicago School’s “Adolescent Suicide: Facing the Challenge” video is in the running for the category: Editorial > Video > Association / Nonprofit


  • The Chicago School’s INSIGHT Magazine Print Edition is in the running for the category: Editorial > Full Issue > Alumni / University
  • The Chicago School’s INSIGHT Magazine article, “Would an office by any other name smell as sweet”, is in the running for the category: Editorial > Single Article > Alumni / University
  • Saybrook’s UNBOUND Magazine article, “more, More, MORE”, is in the running for the category: Editorial > Single Article > Alumni / University

Dr. Michael Horowitz & Dr. Jeannie Gutierrez Scholarship Program Champions First-Generation Students


Every college student’s educational journey is unique, shaped by a complex web of challenges and motivations, both internal and external. For learners who are the first in their families to pursue a degree, the path can be especially complicated. Since 2013, TCS Education System President Michael Horowitz, Ph.D., and his wife, Jeannie Gutierrez, Ph.D., both clinical psychologists, have supported the success of first-generation students within TCS by awarding annual financial grants under the Dr. Michael Horowitz & Dr. Jeannie Gutierrez Immigrant / First Generation Scholarship program.


Both first-generation college students themselves, Dr. Horowitz and Dr. Gutierrez are keenly aware of the transformative power of higher education. “Education has profoundly changed each of our lives and our ability to contribute to society and have meaningful professions,” Dr. Horowitz explains. Recognizing the breadth and diversity of experience among those who share the “first-generation” label, the scholarship is open to students whose parents have not received college degrees (in the case of undergraduate study), or advanced degrees (in the case of graduate programs). Immigrants who are the first in their family to pursue higher education in the United States are also eligible to apply.


In addition to academic standing, scholarship applicants are assessed on the basis of prior community involvement and intent to prioritize community impact during their education and beyond. For Duyen “Lulu” Tran, who earned her JD from The Colleges of Law (a community within TCS Education System) in December 2020 with the help of the scholarship program, community impact means keeping her eyes on the long-held goal of working in the field of human rights, providing legal support to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.


Tran immigrated to California from Vietnam with her family at the age of 10. She credits her parents, whose education ended after middle school, with instilling in her a tremendous work ethic. The commitment to channel that hard work into academic goals, however, was a value Tran came to on her own.


“My parents are such hard workers,” she explains. “Living in a country where they didn’t even understand the language, they had to find jobs and provide for me and my siblings, and I deeply respect them for doing all that.” But because their own upbringings had been so different, Tran’s parents didn’t necessarily raise her to see academic achievement and higher education as top priorities. Instead, she explains, her early motivation to excel in school came from… pizza.


“In elementary and middle school, the teachers would go around saying, ‘If you get all A’s, you’ll win a medal and a pizza party for the class,’” Tran recalls. “I really wanted that medal. I wanted to stand up there during that award ceremony, and I wanted that pizza party.” While Tran’s sources of motivation have evolved over time, her drive and independence have remained steadfast, enabling her to navigate undergraduate and pre-professional study with a healthy balance of curiosity, practicality and perseverance.


According to Dr. Jack Paduntin, president of Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School (another community within TCS), supporting first-generation students benefits not only the scholars themselves, but the academic community as a whole.


“At Pacific Oaks we embrace the values of diversity and inclusion, and our first generation and immigrant students bring such unique perspectives and experiences into the classroom,” Dr. Paduntin explains. “Scholarships like the ones provided by Dr. Horowitz and Dr. Gutierrez create more opportunities to hear and learn from these perspectives and allow recipients and our community at large to flourish.”


To date, the scholarship program has awarded more than $130,000 to students across TCS communities, helping to launch careers in fields as diverse as government, nursing, law, and finance. In reflecting on these students, Dr. Horowitz is quick to emphasize that merely embarking on the journey — let alone ultimately earning a degree — is a remarkable feat for many first-generation scholars.


“I’m continually inspired by the stories of the students who apply for this scholarship, and their dedication to pursuing higher education,” Horowitz says. “They have already chosen to make the commitment, and our scholarship simply provides them with the lift and support they need to reach the finish line.”

Dr. Horowitz on Forbes: Three Principles to Embrace for the Future of Higher Ed


Our very own President Michael Horowitz was recently accepted into the Forbes Nonprofit Council, an invitation-only community for leaders of successful nonprofit organizations. In his first article published for the Council, Dr. Horowitz shares insights from a decade of TCS leadership and explores how these ideas might translate to the higher education sector more broadly during the period of post-pandemic recovery and transformation. Read the full article here.

Radical Cooperation Breeds Radical Success



In the past year, like every organization, the TCS Education System community has faced challenges of a previously unimaginable scale and duration. Maintaining operations amid the stress, risk and unpredictability of COVID-19 pushed our core value of Radical Cooperation to its fullest expression, allowing us to thrive even as many higher education institutions have faltered.

Twelve months into the experience, the hard work of advancing student success during a pandemic is not yet complete. But with vaccines and spring bringing hope for new beginnings, it’s a good time to look back on what we’ve accomplished and celebrate the value that we can carry forward.

Earlier this year, we shared the unique voices and perspectives from leaders throughout the TCS community as they reflected on the COVID experience. Today, we’ll take a systematic view, exploring the performance of our model and our culture in the face of historic adversity.


Proven: We’re better together.

We’ve all heard the expression “if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.” But for our leadership team, the spring of 2020 proved that adage wrong. When the crisis struck, leaders from across the system came together immediately to chart the way forward as a team. And far from bogging down the process, this collaborative approach drove both speed and lasting impact.

“When you have a community of colleges and universities, and colleagues right there with you, it takes some of the burden off,” explains TCS President Michael Horowitz, Ph.D. “Of course it didn’t take away the challenge — working together couldn’t solve the pandemic — but it created a calming environment to effectively address the situation.”

TCS Chief of Staff Shari Mikos concurs. “Throughout the process we were all united by the idea of doing whatever it takes to keep students going with their learning, no matter what. There was never any question of if we could keep going, but only of how.”

A spirit of camaraderie is of no small value in a crisis, but the power of collaboration extended far beyond morale into countless practical achievements. As just one example, our IT department was able to deploy Microsoft Teams technology across five different institutions in just two weeks, facilitating remote work and study for more than 10,000 individuals across the TCS community. 


System-wide commitment drives decisive action.

“When there are decisions to be made, the more you’re in isolation, the more challenged you are,” says Dr. Horowitz, who credits TCS’ success to weekly “think tank” meetings of leaders from across the community of schools. “We didn’t have to be distracted by what the competition might be doing, because we were in it together — in the family,” he explains. As a result, basic but urgent decisions such as when to shift to fully remote learning, or which technology platforms to adopt, came swiftly and efficiently. “[Decisiveness] really freed us up to focus immediately on execution, which was actually the harder part in this case,” Dr. Horowitz explains.

As the TCS community approached the fall semester, the same decisive spirit that had informed spring crisis management again paid dividends; the entire system reaped the benefits of a proven roadmap for remote operations. Because TCS colleges and universities were able to paint a clear picture of what to expect, they were more successful than many comparable institutions in securing commitments from prospective students. In fact, TCS as a whole saw a 12% new student enrollment increase in fall 2020 while many other schools saw numbers decline.


Resources go further in a community context.

Nationally, the pandemic highlighted the value of centralized systems when managing through crisis, and vividly illustrated some of the risks of operating in silos. When it mattered most, TCS set partner colleges and universities up for success by providing centralized, systematic access to the expertise and resources to quickly operationalize necessary change.

TCS Chief Operating Officer Deborah Markos recalls, “As decisions were made, we were right there with the teams and resources to make sure everyone could quickly understand the implications of choices and put them into action.” This rapid mobilization touched every aspect of student life and college operations. “We had internal communications at the ready to draft messaging. We immediately started assessing how to support student finances. How do we operate admissions remotely? How do we hold virtual events? We asked these questions across the board, always with the benefit of centralized resources to make the activities more effective.”

When each institution began receiving CARES Act funding, a collaborative spirit ensured maximum student benefit from every dollar. The colleges and universities worked together to channel their individual investments into strategically coordinated initiatives, creating holistic impact that was greater than the sum of its parts. This applied to infrastructure needs — like scaling up remote learning technology — as well as operational necessities like rapid training for faculty who found themselves suddenly greeting a screen, rather than a lecture hall, each day.


A moment for gratitude and optimism.

Higher education lost 650,000 jobs in 2020, and saw the rate of enrollment decline double from the prior year. The TCS community is proud and deeply grateful to have weathered this tumultuous period far better than many institutional peers. Despite the pandemic, TCS was able to avoid layoffs entirely and saw gains in both enrollment and student retention during 2020.


The principles that sustained us — Radical Cooperation and laser-sharp focus on student success — were not new. In fact, they have always been the foundation of our culture. But never have they been tested so harshly, nor served so well. As TCS, and the communities it serves, embark on post-pandemic rebuilding, it draws on powerful lessons learned and reaffirmed confidence in its organizational model. Yesterday’s trials have only proven the organization’s readiness to meet tomorrow’s needs, together.

Together, we are The Community Solution

Election Day is the opportunity for citizens to have a direct impact on the future of our nation. While the election has caused some anxiety for many this year, the TCS community will continue to embrace and support one another. This week, Dr. Horowitz spoke with our college presidents about shared beliefs and taking pride in being part of The Community Solution. Watch our video below:

Watch our Video on Vimeo 


Together we stand UNITED