2014: A Year in Review

The higher education industry came to terms with some of its most significant changes through 2014, if not in practice then in concept. Competency-based education programs grew both in number and in stature, and higher education institutions across the board starting looking for new ways to serve new marketplaces, or just better ways to serve the students already coming through the door. New ways of doing business, new students to serve, new marketplaces to uncover: 2014 was truly a year of discovery for higher education.  

Coming to Terms with Service Partnerships in Higher Ed

AUDIO | Understanding Disaggregation and Service Partnerships (Paul LeBlanc | President, Southern New Hampshire University)

The first step institutions need to take to evolve from the traditional postsecondary model is to understand their own weaknesses, then look for the best way to address those gaps.

Three Reasons Institutions Should Work with Vendors (Craig Maslowsky | Vice President of Enrollment Management and Marketing, Excelsior College)

Vendor partnerships provide institutions the opportunity to offer high-end services while simultaneously reducing pressure on staff and providing an opportunity to learn best practices.

AUDIO | Differences Between For-Profit and Non-Profit Providers are Slim (Phil Hill | Market Analyst, MindWires Consulting)

While there is a wide variety of service providers competing in the higher education marketplace, deep down they may not be as different as they might appear on the surface.  

Determining What Services to Outsource

Outsourcing Continuing Education: Issues for the Institution (John DeLalla | Director of Continuing Education, University of Arizona South)

The commonly outsourced academic and administrative services change from institution to institution, but there are a few periphery tasks for which most colleges and universities look for partners.

To Outsource or Not to Outsource? ()

Front-end responsibilities should be retained by the institution, but secondary services equally critical to students are good candidates for outsourcing.

Seven Responsibilities Perfectly Suited for Vendors ()

There are a number of functions that, though critical to student and operational success, fall outside the expertise and central scope of institutions.  

To Partner or Not To Partner?

The Critical Questions: Determining Whether Partnering is Best ()

Without considering critical questions related to mission, purpose and core competencies, institutional leaders will never be fully confident in the appropriateness of a partnership.

Exploring the Benefits of a True Partnership ()

A partnership where both sides are clear in their aims, responsibilities and roles can have a positive impact both on an institution’s reputation and its bottom line.

Innovation and the Public Procurement Process ()

Moving to an interview-based procurement process could vastly expedite the current approach to procurement at public institutions.  

Innovation nd Change in Graduate-Level Higher Ed

Five Ways Continuing Education Supports Strong Graduate Programming ()

Beyond expanding accessibility, continuing education units can support significant growth and expansion for a university’s graduate program offerings.

Graduate Education: Keeping the Workforce Fresh ()

Graduate credentials are critical for employees to keep pace with the changing and evolving labor market, but this requires institutions to stay on top of industry changes and provide programming to accomplish this goal.

Globalization and Outcomes-Focus are Changing the Face of Graduate Education ()

Shifting student demographics and increased demand for immediately-relevant labor market skills is driving change in graduate education.  

Succeeding in Today’s Graduate Ed Marketplace

Brand Is Not Enough: Innovation Critical for Elite Institutions ()

Brand may bring people to the door, but innovation is what gets students to enroll and ensures that they graduate and succeed in the workforce.

Experiential Online Graduate Programs Enhance Learning Outcomes and Career Readiness ()

Online graduate programming is beginning to emerge as a highly-rigorous and well-regarded mechanism for working professionals to continue their education and advance in their careers.

Joint Graduate Degree Programs Benefit Students and Universities ()

Degree programs developed in collaboration between two or more units within a university provides students with an opportunity for interdisciplinary learning that will support their career advancement.  

Serving Underserved Student Demographics

AUDIO | Look in the Mirror to Improve Higher Ed for First-Generation Students ()

In order for higher education institutions to be truly welcoming to first-generation students, they must look internally to find the accessibility and retention gaps that impede success of these learners.

AUDIO | The New Approach To Veteran Postsecondary Programming ( and )

As increasing numbers of veterans are returning from overseas and looking to reintegrate into civilian life, institutions are developing programming that will meet the unique needs of this population.

Overcoming Four Key Challenges to Rural Student Postsecondary Success ()

Rural students may face a number of roadblocks when it comes to accessing and succeeding in higher education, but colleges and universities can make small adjustments that would help them overcome these challenges.  

Competing in the IELP Marketplace

English Language Programs and International Student Recruitment ()

International English language programs can provide institutions with new pathways to enroll the growing numbers of international students looking to earn a degree from an American institution.

AUDIO | Succeeding in the IELP Marketplace Requires Understanding, Investment and Focus ()

Institutions must be mindful of the unique and specific needs of international students when they develop IELPs, and cannot assume that simply having the program will lead to increased enrollment.

AUDIO | IELP is About Long-Term Investment, Not Short-Term Gain ()

The international demand for English language programs is very high, but institutions must be prepared to invest heavily in their IELP infrastructure if they hope to be successful.  

The Value of Efficiency to the Modern Postsecondary Institution

AUDIO | The Differentiating Value of Efficient Institutional Management ()

Though highly efficient business management practices are not a market differentiator, they are mission critical for a successful institution and they impact the student experience.

AUDIO | How Operational Efficiency Is Good For Everyone at the Institution ()

Operational efficiency in higher education can prove to be beneficial on both the back-end, operational side and on the front-end, academic side of the institution.

AUDIO | How Back-End Efficiency Is Central to the Development of a New CE Unit ()

As PLU looks to build its CE unit from the ground up, the first step they’re taking is to find a management system that will allow them to scale and grow efficiently.  

Efficiency: Taking Institutions from Good to Great

AUDIO | High-Touch, High-Tech: The Future of Postsecondary Efficiency ()

By introducing tools that allow staff to focus on high-touch tasks, institutions can improve their customer service while simultaneously reducing operating costs.

Efficiency: The Secret Top Schools Already Know ()

By creating a solid and smooth-running back end, colleges and universities can improve the customer experience for their students and set themselves on the path for long-term success.

Shared Services: Bringing Efficiency from NASA to Higher Education ()

Moving toward a shared services model can reap major rewards for higher education institutions nationwide, spelling significant benefits for a wide range of stakeholders and the wider citizenry and economy.  

Efficiency in the Modern Postsecondary Era

AUDIO | How To Get Institution-Wide Buy-In for Major Changes ()

IT leaders can get institution-wide buy-in for major efficiency-creating projects by tying those projects to institutional goals.

AUDIO | Efficiency or Irrelevancy: The Time is Now to Choose ()

By creating a solid and smooth-running back end, colleges and universities can improve the customer experience for their students and set themselves on the path for long-term success.

AUDIO | Student Experience and Efficiency Go Hand-in-Hand ()

Operational efficiency is central to providing a strong student experience for today’s postsecondary institutions, especially when it comes to serving non-traditional learners.  

The Long-Term Viability of the Public Higher Ed Model

AUDIO | Is the Public Institution Business Model Viable in the Long Term? ()

Public university leaders must look for ways to re-imagine the public higher education model to ensure they can remain competitive.

Going Private: Why Public Institutions Are Considering Crossing Over (Part 1) ()

Public institutions must contend with significant pressures from multiple levels of government and subject themselves to multiple forms of oversight, despite the rapidly shrinking funding they actually receive from state governments.

Musings on the Future of Higher Ed: The Worst of Times ()

The higher education landscape is transforming at all levels, but with the challenges of change come the opportunities of advancement.  

The Student Perspective on Higher Ed in the Modern Era

AUDIO | Continuing Education for Professional Growth: A Student’s Story ()

Institutions need to keep student needs and demands in mind when designing programming, especially when it’s aimed at working professionals.

AUDIO | Inter-Departmental Communication Central to Improving the Student Experience ()

Improving communication between departments is critical for institutions that want to provide a seamless customer experience for students.

VIDEO | The Higher Ed Revolution Requires Employer Participation ()

If the gap between higher education and the workforce is ever to be breached, it’s imperative that employers take the lead because colleges and universities are prone to supporting the status quo  

Succeeding in the Corporate Education Marketplace

Partnering to Create Responsive Corporate Training and Development Education ()

The nanodegree partnership between AT&T and Udacity allows the tech giant to create training and development programming that addresses skills gaps as they arise.

VIDEO | How Higher Ed Keeps Google’s Engine Running ()

In order to ensure their engineers have the critical skills needed to move the company forward, Google does everything possible to create ongo- ing learning partnerships with universities.

AUDIO | Corporate Market Critical for College Competitiveness ()

Succeeding in the corporate training market is critical for institutions that want to remain competitive over the next decade.  

Cybersecurity and Higher Ed

AUDIO | What It Takes to Keep Student Information Safe in the Digital Age ()

Increasing numbers of administrative processes are taking place online, and postsecondary IT leaders and vendors need to focus on protecting student information.

Protecting Student Financial Information in the Modern Era: Cybersecurity and Higher Ed ()

It’s critical that universities operate with the same attention to cybersecurity as other banking institutions to protect student financial information.

Identification, Validation and Authentication: All Different But Not All Compliant ()

Measures to prevent financial aid fraud should not be confused with those designed to maximize academic integrity; they are two different concerns that require different prevention tactics.  

Institutional Performance Metrics in the Modern Era

AUDIO | A New Set of Metrics for a New Higher Ed Reality ()

As the federal and state governments begin to look at institutional performance for rankings and funding, respectively, those bodies should seek out different analytics systems that better-track the progress of non-traditional students.

Performance-Based Funding and Student-Centered Higher Education ()

Performance-based funding models ensure public colleges and universities are still able to operate, but reward the institutions that support student success rather than those that pull in the most enrollees.

AUDIO | Context Critical for Performance-Based Funding ()

Performance tracking is a valuable and important exercise in higher education, but it is critical to take an institution’s context into account when measuring its success.  

The Regulatory Environment and Its Impact on Institutions

How The Regulatory Trifecta is Wrapping Higher Ed in Red Tape ()

As regulation and authorization requirements mount, higher education institutions are left footing the bill and scrambling to pay.

Leave Institutions to their Task: The Value of Remedial Programming to a Strong Society ()

Without being able to ensure students who need developmental support enroll in remedial programming, many students will struggle to earn their all-important postsecondary credential.

AUDIO | Current Iteration of Gainful Employment Will Punish Community Colleges Most ()

In its current form, the gainful employment rule will have the most significant negative impact on community colleges rather than for-profit institutions.  

Higher Education’s Customer Service Imperative

AUDIO | Focusing on Customer Service: Higher Education and the “Degree Mill” Debate ()

Customer service is not detrimental to higher education’s future; in fact, it’s critical to the success of students during their period of enrollment and through their career.

AUDIO | Customer Service and Non-Traditional Higher Ed: Committing to the Concierge Model ()

Committing to customer service is a critical step for higher education institutions that want to succeed in the non-traditional student marketplace.

Navigating the Transition to ‘Learner as Customer’ ()

As students begin acting more and more like customers, it’s critical for higher education institutions to begin adapting to meet their demands.  

The Evolving World of Credits and Credentials

Does Our Credentialing System Work Anymore? ()

In order for higher education to remain relevant in the future, a new system of credentials needs to be devised in concert with all necessary stakeholders, including employers and professional associations.

Alternative Credentials Can Motivate Graduate Education to Clarify Outcomes and Quality ()

As certificate programs gain in popularity as a means to acquire technical skills, higher education institutions can differentiate their graduate degrees through a focus on deep, conceptual mastery of subject matter.

AUDIO | Graduate Certificates Growing in Value for Working Adults ()

Due to their cost and time to completion, graduate certificates may be better suited to the needs of today’s working adults than master’s degrees.  

Expansion: Serving New Marketplaces

AUDIO | Meeting the Institutional Growth Imperative during a Downturn ()

The higher education industry has changed, but institutions can continue to grow and thrive if they can adapt to its new realities.

Three Questions to Ask Before Jumping Into a New Market ()

Before entering a new marketplace, higher education administrators must understand the lay of the land and whether they have a competitive edge in the space.

Breaking Barriers to Higher Ed: How CE Can Improve Accessibility for Low-Income Students ()

Continuing education leaders have the opportunity to support college accessibility, as well as develop a pipeline into their own institution, by offering affordable college-entry test preparation courses to high school students.  

Looking to the Future of Institutional Management Systems

AUDIO | Best-of-Breed vs. ERP: What’s Best for Higher Ed Today ()

Due to its adaptability and customization potential, best-of-breed wins out when compared with ERP for higher education institutional management.

AUDIO | Next Generation Institutional Management: Beyond ERP and Best-of-Breed ()

Next generation institutional management systems will be configurable, not customizable, context-sensitive and process- and workflow-based.

AUDIO | How an Evolved IT Unit Can Take an Institution from Good to Great ()

Institutional IT units must play a central role in the development and transformation of colleges and universities.

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