When it comes to fixing an academic program portfolio or running a healthy institution, understanding program economics is vital. The goal is typically not to profit, but to generate funds that the college can re-invest to advance its mission, strategy, and quality of instruction.
Some assume clear links between academic programs and occupations for graduates, which are neatly embodied in the NCES crosswalk between programs and occupations. In theory, they are right. In practice, it is bunk for graduates with a bachelor’s degree.
Many community colleges and other higher education institutions use labor market forecasts to inform decisions on academic programs, faculty hiring, and facilities investments. How accurate are these forecasts?
When evaluating current and new academic programs, community colleges usually focus on the needs of employers, in particular local employers. and fuels local economic growth.
Evaluating an institution’s existing academic program portfolio or potential new programs generates four important questions related to markets.
In an excerpt from Start, Stop, or Grow, Robert Atkins discusses curricular efficiency, which measures, manages, and improves the units of education that can be delivered for a given amount of instructional cost and quality, and the importance of the cost per student credit hour (SCH).
If you have reached a certain age or are younger but with mad trivia skills, you may remember a famous fast food commercial featuring a feisty grandmother-type demanding “Where’s the beef?”
The familiar story of the blind men and the elephant is an apt description of how people view a college or university.
Many colleges and universities must respond quickly to pandemic-induced budget shortfalls in order to avoid unacceptable drawdowns of their reserves or even more severe financial disruption. However, the pandemic also may have upended their business models to the point where significantly new strategies must be found. They need to “Build Back Better” rather than simply close their budget gaps.(more…)
Higher Education faces increasing challenges. These challenges include expanding competition, changing demographics, altered perceptions of the value of a college degree, and a pandemic. Rapid, complex changes such as these require thoughtful, yet timely responses. All of us, from trade schools to Tier I research institutions, must look at how to best restructure people and process for greatest success, not only for economic feasibility and academic growth, but also to support institutional culture.
Concordia University’s leadership team recognizes these obstacles and has formulated a plan to address them. Our University’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness (OIE) ensures a holistic, coordinated, interdependent approach, one that leads to greater coherence and better decision making. Each month, I will be sharing insight into our journey with a particular focus on program evaluation and management.(more…)