Our Organizational Benchmarking Initiative Resource Center gives members access to one of the largest datasets on organizational structures within continuing, online, and professional education.
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Typical benchmarking approaches often leave COE's ultimate questions unanswered. Previous surveys too often focused on basic categories (i.e. administratively centralized, academically decentralized): relatively well-known, but ultimately too vague for decision-making.
At the other extreme, many members had participated in peer-group attempts to gather more detailed attributes, but found these initiatives collapsed under their own weight due to the staff burden for both collecting and normalizing the data. Additionally, while previous surveys provided a snapshot of “what everyone else is doing,” past efforts left many COE members’ ultimate questions unanswered as to the true indicators of productivity and growth.
Data that leads to actionable advice
Based on extensive member input, we developed a survey instrument that defines the most significant organizational attributes (portfolio mix, degree conferral authority, budget and reinvestment levels, etc.) along with critical measures of financial and mission contributions.
Our members have a wide range of organizational types and portfolios—some have entirely off-campus programs, some are not online at all; some offer degrees, others are entirely non-credit (and everything in between). The survey is designed to examine continuing and professional education organizational models irrespective of primary modality or program type.
Finding your attributes that correlate with growth
Our goal is to assist COE leaders make a fact-based case for the resources and organizational structures needed to achieve institutional goals. In addition to providing analyses and insights based on the aggregate data, COE Forum members can also request peer benchmarking data based on specific attributes.
Survey questions were informed not only by our work with COE leaders, but also by dozens of conversations with the EAB’s provost and chief business officer members. Many of our questions were designed to help facilitate productive conversations about COE organizational structure between the COE unit and the larger academic and business affairs teams.