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Converge 2014: The Next Generation - Harms


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Converge 2014: The Next Generation - By Dr. BRENDA HARMS

The future of adult and graduate serving institutions may look very different than the past. From the types of education offered, the delivery mode, marketing strategies, and recruitment practices, everything seems to be up for discussion. The key question is where is your institutions opportunity and how will you capitalize on it? Are you doing enough now to build your success for the future? In this session, Converge Consulting will lay a foundation that outlines the opportunity that exists for schools that are willing to push outside of their own comfort and truly engage in what’s next.


Clear understanding of the enrollment opportunity that exists for those schools willing to make a bold step
Insight into intentional discussions that must be had if your institution is planning to advance in serving this population
Key elements to consider in relation to marketing and recruitment in this highly competitive market

Published in: Education
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Converge 2014: The Next Generation - Harms

  1. 1. The Next Generation October, 2014 Brenda Harms Ph.D. – Senior Vice-President
  2. 2. The Next Generation… ?
  3. 3. The Next Generation… • 20 years ago the idea of online education was looked down upon by the majority of schools sitting in this room • 15 years ago social media was not part of your life • 10 years ago the idea of competency based education was absurd • 8 years ago your website didn’t need to fit on your phone
  4. 4. The Next Generation… ?
  5. 5. The Next Generation… • Will increasingly push higher education outside of it’s historical comfort zone • Will challenge us to think about the work we do in relation to marketing and recruitment far differently than we are right now • Will cause our institutions (and perhaps leadership) to push back, not out of ignorance but out of fear • Will push us all to consider ideas a few years ago we couldn’t have even imagine
  6. 6. The Importance of This Work…
  7. 7. The Importance of This Work… At this time…
  8. 8. Our Challenge….. • Work in nimble and progressive ways within an organization that is not particularly nimble or progressive • Navigate the politics of an internal system that is change resistant • Continue to push the limits of the institutions we work for while continuing to push ourselves to be progressive within our area of expertise • Do more with less – in relation to both human and financial resources
  9. 9. GROW! Our Charge…..
  10. 10. National Research Trends in the Adult Student Market
  11. 11. Higher Education Attainment
  12. 12. High School Attainment of Younger and Older Adults –2005 Source: Education at a Glance, 2007, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD): prepared by National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS). * Japan data is from 2004.
  13. 13. Educational Attainment in the U.S. US now ranks 12th among 36 developed nations for percentage of post-secondary degree holders. --The College Board In the US, by 2018 63% of all jobs will require post-secondary education. --Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce
  14. 14. The Levels of Education for the U.S. Population • More than 22 percent (over 37 million Americans) have attended college but not completed a degree Levels of education for the U.S. population, aged Less than high school 13% High school 27% Some college, no degree 22% Bachelor's degree 19% Associate degree 8% Graduate or professional degree 12% 25-64 Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2008
  15. 15. Tennessee 3,415,752 – Tennessee residents ages 25-64 • In 2012 - 33.3% of Tennessee’s working-age adults (25- 64) have two or four-year degree (national average – 39.4%) • 1,110,300 – High school diploma • 759,104 – Some college no degree • 250,219 – Associate degree • 585,335 – Bachelor’s degree
  16. 16. Projected Change in H.S. Graduates to 2018–19 by State Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2008
  17. 17. Degree-attainment Rates by Race/Ethnicity • 2008 Degree-attainment rates for Americans ages 25-64 22.5% 59.2% 18.6% 26.2% 42.2% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% White Black Hispanic Asian Native American Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2008 American Community Survey
  18. 18. NCES Projected Increases 2007- 2018 4% 26% 38% 29% 32% 14% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% White Black Hispanic Asian or Pacific Islander American Indian or Alaska Native Nonresident Aliens
  19. 19. Fall Enrollment by Ethnicity Sources: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics,
  20. 20. Population Ages 15 - 34 • 1980 – 78% - White – 13% - Black – 7% - Hispanic – 2% - Asian/Pacific Islander • 2012 – 58% - White – 14% Black – 21% Hispanic – 6% Asian/Pacific Islander
  21. 21. Degree-attainment Rates by Income Levels • Four out of five 24-year-olds in the upper income quartile hold four-year college degrees • One out of ten in the lowest income quartile hold four-year college degrees • Low-income students are more likely to attend institutions with lower graduation rates and attend part-time.
  22. 22. Rising…But • Some evidence of a rise in formal education participation – Nearly half of the adult population is now participating in formal education, or work related training and the trend is rising. • However – About 40 million adults function at the lowest levels of literacy; only 3 million of these are receiving instruction.
  24. 24. Students Today…
  25. 25. The Emergence of Non-Traditional Students The “Traditional” Undergraduate A student who earns a high school diploma, enrolls full time immediately after finishing high school, depends on parents for financial support, and either does not work during the school year or works part time.
  26. 26. The Emergence of Non-Traditional Students Traditional Undergraduate 27 % Non-Traditional Undergraduate 73% vs. Traditional Undergraduate 16 % • In 1999–2000, just 27 percent of undergraduates are traditional undergraduate students, those who earns a high school diploma, enrolls full time immediately after finishing high school, depends on parents for financial support, and either does not work during the school year or works part time—is the exception rather than the rule. • Non-traditional students are creating a new majority among undergraduates at college campuses across the country vs. Non-Traditional Undergraduate 84% *1999-2000 *2008-2009, Peter Stoakes
  27. 27. The Emergence of Non-Traditional Students • According to the National Center for Education Statistics - of undergraduate students – The share of all students over age 25 is projected to increase another 23 percent by 2019. – Nearly a quarter of postsecondary students in the United States (3.9 million) are parents. – 43 percent of all undergraduates attend community colleges. – Adult learners make up as much as 60 percent of all community college students – Almost 40 percent of all undergraduates and about 60 percent of those attending public two-year colleges are enrolled part-time.
  28. 28. Ask Yourself… • Do trends at our institution follow these national trends? – Serving more minority students – Seeing the “tipping point” in the adult/graduate population compared to the traditional undergrad • Does our institution have (and use) data on who our current student population is? How segmented is it? – Have we developed student personas for the populations we serve? • Have we begun to shift our attention or efforts at our institution? – Has a representative from the “nontraditional” side of the house recently acquired a seat at the senior leadership table?
  29. 29. Labor Market Needs The Benefit of Being Educated
  30. 30. Why Is Higher Education Attainment Needed? • Higher education is the best insurance against unemployment. – While overall unemployment rates are hovering around 10 percent, percent, only 4.5 percent of college graduates were unemployed. • Education is essential for economic prosperity and career advancement. – Workers with a bachelor’s degree enjoy an annual income nearly $20,000 higher than workers who only have completed high school. • The economic recovery is being hindered by a lack of workers with the advanced skills and knowledge demanded in this economy.
  31. 31. Demands for Higher Education • Need to produce an additional 3 million workers with associate degrees or higher and 5 million workers with technical certificates and credentials by 2018 to promote economic competitiveness and economic mobility. • Employers are seeking individuals with both technical knowledge in their field and also practical experience solving workplace problem. • The type of integrated postsecondary education that yields this knowledge and skills mix is not commonplace in higher education.
  32. 32. Labor Layout • During the Great Recession of 2008-2010, four out of five jobs that were lost were held by Americans with a high school education or less. • By comparison, Americans with a bachelor’s degree or above steadily gained jobs during the recession and have seen an increase of more than 2 million jobs during the recovery that began in 2010. • Perhaps the clearest evidence of that comes from the fact that many employers say they cannot find people with the skills they need to fill current job openings.
  33. 33. At your company, what workplace skills are considered most important for employees to have when they join? (select top 4) (% respondents) Critical thinking and problem solving 72% Collaboration/teamwork 63% Communication 54% Technical skills associated with the job 54% Adaptability/managing multiple priorities 48% Professionalism 32% Planning/organization 21% Reading for information 10% Locating information 6% Networking 6% Applied mathematics 5% Source: Economist Intelligence Unit survey, March 2014
  34. 34. The Cost of Not Being Educated
  35. 35. Ask Yourself… • How is my institution responding to local labor demands? • How are my recruiters leveraging this type of information when communicating with prospective students?
  36. 36. Public Opinion of Higher education
  37. 37. 2012 Lumina Foundation Study – Public Opinion of Higher Education • Nearly all Americans (97%) say having a degree or certificate beyond high school is at least somewhat important to a person’s financial security • More than two-thirds (67%) say getting a good job is a very important reason for getting education beyond high school. Nearly as many, 65%, say earning more money is a very important reason to get education beyond high school • Of Americans who do not have a postsecondary degree or certificate, the majority agree or strongly agree that they would feel more secure in their job and their financial future if they did have one
  38. 38. 2012 Lumina Foundation Study – Public Opinion of Higher Education • About four in 10 (41%) Americans without a postsecondary degree or certificate say they have thought about going back to school within the last 12 months
  39. 39. 2012 Lumina Foundation Study – Public Opinion of Higher Education Issues of Cost and Quality • 76% of those interviewed believe a U.S. education was better or the same as education in other countries • 76% agree or strongly agree that traditional colleges and universities offer high-quality education • 54% agree or strongly agree that community colleges offer high- quality education • 33% agree or strongly agree that online colleges and universities offer high-quality education
  40. 40. 2012 Lumina Foundation Study – Public Opinion of Higher Education BUT only 26% of those interviewed believe higher education is affordable for everyone who needs it
  41. 41. College Costs Surge 500% in U.S. Since 1985
  42. 42. 2012 Lumina Foundation Study – Public Opinion of Higher Education Earning College Credit • 87% of those interviewed believe students should be able to earn college credit for knowledge and skills they have learned outside the classroom • 75% would be more likely to enroll in a program where they could be evaluated and receive credits for what they already know • 70% believe that if they have mastered the material being taught in a course, they should be able to receive credit without completing the 16-week course
  43. 43. The Growth of Online Enrollment • Online enrollments have continued to grow at rates far in excess of the total higher education student population • As of 2012 - 6.7 million students had taken at least one online course. • The portion of students taking at least one online course is at an all time high of 32% of those consuming education in the U.S.
  44. 44. Reality of Online Education • The proportion of chief academic leaders that say online learning is critical to their long-term strategy is now at 69.1 percent • Of academic leaders 77% surveyed reported online learning outcomes to be the same, somewhat superior or superior to face-to-face in 2012. • From 2002 to 2012 academic leaders have reported little change in faculty acceptance of the value and legitimacy of online education.
  45. 45. Desires of Adult Students Easier transfer of credit from institution to institution – Credit transfer policies must become more rational to support working adults at ALL levels More flexible course, certificate, and degree programs – Increased access to online learning, hybrid learning, competency based learning, and education at the workplace More flexible financial aid policies – More than 22 percent of prospective adult learners who choose not to enroll cite cost as an obstacle – Increase grant aid rather than student loan programs or tax credits Lower-cost alternatives to attending college – Online courses – Hybrid courses – Competency based alternatives
  46. 46. Ask Yourself… • Has my institution even considered doing something bold about the cost of higher education? • If 40% of adults without a degree have at least considered the idea of coming back to school in the last 12 months what have we done to talk with them about that? • Where are we in relation to online courses? – Do we charge more for online? – Do we offer what faculty want or what students want online? – How do we monitor what is being done online and what accountabilities are in place for those who are teaching in this delivery mode?
  47. 47. Higher Education Responses To Training Needs
  48. 48. Higher Education Must Become More Responsive to the Training Needs of Industry • American corporations spent more than $51 billion on training in 2004 • More than $13 billion was devoted to purchasing services from third-party providers such as professional associations, consultancies, commercial training companies, colleges and universities, government agencies, and others. • Colleges and universities had only a 5 percent share of these expenditures for outsourced services in 2004 – amounting to about $670 million.
  49. 49. Higher Education Must Become More Responsive to the Training Needs of Industry • Universities are not designed to respond rapidly to the changing education and training needs of industry – The top capabilities employers reported seeking third-party providers of education and training for were “customization” and “applied learning.” – The top two areas where universities could improve to better meet their education and training needs were “applied learning” and “customization.” – Otherwise, industry will continue to do what it has done for the past two decades: work around higher education by creating its own system for training and development.
  50. 50. Ask Yourself… • How does my institution team with employers in the region? – Community outreach – Employer partnerships – Tuition reimbursement • In that relational dynamic who has the upper hand?
  51. 51. Policy Response
  52. 52. We Can Not Wait While the national focus on Higher Education is encouraging we can not stand back and wait for someone else to lead in relation to financial aid, cost, definitions of credit hours, competency based learning, etc…..
  53. 53. Our Response
  54. 54. Needs of Post-Traditional Learners • New demand – Modular, easy-to-access instruction – Blended academic and occupational curricula – Progressive credentialing of knowledge and skills – Financial, academic, and career advising – Public policy (or at least institutional policy) that reflects the complex task of balancing life, work, and education.
  55. 55. The Typical College Experience • Most institutions are not designed around the needs of working adults • Students must adjust to institution (place, time, pace) • Traditional learning model (classes, grades, tests); sometimes too little feedback, too late • Price can be high, especially with extra fees, books, etc. • Financial aid runs out quickly, intimidating and sometimes overcomplicated process • Failure/withdraw rates are high, especially in developmental courses • Can be impersonal, doesn’t offer needed one-one coaching or peer support
  56. 56. Re-imagining Higher Education Traditional Higher Education • Faculty at heart of learning model • High cost content • 3 credit course as defining unit “big chunk learning” • Time fixed, learning variable • “Expert” teaching model • Learners come to institution New Model for Higher Education • Individual student at heart of learning model • Low cost and free content • Competencies as defining units “small chunk learning” • Time variable, learning fixed • Mentor, peer to peer, community learning support model • Learning comes to students where they live and work
  57. 57. New Models for Higher Education • Students can enroll anytime, work anywhere, and set their own pace • Primarily online or hybrid programs • Aggressive partnerships with alternative credit pathways (LearningCounts, Straighterline, Coursera, ACE, etc.) • Programs aimed at adults with complicated lives • Programs that intentionally partner with business and industry • Solid student support services - support and coaching, a true partnering • Competency based learning model - values prior learning and experience • Low cost
  58. 58. Specific Considerations in Serving the Adult Population Proximity to work or home After 5:00 p.m. and/or weekend course schedule Alternative modes of delivery Minimum barriers to admission Transfer and prior learning credit Flexible tuition payments Supplemental academic support Professional practitioners as instructors Small classes Use of practicum, portfolios, and capstones No “frills” or extra fees Monitor retention Responsiveness to students between classes “Customer Service” model One stop shopping / self-serve / 24-7 Product
  59. 59. Specific Considerations in Serving the Adult Population • Marketing – Strategies from even 5 years ago are horribly outdated – Maximize your use of digital media to reach prospective students when they are ready – Put your most relevant foot forward (you have better things to promote than small class size) – Know your audience - market to those you serve (based on data driven personas) – Stop placating your faculty, college president, or academic dean with messaging that doesn’t matter – Segmented messaging – “what’s in it for me” messaging – Identify 3 data points and monitor them (obsessively)
  60. 60. Specific Considerations in Serving the Adult Population • Recruiting – Admissions or Recruitment? – The majority of private and public institutions in the country are using outdated recruitment methods – Look at your main competitors (places you actually loose students to) they will almost always be out-recruiting you – Critically examine your internal processes – Get honest about your people – people recruit students (marketing, shiny objects, gimmicks, and wild promotions do not) – Develop a process – you are not as good as you believe you are – Identify 3 data points and monitor them (obsessively)
  61. 61. Specific Considerations in Serving the Adult Population • Retention – Cradle to grave approach – Professional advising – Student success team (coaches) – Hand-holding is the norm – Re-recruit your own students at least twice a year – There are no drop-outs, only stop-outs – Achieving their goals – understand their intentions from the start – Develop a clear process for re-engagement – Identify 3 data points and monitor them (obsessively)
  62. 62. Specific Considerations in Serving the Adult Population • Academics – The future of higher education will not be without change – Higher education is more in need of gifted teachers today than it ever has been before – Great classes will not be enough – delivery will matter – Those we MOST need to educate will also be the MOST challenging – Courses that “even the playing field” may become the norm – Higher education is desperate for creative content delivery – Faculty are needed to lead the “hard conversations”
  63. 63. Creating Your Institution’s Success Measureable Marketing Established Recruitment Process Degree Completion is the Goal Willingness to Have the Hard Conversations
  64. 64. My Challenge to You…. At This Event… – Identify one thing “old” that you are willing to cut ties with and allocate that budget (both financial and human) on something “new” – Identify ONE data point that you are not currently monitoring in your area and BY NEXT WEEK, start monitoring it – Be open to What’s New and What’s Next!
  65. 65. Do Some Reading… – Closing the Skills Gap - Economist Intelligence Unit Survey – 2014 – Changing Course – 10 Years of Tracking Online Education in the U.S. – Sloan C - 2012 – The Differentiated University – The Parthenon Group – Great Jobs Great Lives –Gallup/Purdue - 2014 – Recovery – Job Growth and Education Requirements Through 2020 - Georgetown University - 2013 – The Students of the Future – Presidential Innovation Lab – 15 Economic Facts About Millennials – The Council of Economic Advisors – Oct. 2014
  66. 66. Thank you!
  67. 67. References “Strategic Plan 2013-2016 Executive Summary,” Lumina Foundation Voorhees, Richard A. and Paul E. Lingenfelter, “Adult Learners and State Policy,” CAEL Choy, Susan, "Nontraditional Undergraduates, Findings from the condition of education 2002," National Center For Education Statistics Stokes, Peter J. "Hidden in Plain Sight: Adult Learners Forge a New Tradition in Higher Education, Eleventh in a series of Issue Papers released at the request of Chairman Charles Miller to inform the work of the Commission Knapp, Laura G., Janice E. Kelly-Reid, Scott A. Ginder (2010), "Enrollment in Postsecondary Institutions, Fall 2008; Graduation Rates, 2002 and 2005 Cohorts; and Financial Statistics, Fiscal Year 2008, RTI International " A Strong Nation Through Higher Education" (2010) Special Report From Lumina Foundation for Education Van Der Werf, Martin and Grant Sabatier(2009), "The College of 2020: STUDENTS" Chronicle Research Service Allen, I. Elaine and Jeff Seaman (2010), "Learning on Demand Online Education in the United States, 2009, BABSON Survey Research Group Auguste, Byron G., Adam Cota, Kartik Jayaram, Martha C. A. Laboissière (2010 November), Winning by degrees: the strategies of highly productive higher education institutions, McKinsey&Company “Speak Up 2008,” Project Tomorrow, March 2009 Allen, I. Elaine and Jeff Seaman (2005), "Growing by Degrees Online Education in the United States, 2005", The Sloan Consortium Soares, Louis, "Post-traditional Learners and the Transformation of Postsecondary Education: A Manifesto for College Leaders," American Council on Education Pusser, B., et al. (2007). Returning to learning: Adults’ success in college is key to America’s future. Lumina Foundation for Education. Soares, L. (2011). Delivering innovation skills while wisely using public funds. Center for American Progress; Osterman, P. (2008). College for all. Center for American Progress Levy, F., & Murnane, R.J. (2005). The new division of labor: How computers are creating the next job market. Princeton University Press; and Alic, J.A. (2008, July). Technical knowledge and experiential learning: What people know and can do, Technology Analysis and Strategic Management, vol. 20, no. 4, 427–442. Kiley, Kevin, "Nowhere to Turn." Inside in Higher Ed, retrieved from: calls-question-all-traditional-university-revenue-sources