IntelliTec’s Matthews lives his dream to teach

Todd-A.-Matthews_-IMITodd Matthews is the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s 2013 Man of the Year for Colorado Springs, after having raised more than $16,000 to help fund research. He currently serves as campus director at IntelliTec Medical Institute in Colorado Springs. He has nearly 30 years’ experience in private education. Before joining IntelliTec, he served as president at Brown Mackie College – Indianapolis.


How has your career background prepared you for your current position?

I was always passionate about wanting to be an educator and a business owner. My father was an educator and also owned family businesses. By being involved at a very young age in the businesses, that experience enhanced my business acumen and fueled my desire to pursue my career. Right out of college, I did some substitute teaching during the day in public schools and taught night classes at a private college. After being offered a full-time position at the private college, I served in a variety of educational administrative roles and have never looked back.

When I got a call in spring 2009 to discuss IMI, I was intrigued by the college’s primary focus on health care training programs and the fact that this was just one campus. It was important for me to join an organization focused on offering the type of quality training where graduates could put their education to work. If something changes in the workforce, we can change immediately — that’s so important to ensure our graduates meet the ever-changing needs of employers. This has become for me the opportunity of a lifetime and has been the perfect fit.


Tell us about your involvement with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Two phone calls I will never forget: I lost my brother almost seven years ago; and just a couple of months ago I lost my father to cancer. Those two calls I received from my sister telling me my brother and father had passed, I can’t begin to describe the emotions or feelings. In remembrance and honor of my brother and father, I now dedicate a large portion of my community work to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s mission. Last year, I [raised] over $16,000 that will be used to fund valuable research. … This year, I serve as the chairman of the executive leadership committee for the 2014 Man and Woman of the Year campaign. I continue to work with local businesses to promote awareness, seek corporate contributions and identify potential candidates for next year’s campaign. … I can’t thank the Colorado Springs community enough for all their continued support.


What accomplishment has been most important during your five-year tenure?

Being part of designing and opening our new campus at Tiffany Square is by far my most important accomplishment. I have a great group of managers that worked hard with me to produce an unbelievable new campus. Even though location and plenty of parking are very important, we also wanted to have enough space and be in a facility that would give us the opportunity to expand. The new campus is almost twice as large as our old campus, and classrooms were designed to support our small class sizes.


What are the challenges facing IntelliTec?

IMI faces similar challenges of other institutions. College enrollment has declined the past two years as the economy continues to improve. Additionally, potential students are taking more time to consider the value of a college education. In many cases, students who might have considered enrolling are now opting to first pursue workplace opportunities with their existing education. It’s going to be important we stay focused on offering training programs in fields where graduates can put their education to work and realize a positive financial return on their investment of a college degree.


How has medical higher education changed recently, and what do you foresee?

With the Affordable Care Act in place, it’s still too early to determine any negative or positive effects as it relates to higher education. Fortunately, we have strong externship programs; these create opportunities for our students before graduation. We are also continuing to see high demand for our graduates from local health care employers who may not directly participate in our externship programs.

I do believe over the next few years changes in health care will directly affect higher education. It’s going to be important for us to modify or develop new training programs quickly to continue meeting the needs and changes of employers. One of IMI’s primary business goals in 2014 is to engage with local hospitals and other health care facilities to identify and discuss what gaps currently exist between training and job requirements and work on developing solutions to close those gaps. Ultimately, as a common goal, we want to increase the number of qualified candidates in order to continue to build a stronger health care workforce here.


What are your short- and long-term goals for IntelliTec?

Over the next couple of years, I want to keep IMI focused on developing and incorporating online classes into its current offerings. Also, we’ll continue our focus on completing feasibility studies to determine potential new programs that support the Colorado Springs health care industry. Long-term, I want to look at sites in the state that will allow IMI to add campuses.