It's official: "The Donald" is making the leap from the boardroom to the classroom.
Business mogul Donald Trump announced on Monday (May 23) that he's launching Trump University, a virtual campus for aspiring entrepreneurs and working professionals looking to refine their business skills in areas like marketing, entrepreneurship, wealth creation, self-assessment and, of course, Trump's forte, real estate.
"It's going to be a tremendous venture, and it's going to really help a lot of people, which is what we really want to do, more so than economic, more so than anything else, we want to be able to help people," Trump told a crowd in New York Monday morning. "I love the concept of starting what I think will be a great university."
The online university's courses will involve seminars and supplemental materials to teach up-and-comers the ropes of the business world. A typical course will set you back a few hundred bucks (the real estate course comes in at $300 a pop), but students enrolled at Trump University should not expect a degree, as the university is not accredited.
As stated on Trump University's Web site, "The key to success in today's business environment is knowledge. However you define success — whether it's advancing your career, starting a profitable business, or creating wealth through investment — the need to take charge of one's own education has never been more critical. Trump University was founded on this principle and offers courses and programs ... that will help you meet your goals."
Additional courses in leadership, negotiation and communication are also in the works, and although all the courses are being taught via the Internet, Trump did hint that a "brick and mortar" school may be established eventually.
During his speech, Trump noted that the need for the highest quality education is now more crucial than ever. "People are looking beyond the traditional business-education model, which involves hours in the classroom and relies primarily on book learning," he said.
But the Donald isn't about to discount the value of book smarts. Last week he recruited "book smarts" finalist Kendra Todd as his new protégé. The 26-year-old Florida real estate broker prevailed over her "street smarts" counterpart Tana Goertz to become Trump's first female "Apprentice." Todd will oversee the construction of a lavish mansion in Palm Beach, Florida, and will train under one of Trump's top female advisors, Carolyn Kepcher.
It seems as though nothing is off-limits for Trump these days. Last week he unveiled his vision of a rebuilt World Trade Center and announced plans to bring his Midas touch to Broadway with an "Apprentice"-inspired musical.