The importance of envisioning future course and program portfolios will be familiar to readers of my recent blogs. Provosts, deans, and others responsible for academic resourcing invest time and money to get better data on their portfolios: e.g., by using Gray Associates’ Program Economics Platform (PEP). These data help them identify strategies for improvement, which is especially important given the current Covid-19 disruptions. We are pleased to introduce PEP+, our new predictive model for envisioning the consequences of changing a school’s lineup of courses and programs, just in time to help mitigate these disruptions.
The recent Chronicle of Higher Education/Deloitte report, “The College Business Model in a Crisis,” rekindled my concerns about the ultimate purposes of our enterprise and how these purposes can more effectively guide planning and operational decision-making. The questions are no longer hypothetical, if indeed they ever were. Will problem-solving triggered by the hyper-disruptive COVID-19 event reaffirm core academic values or will it spawn new business models that, over time, will undermine them?
What if reducing overhead costs and cutting too-small programs were not the only practical ways to control college costs?
If a department offers five electives to serve 75 students, then the average class size for these electives would be 15 students. If the department adds another elective, all six electives would be likely to have enough students to justify offering these classes under typical policies. However, the department would have just added to teaching load – and costs and potentially staffing – without increasing the actual amount of teaching and learning being done.
Thank you for joining me on this 5-day exploratory of Emerging Programs. We started pretty far out there and shared programs on the cusp; now we’re wrapping up this series with Esports, a program that’s already here and now for many higher-education institutions.
Esports is driving the Video Game Industry to new heights and rapid growth. In 2019, the Video game industry was bigger than the Movies, Music, NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL industries combined. Keep reading to find out how Esports is changing the world in terms of employment, research, facilities, and programs.
I started this series on Emerging Programs with the caution that one of the programs I’m sharing may not be legal in your state. Today, at long last, you’ll find out which one: Cannabis. The legalization of Cannabis in many states has created new opportunities, and higher education is responding.
Does Cannabis fit your mission?
When you're thinking about starting programs, Cannabis is definitely one that you have to think about in terms of mission fit. For many, the moral issues will dictate their choice about the program. Legal issues may deter many others. As shown below, many states have legalized Cannabis, but it remains illegal under federal law. On the other hand, the Rohrabacher–Farr amendment prohibits federal prosecution of individuals complying with state medical cannabis laws.
Welcome to day two of our Posts on Emerging Programs. Today’s program is not quite as far out there on the spectrum of emerging programs as Quantum Computing. Instead, the Human Microbiome is widely present in academic research and course catalogs. It’s not yet a stand-alone program, but it already has far-reaching implications for health, science, biology, and medicine. For example, while we will focus on the human microbiome, biologists are engineering the gut biome of waxworms so they can eat plastic.
What is the human microbiome?
Back in high school, I learned that bacteria were “bad,” parasitic creatures that caused infections and disease. We were taught to wash, scrub, and sanitize to remove these nasty critters from our environment.
There is a lot of buzz around Biomedical Science programs and many schools have recently entered the field. In this month’s webcast, Gray decided to take a deeper dive to see if all the hype is justified. What we found was somewhat surprising...students are showing interest in the program...but will they be able to find jobs when they graduate?