WASHINGTON ( TheStreet) -- The Washington Post's ( WPO) education subsidiary, Kaplan, acquired J.Y. Monk, a North Carolina-based provider of real estate licensing and continuing education. Kaplan said early Monday that its Kaplan Real Estate Education bought J.Y. Monk, making it the largest provider of broker exam prep programs and real estate licensing and continuing education in the state of North Carolina. >> Education Stocks: Winners & Losers of 2010
J.Y. Monk will be folded into Kaplan's professional education division, offering education to businesses and individuals in the accounting, insurance, securities, real estate, financial planning and information technology industries. Washington Post shares edged 0.2% lower to $430.95 in early trading Monday. Volume was particularly light in the first trading day after the Christmas holiday and as a blizzard hit the Eastern seaboard of the U.S. Stocks in the for-profit education sector had a rough 2010 . Regulatory uncertainty weighed on the sector, criticism about colleges' graduation rates and student loan repayment rates abounded, future enrollment figures were called into question, schools were accused of failing to adequately prepare students for profitable careers yet leave them saddled with heavy debt, and federally proposed restrictions on the industry's business operations cast a shadow no bull market could fully offset. Critics argued that for-profit schools like Apollo Group ( APOL), Everest colleges parent Corinthian Colleges ( COCO), Strayer Education ( STRA) and a number of their peers saddle their students with debt yet leave them unequipped for the job market and a means with which to repay the hefty loans. Earlier this year, the Obama administration proposed regulations that cover everything from restricting incentive-based recruiting practices to the need for new job-training courses and taking action against schools which fail to advertise honestly to requiring schools to notify students of graduation and job-placement rates.