Centralized Student Support Services

Strategies and Considerations for Continuing and Online Education Units

Topics: Online Student Support Services, Online Education, Academic Affairs

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Research Questions

  • Which student services (e.g., financial aid, bursar, registration, technical support, career services, academic support, etc.) do continuing and online education units offer?
  • Which services do students access outside of the unit?
  • How do administrators (within or outside of continuing education units) cater services to address the needs of unique student populations (e.g., undergraduates, graduate students, international students, military or veteran students, etc.)?
  • How do administrators evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of student services?


After developing new online degree programs, continuing and online education administrators remained unsure about whether to provide student services in-house, partner services with larger institutional offices, or contract services to a third-party vendor. This brief details the structure of student services at peer COE programs and the factors considered when developing student services. Contacts also provide recommendations how to evaluate factors when determining which services to centralize.