When it comes to persuading students to attend a particular college, the “product” is the heart of marketing efforts—after all, a college can’t effectively promote something that audiences don’t find relevant. Colleges and universities have traditionally made adjustments to the educational experience on a long deliberative timeline, yet there seems to be growing recognition that nimbleness is a necessity.
During the past month, news from the higher education industry has been filled with examples of colleges and universities that are trying different things, such as:
- Offering pop-up courses to focus on timely topics and discreet skills
- Substituting immersive learning projects for a week of classes
- Creating micro-internships for short-term projects
- Uniting transformative learning, leadership development, community engagement, and career preparation as a signature academic experience
- Creating experiential transcripts to communicate what students learn outside of class to employers
- Allowing courses with bare-bones syllabi where students determine the direction of interdisciplinary project-based learning
- Reconfiguring general education requirements into a streamlined core curriculum
Today’s colleges and universities must demonstrate that what they deliver is relevant and therefore worth its cost. This marketplace demand actually gives campus communities a mandate to become more “edupreneurial.” Those than can move from innovative thinking to actual doing are better positioned to succeed in proving their value proposition.
UB Outlook 2019
Presidents, enrollment and retentions officers, and finance administrators are among respondents sharing their industry concerns. (University Business)
Small Colleges’ Edge
45% of students at colleges with enrollment below 5,000 strongly agree they had caring professors, compared with 24% at larger colleges. (Gallup)
Save the Date
Summer Seminar 2019, The Power of DO: Market Insights That Foster More Doing, will address the realities of private higher education. Mark your calendars for June 10-11. Registration opens soon.
More and more campus communities, senior leaders, and boards are recognizing the absolute importance of gathering market intelligence to make intelligent solutions that facilitate doing in a market-smart manner. And as we here at Lawlor have found out via multiple assignments, people support what they help create—especially when they are involved in audits, participate in ideation sessions, and are asked to help be a part of the solution. No one college or university can be everything to everyone, but an institution can be distinctive and valued when its leaders think more about discovering and doing what really does benefit students, the campus, and the surrounding communities. And, if higher education does more thinking about why prospective students would be interested in attending a college or university, then the who and how will become more apparent to the leadership and members of each campus community—and doing will get done!