Read more about the article Cloud Computing, Big Data Used to Help Colleges Evaluate Their Portfolio of Programs.
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Cloud Computing, Big Data Used to Help Colleges Evaluate Their Portfolio of Programs.

New Gray Associates Capabilities Help Institutions Assess Program Viability

The decline in demand for higher education continued in April, with overall student inquiries 15 percent lower than one year ago, according to GrayReports, a monthly review of demand trends in higher education produced by strategy consulting firm Gray Associates, Inc.  However, institutional leaders should view national trends as a departure point and focus, instead, on local and regional market conditions before making strategic decisions about academic programs, according to Robert Atkins, the firm’s chief executive officer.

“National-level data paints a broad picture of student demand and employment growth trends in different fields, but conditions vary from market to market,” Mr. Atkins said.  “Further, each institution defines its market differently.  We have developed new capabilities that draw upon cloud computing and big data to analyze market conditions according to an institution’s parameters, be they by state, defined radii from campus locations, metropolitan area, zip code or DMA.”

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Read more about the article A Response to Declining Enrollment and Reduced State Support
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A Response to Declining Enrollment and Reduced State Support

“We are a public college, and our bottom line is not profit,” described the President of a Community College that serves over 15,000 students.  Nonetheless, he said, “The primary reason our institution engaged with Gray was financial.  When looking at our our budget, declining enrollment, and reduced state support, we identified a need to really right-size what we were spending our money on and the programs we offer.”

For the college, Gray combined a workshop with a multi-dimensional view of programs that included:  student demand, employer needs, competition, and fit with the college’s strategy.  Gray provided this data for the college’s current portfolio of 70 programs and for 1,600 other IPEDs programs.  Gray facilitated a program portfolio strategy workshop for the over 25 members of the senior team, including faculty and administrators.  In the workshop, they identified programs to stop, but also identified current programs to grow and new programs the school could launch.


“We were provided with convincing tools that allowed us to broadly engage our faculty and staff in a constructive project that is helping us better manage our budget and strategically implement new programs.”

A Community College President serving 15,000 students


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Continue ReadingA Response to Declining Enrollment and Reduced State Support