Members have been coming to us with questions about major barriers facing their COE efforts: insufficient collaboration with the larger institution, confusion about where to invest for future program success, and difficulty developing and sustaining successful employer partnerships.
With these challenges in mind we set to work and look forward to sharing innovative solutions at the COE Forum national meeting series beginning in March 2019. Keep reading to see some of the pressing member questions we’re tackling with our 2019 research agenda.
1. How can I bring the market-focused discipline of COE to the rest of campus while maintaining COE enrollment growth?
Many COE members describe their relationships with campus as “fundamentally broken.” One urban university shared a frustrating struggle recently, citing a lack of authority to refuse support for new online programs COE leaders knew were likely to fail. At other campuses, the budget model may not properly incentivize risk-taking or new-in-kind program offerings. Yet others may face deans and academic leaders who see COE as a threat more than a potential partner.
The current state of higher education will force colleges and universities to seek new revenue sources and bring greater business savvy to the academic enterprise. Our members are adept at launching programs and generating revenue that benefits the entire campus. For this research, we intend to highlight the most innovative COE partnerships and organizational models to achieve market-aligned academic strategy beyond the COE realm.
Already, innovative models and partnerships are emerging. One prominent research university is scaling COE’s expertise in launching successful programs to support revenue-oriented academic initiatives across campus. Other universities are rethinking budget models and financial incentives to ensure growth is rewarded. In the spring, we’ll share the best and most replicable approaches across our research.
2. What emerging industry trends should my university incorporate into the COE portfolio and how can we revitalize the programs we already offer?
You’ve been hearing about blockchain, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality, but how much of that hype is worth acting on? What, if anything, should you add to your portfolio?
We’ll help you answer that in our annual study of emerging trends. Every year we examine the latest COE trends and labor market data to help our members distinguish news from noise. Past studies in this vein examine topics like alternative credentials and data analytics.
Our researchers have also been examining strategies for breathing new life into programs you already offer. Thus far, we’re addressing graduate programs experiencing declining enrollment nationwide, like MBAs and teacher preparation programs. We’ll share creative strategies to respond to changes in these industries and redesign your portfolio for success.
3. How can my university develop and sustain high-impact employer partnerships?
Employer partnerships, when executed well, can introduce new potential student audiences and help inform program design.
But we know establishing these partnerships can be resource-intensive and competitive—and in select cases, the results can be underwhelming. In this research, we’ll profile a range of employer partnerships, including both high-profile, headline-making collaborations as well as small-scale efforts. Examining successes, pitfalls, and best practices, we will illuminate how employer partnerships can help forge relationships with the local workforce, reinvigorate a COE portfolio, and support strategic growth.
This new research will be available in spring 2019. In the meantime, you can find other marketing and recruitment resources on the COE Forum’s website, including this recent two-part webconference series on student-centered marketing.
Be there when we release our latest insights on these challenges—register now
The national meeting series begins March 5, 2019 in Washington, D.C. Secure your spot!
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2019 COE Forum National Meeting