Jones International University, an online degree-granting institution, was the brainchild of Glen R. Jones. Jones originally launched the cable television network Mind Extension University, which had 30,000 students take courses from more than 30 colleges and universities. Once the internet gained popularity, Jones started Jones International University to provide an online-only college experience in 1993, and began awarding degrees. Once the Higher Learning Commission granted it accreditation, Jones International continued to expand its degree offerings because critics challenged the fact it did not have many programs.
Jones owns other companies as well. In 1969, he founded Jones International, which serves as a corporate parent of a number of other companies. Jones owns companies in education, entertainment and technology, and he still serves at the chairman of the board and chief executive officer. At one time, Jones owned a media conglomerate, the Jones Media Group, which owned the Jones Radio Networks, Jones MediaAmerica and JonesTM.
Jones is also the owner of a number of companies that have educational products. The Jones Knowledge Group oversees a number of products, including online learning software, digital libraries, licensed education and training content and a global accrediting body for government, academic and accrediting agencies to promote quality accreditation and learning standards internationally.