updated 9/13/2010 11:18:05 AM ET 2010-09-13T15:18:05

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Sept. 13, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Colorado Technical University, a leading provider of career-focused education, was presented with the "Above and Beyond" award by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR).

This award recognizes employers at the state and local level who have gone above and beyond the legal requirements for granting leave and providing support to employees who are called to military duty. David Leasure, Chief Academic Officer and interim CEO of CTU, and Mark Pieffer, CTU Denver campus president, accepted the award on behalf of CTU at the ESGR annual banquet in Denver. CTU was one of only four organizations to receive this award.

"We are extremely proud of our employees who chose to continue to serve our country while working at CTU," said Leasure. "Providing extra support and understanding to these employees is the least we can do in recognition of what they do to protect our country."

ESGR is a Department of Defense organization that was established to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve members and their employers. ESGR also assists in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee's military commitment. Today, ESGR operates through a network of thousands of volunteers throughout the U.S., Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

"As a military veteran myself, I find it particularly gratifying that CTU has grown to understand and adapt to the needs of Guard and Reserve members," said Pieffer. "I'm honored to be part of an organization that is so supportive of its military employees."

CTU shows its support for military employees while they are on campus and when they are deployed. When employees must take time to participate in training, these days do not count against their vacation time and CTU compensates employees for the difference between the military pay and their CTU salary. 

Jim Hendrickson, vice president of military education at CTU and an active member of the Guard and Reserve, nominated CTU because he felt proud of the school's efforts to support employees even when they are deployed. CTU regularly adopts the platoons of its employees and has sent them hundreds of pounds of supplies over the years. During the holidays, staff members take part in letter writing campaigns to thank those serving for their efforts and wish them a happy and safe holiday.

 "Employing real-world practitioners is a key component of what differentiates us from traditional schools," said Leasure. "So it's important that we recruit and retain employees who understand the unique needs of our military students, which make up a significant portion of our total student population."

 About Colorado Technical University

Founded in 1965, Colorado Technical University (CTU) provides higher education for today's career-focused students and offers them support, flexibility and resources to advance personally and professionally. In addition to degree-track programs at the associate and bachelor's levels, CTU offers master's and doctoral degrees through the CTU Institute of Advanced Studies -- an innovative approach to graduate degrees for career-motivated professionals. 

CTU campuses include ground schools in Denver; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Pueblo, Colo.; Sioux Falls, S.D.; and Kansas City and an internet based division that delivers degree programs 100 percent online.  In fact, the award-winning CTU Virtual Campus was recognized as "Best of the Best" in the 2009 Computerworld Honors Program. For more information, please visit www.coloradotech.edu.

CTU is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. For more info visit www.ncahigherlearningcommission.org  or call 312-263-0456. CTU is also a member of the Career Education Corporation (Nasdaq:CECO) network of universities, colleges and schools.  For more information, visit www.careered.com.   CTU does not guarantee employment or salary.

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