Managing Online Postsecondary Programs

College and university students are no longer exclusively 18-22 year olds looking for a traditional, residential, coming-of-age higher education experience. There are more non-traditional students enrolled in higher education today than traditional, and these students have a range of highly-diverse needs. Most critical, though, is their need for access.

It’s no coincidence that the growth in non-traditional students has followed the improvement and spread of online programming. Online programming offers the flexibility non-traditional students need. Of course, managing a successful online program takes more than simply putting courseware online.

This Special Feature focuses on what it takes for higher education institutions to successfully develop and deliver online programs.


Exploring the Value of Online Education for Today’s Colleges

Corporate Training Is Ripe for Online Disruption

Online learning modalities have the potential to revolutionize the delivery of customized training, improving scalability, creativity and costs.

The Online Education Evolution of LSU: A Shift in Focus for a Traditional State University

The success of an institutional online division relies on collaboration between multiple stakeholders across the university.

How Distance Programming Can Allow Medical Institutions to Serve New Markets

, Mark Terrell | Assistant Dean of Medical Education, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine and Tim Novak | Director of the Masters in Health Services Administration, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Launching a suite of online programs allows medical institutions to create access to degree programs for medical professionals hoping to advance their careers and expand their roles.


Determining the Value of Massive Open Online Courses

MOOCs Are Taking Higher Education to Brand New Heights

and Rob Lue | Faculty Director of HarvardX, Harvard University

While truly high-quality MOOCs can be a challenge to create, they provide invaluable data to institutions focused on learner tendencies that have the potential to revolutionize teaching and learning.

Open Courses Opening Doors to Developmental Education

MOOCs have created lower-cost pathways for students to gain the skills they need to reach credit-bearing college courses at a fraction of the cost.

Online and MOOC Content Can Strengthen, But Not Replace, Traditional Education

MOOC content will not replace traditional education, but will instead create supporting content that strengthens the complete education experience.


How Online Ed Can Revolutionize Medical Education

Roadblocks and Opportunities: The Flipped Classroom Is Emerging in Medical Ed

The medical education space has been slow in adopting online learning opportunities, but their potential to transform the space is massive.

Should Medical Education Be More Virtual?

Medical education is being virtualized by students through ad hoc methods. it’s time for institutional leadership to catch up and meet the demand of today’s learners.

MOOCing the Mini Med

and J. John Cohen | Professor at the School of Medicine, University of Colorado

The MOOC approach to the Mini Med School created unprecedented access to programming while sharing valuable lessons about medical pedagogy.

Medical MOOCs: Lessons Learned from the Trenches of Medical Education

The MOOC platform is providing medical educators with a brand new window into understanding how students learn and how medical education can transform in the modern era.


Managing the Online Approvals Process at Two-Year Colleges

Accelerating Time to Market: Understanding and Navigating the Approvals Process

Though colleges and universities are innovating and creating new courses and programs responsive to market needs, the approval process can impact their effectiveness by delaying their time-to-market.

Using Technology to Get Programs Approved More Quickly

and Kevin Mitchell | Professor, College of Southern Nevada

Moving from pen-and-paper organizational systems to technological tools can significantly accelerate the approvals process and time-to-market for new courses and programs.


Establishing the Pathway to Success Online

Navigating Approvals: How to Get High-Quality Programs to Market More Quickly

With the approval process for new courses and programs taking up to a year for some offerings, it’s critical to speed up the process to remain responsive.

Finding Our Way to Online: Where Do We Go After Building The Courses?

Quality content is not enough to truly stand out in the online education marketplace; leaders need to seriously consider the offering modality and student demand before taking a new course or program to market.


Building a Strong Presence in the Online Marketplace

Letting the Tiger Loose: Collaborating to Transform Online Course Design

Developing a new process for designing online courses through a collaborative effort bringing together multiple institutional stakeholders has led to a marked improvement in the quality of online offerings.

Designing a Great Online Student Experience Critical for Sustained Success

The market for online programming is competitive, but institutions that do it right will expand their footprint while delivering a high-end student experience.


Balancing Online and Branch Campus Access to Business Education

Maintaining Branch Campuses and Online Offerings Maximizes Institutional Footprint

Branch campuses, online and hybrid programming are all beneficial for different markets, so institutions should strive to offer courses through the full variety of modalities available rather than investing in just one, if possible.

Serving the Global Audience: Maintaining Branch Campuses and Online in Tandem

Both online and branch campus programs serve a unique purpose in that they deliver high-quality programming to students who cannot get to the main campus, but they each serve distinct markets and cannot replace one another.


Weighing Online’s Value in Expanding the College Footprint

Branch Campus or Online Program? Depends Who You’re Asking

Branch campuses and online programs both offer colleges the opportunity to expand their footprints, but the best mechanism is dependent on the service area.

Can Online Education Disrupt the Customized Training Space?

While online programming can help supplement or complement a robust executive-level customized training interventions, it cannot replace face-to-face programming.

Personal Touch and Lower Cost Demands a Second Look at Branch Campuses

Branch campuses are still valuable for institutions looking to create access for geographically dispersed students as they provide the in-person experience and campus connection that online lacks at a more affordable price.


Navigating Common Barriers to Online Expansion

Overcoming Misconceptions: Online Learning Sets Students On Pathway To Success

and Marisol Cuellar Mejia | Research Associate, Public Policy Institute

Though there is an expectation that community college students are less successful in the online format, community college students in online programs have a higher rate of success than those who only study face-to-face.

Involving Faculty From Square One Is Critical to Launching New and Innovative Programs

Understanding that both students and educators require support when introducing new technologies and technology-enhanced offerings is critical for the success of new and innovative programs.


Overcoming Misconceptions About Online Business Education

Engagement, Convenience and Quality: Three Key Ingredients to Overcome Student Misconceptions

Though students tend to hold misconceptions about the experience of pursuing a credential through an online business school, the institution can put into place a few strategies that quickly and easily debunk those myths.

Personalization Key to the Online Business Student Experience

Understanding that both students and educators require support when introducing new technologies and technology-enhanced offerings is critical for the success of new and innovative programs.


Managing High-Quality Hybrid Programming

On-Site Experience and Regular Engagement Key to Success

and Nancy Taylor | Director of MS Programs at the Eli Broad College of Business, Michigan State University

A service mindset that simplifies as many aspects of the administrative process as possible and regular communication are essential components to ensuring non-traditional students’ expectations are met.

Going Hybrid: Identifying and Overcoming Seven Challenges to a Hybrid Launch

Launching a hybrid program can present unique challenges for an institution, but their capacity to offer high-quality access to non-traditional students makes overcoming these issues worthwhile.

Hybrid Bootcamps Create Unprecedented Postsecondary Access for Isolated Populations

Hybrid bootcamps in remote communities allow for the development of highly talented professional networks in those regions, rather than tempting professionals to leave for larger cities.

Hybrid Format Solves Online’s Student Engagement Challenges

The hybrid approach provides a best-of-both-worlds approach to graduate education for students and faculty.

Meeting Students Where They Are: Critical for Success in Developmental Hybrid Programming

The ACCelerator, a campus repurposed from a mall, is creating hybrid access to developmental programs that help students get the skills they need to pursue college-level credentials.


Online Administrative Practices and the Student Experience

Online Students Require Greater Engagement from Institution

Status quo student management is ineffectual in the fully online space; students require a greater level of engagement from their institutions.

IT’s Role in Creating a Robust Experience for Today’s College Student

It’s critical for IT leaders to design a higher education experience based around the actual needs and desires of today’s students.

Student-Centered Approach of Online Ed Could Enrich On-Campus Student Experience

Main campuses would benefit from adopting the student-centered processes and tools that characterize online higher education.

Bringing Online Practices to Traditional Institutions: Setting the Stage for Success

The customer experience and service offered through the online format should be translated to the traditional institution to ensure today’s students’ expectations are being met.


Delivering the Engagement Online Students Need

Institutions Must Invest in the Tools and Skills that Deliver the Online Experience Students Expect

The online student population is distinct, and higher education administrators and faculty need to ensure they’re crafting an experience that meets the expectations and needs of this non-traditional demographic.

Engagement and Experience Should Be Top Of Mind When Shopping For New Tools

Technology-enhanced tools that significantly improve the student experience, allowing the institution to engage with students in the way they have come to expect, are critical for distance and face-to-face providers.

Three Guidelines to Leading a Successful Online Education Division

Willing participants, effective policies and critical pricing are critical to the success of any online program.


Tools Needed To Drive Online Program Success

Predictions About the Near Future of Online Learning and Five Tools Needed to Succeed

In developing any online course or program, every decision should factor in the student experience.

A Second Look at Success Tools for Online Students

When expanding access to online programming, it’s critical that leaders invest in tools designed to support student retention and success.

What it Takes: Making Online Education Work in Community Colleges

Simplifying the online student experience and shaping the technologies and demands to match the experiences and expectations of students will have a positive impact on completion and success.


Pricing Online Programs

Development Costly but Delivery Variable: Costing and Pricing Online Offerings

Though it can be less costly to deliver online programming than traditional, face-to-face programming, the tools and technologies used to create a robust online learning environment make them somewhat costly to produce.

Exploring Pricing Issues for High-Quality Online Programming

Though the academic costs of online courses are higher than on-campus equivalents, online students see savings from the lack of expenses related to the residential student experience.

Online Programming Has Potential to Push Higher Ed Costs Down

By minimizing capital costs, online higher education providers can offer students a high-quality higher education experience for a minimal cost, hopefully creating a level of competitiveness in the post-secondary space that leads to more widespread cost variance.


How Innovative Online Providers Set Themselves Apart

From Free to Degree: How MOOCs Open the Door for Future Online Students

and Pat Raymond | Director of Communications for Berklee Online, Berklee College of Music

Massive Open Online Courses can be a highly successful mechanism to bring students into credit-bearing offerings, but institutions must be strategic about their programming and marketing.

Five Critical Aspects of Differentiation in the Online Marketplace

Creating a first-rate experience for students across all their engagements with the college is critical to improving retention and completion, and to standing out as an elite education provider.


Differentiation in the Online Business Education Marketplace

Student Experience Central to Differentiating in the Online Marketplace

Finding ways to create engagement between online students, whether on-campus or online, is critical to creating the kinds of experiences that differentiate online education providers.

Creating Personal Connections Central to Standing Out for Online Business Schools

, Cassandra Shaw | Program Director for Entrepreneurship, American Public University, Marie Harper | Program Director for Management, American Public University and Tom Schaefer | Program Director for Marketing and Economics, American Public University

Quality of faculty, flexibility and richness of the learning environment are the major factors that can help an online business school differentiate itself in an increasingly competitive market.

Three Ways to Enhance your Customer Experience and Stand Out from the Competition

By focus on creating a high-end, highly engaging customer experience, universities can stand out and succeed in the competitive but lucrative customized training space.


Driving Online Retention and Success

Build, Buy or Buddy: Supporting Retention for Online Students

There are three key innovative areas that can support student retention in the online space, but the decision on how to deliver on these areas depends on the institution.

Engaging Experiences and Student-Centered Service Critical to Online Retention

Minimizing transactional distance for online students by ensuring services are designed with their needs in mind has a profoundly positive impact on online retention and success.


Surveying the Future of Personalization in Online Education

Personalized Learning Can Revolutionize Corporate Education

Personalized online learning could revolutionize the corporate education space, but its growth requires greater recognition from government and accrediting bodies.

Normal 3.0 in Postsecondary Education: Gazing Into Higher Ed’s Future

The future of postsecondary education is student-centered, technology-enhanced and focused on learning, not credentials.


How Online Learning Might Evolve Over the Next Decade

Improved Analytics Critical to the Personalization of Online Learning

Improved data collection and analysis is critical to the expansion of personalized learning in higher education, which itself is central to the move towards a more hybrid and online postsecondary environment.

Future-Gazing: What Learning Ecosystems Might Look Like By 2025

Customized, personalized online courses will be standard by 2025, allowing students to pursue content at their convenience across a range of content streams.