Doing More With Less: Scaling Higher Ed
Scaling is absolutely critical for higher education institutions in today’s marketplace. Through scaling, institutions can “do more with less”—they can meet the sky-high expectations of today’s discerning students while keeping their costs and prices low.
This Feature highlights some of the approaches today’s institutions are taking to achieving scale.
What It Takes To Achieve Scale
Higher education IT leaders need to focus on growing the efficiency of their institutions while leveraging enterprise services to drive institutional strategy and value.
Creating economies of scale is critical for today’s colleges and universities, but there are four central conditions that will impact the success of institutions in achieving scale.
The Building Blocks to Scaling
Without timely data or incentives to react to current institutional conditions, it’s immensely challenging for higher education leaders to make the changes they need to improve student outcomes and create wider accessibility.
Context is everything for college and university leaders who are focused on identifying innovations and applying them to their own institutions.
Scaling Strategically With Technology
By scaling through technology, institutions can provide the personalized service today’s students need to persist through their educational programs and succeed, regardless of their background.
Higher education institutions need to leverage technological tools and systems to deliver the personalized experience today’s students expect.
Identifying and Overcoming Common Roadblocks to Scaling
By fostering a culture of change, staying on top of industry-wide changes, leveraging technology and forging partnerships, institutions can scale and take advantage of the numerous opportunities available across the postsecondary space in spite of top-level resource constraints.
Maintaining quality and buy-in from staff and faculty can be a challenge for leaders during scaling processes, but the improved impact on the student experience makes the effort worthwhile.
Scaling to Deliver the Customer Experience Students Expect
Increases in scale no longer equate to a decrease in quality. It’s absolutely critical for today’s institutions to transcend the most common obstacles to scale in order to drive growth in today’s postsecondary environment.
A commitment to creating a strong customer experience, and making use of technology to deliver on that commitment, can help institutions stand out in what’s becoming an immensely competitive marketplace.
Scaling to Drive More Adults Toward Degrees
Scaling to serve greater numbers of adult students requires institutions to focus on serving this demographic at a strategic level; it’s not possible to simply bolt adults onto existing approaches geared toward 18- to 22-year-olds.
Though it would be challenging for traditional colleges to transition to fulfilling the mission of a completion college, improving the linkages between the two entities could help to drive degree completion toward the nationally set goals.
The Impact of Scaling
Expanding institutional reach and responding to the expectations of students is critical in the modern era, and scaling is the best way to achieve these ends.
Berklee College offers unique and niche music education programming but access to that programming is demanded across the United States and internationally, making it imperative for the university to find ways to scale access to its offerings.
Incentivizing Scaling Internally
Institutional leaders need to take note of the levers Netflix has used to dominate its marketplace and apply some of that business’s key lessons to the postsecondary space.
While faculty still tend to be resistant to new technologies, institutions need to invest in and support faculty using technology to enhance their academic product—either online or in-class—to incentivize their adoption.
Making Scale a Reality in the Postsecondary Context
In order to successfully scale, every institutional leader must understand the importance of – and have in place – their Purpose, Prospects, Programming and Partnerships levers.
Creating international accessibility demands significant investment in technological scaling and growth, but the outcomes of these efforts are incredibly important.