By Cara Quackenbush, Vice President of Research
If you find yourself attending as many higher education conferences as we do, you’ve likely heard this refrain many times over: “Higher ed is broken.” Not at ours. While this still seems to be the prevailing opinion of many, we humbly disagree.
Instead, at our 2017 Eduventures Summit kicking off tomorrow, June 7, we will spend three days exploring ways in which higher education can be “remastered.” This metaphor suggests both the value of the “original” and the need for change; the way new technology can better draw out enduring qualities and improve the overall package.
You can expect to hear insights from our analysts and other keynotes into, among other things: rethinking prospective student recruitment, reevaluating the online market, revisiting technology strategy, and reviewing the Trump agenda for higher ed. New this year, attendees will also benefit from a first glimpse at truly one-of-a-kind student data made possible by our new parent company, NRCCUA.
Through the voices of five Eduventures analysts, here is just a partial preview:
- Mindsets, Market Baskets, and You: How do Your Students Shop for College?
- Adult Demand is Down but Top Schools Gain Share
- Your Technology System Is Under Pressure – So What? Now What?
- Why Are Your School of Education Admits Enrolling Elsewhere?
- Sunset or New Dawn? Tracing the Future of For-Profit Higher Education
Mindsets, Market Baskets, and You: How do Your Students Shop for College?
By Kim Reid, Principal Analyst
Science and Art: Mapping Mindsets to Your Institutional Brand using Prospective Student Survey Data
Thursday, June 8, 9:15 – 10:00 am
Come explore the sweet spot between communicating your institutional identity and how your students shop for college. In my keynote, we’ll examine our new data on nearly 60,000 prospective students and their search across more than 1,400 four-year colleges and universities in the U.S. One consistent theme emerges: Every last student is looking to find something of themselves in the institutions they consider.
Students with different mindsets (a concept we introduced in 2016) shop in very different ways. They put together a college search “market basket” that’s specifically relevant to how they think about their college education. For example, most Career Pragmatists examine only public institutions, while Social Focus students commonly look at a wide array of competitors public and private.
I believe that you can’t remaster your institutional brand without understanding the underlying student mindsets of those who consider your school, the way they shop for a college, and the perceptions they hold of the schools in their particular college search market baskets.
Adult Demand is Down but Top Schools Gain Share
By Richard Garrett, Chief Research Officer
Adult and Online Student Trends: Digging Deeper into the Data
Thursday, June 8, 10:30 – 11:15 am
At the Eduventures Summit, I will examine new data on how adults perceive higher education, and unpack adult and online market dynamics.
The adult undergraduate market presents an interesting case study. After years of growth, and despite a record number of 25- to 44-year-olds in the U.S. right now, adult enrollment is shrinking, dampened by a stronger economy and degree alternatives.
It looked like the adult market was fragmenting, as lots of schools sought a piece of the action and most of the for-profit giants were in retreat. But the latest federal data shows that the 100 four-year schools with the largest adult enrollment, from all sectors, commanded their biggest share on record: 44% in 2015, up from 36% in 2005 and 32% in 1995.
Many of the top 100—and almost all the top 30—are either wholly online schools or major online providers. Quite a few of these schools continued to lose adult students but overall performed better than their smaller peers.
Are the biggest players making scale matter to students in terms of program range and services? The next question is whether these schools can use their resources to reignite adult enrollment growth. I look forward to exploring this and other issues at the Summit.
Your Technology System Is Under Pressure – So What? Now What?
By James Wiley, Principal Analyst
Issues with Adapting the Image of Technology for the Modern Institution
Friday, June 9, 10:00 – 10:45 am
The alignment of technology and institutional priorities is critical for success at any college or university. There is a greater chance for alignment to happen if those priorities are clear. With changing learning and instructional models (e.g., personalization), modalities (e.g., online), student demographics, and accountability pressures, however, higher education leaders are finding it increasingly difficult to determine which priorities are best-suited to their long-term goals.
Even when leaders overcome this challenge, they still face the hurdle of evaluating and selecting the right technology. This task is made more difficult by the dizzying array of technology solutions in the marketplace—more than 500 across 40 segments that we track alone—and the difficulty of mapping them directly to initiatives. As a result, leaders risk choosing the wrong solution—and all too often, they do.
My session will address these challenges through the use of a new method we’ve developed based on what we call “Building Blocks” and “Design Principles.” Building on the valuable work of others in the field, our method helps institutions map the right technology to institutional priorities, and vendors to better design and target their products.
Why Are Your School of Education Admits Enrolling Elsewhere?
By: Karen Svarczkopf, Senior Analyst, and Mughees Khan, Analyst
Spotlight on Schools of Education
Thursday, June 8, 7:30 – 8:30 am
When it comes to master’s degrees, nearly every institution wants a slice of the master’s in teaching and master’s of education market—still the biggest. With so many options available to students and a continued decline in demand, capturing market share requires tailored recruitment and programming. In our session for leaders of schools and colleges of education, we will dive into findings from our Survey of Admitted Graduate Students for Schools of Education to get a pulse on this market.
Similar to Eduventures’ work for undergraduates, we’ve identified five graduate student mindsets: Convenient Career Changers, Leaders in Training, Pragmatists, Affordability and Academics, and Academic and Career Focus. When viewing prospects through the mindset lens, institutions are better able to target their recruiting to tap into students’ motivations, goals, and expectations.
These mindsets highlight the differences between seemingly similar students. For example, Leaders in Training and Pragmatists are both returning to school to advance in leadership, improve professional skills, and earn more money over the long term. But, when they make their final enrollment decision, Leaders in Training focus on flexibility of program delivery and reputation, while Pragmatists emphasize affordability and value.
Knowing what students expect enables institutions to develop marketing and messaging targeted at the students they are seeking to enroll.
Sunset or New Dawn? Tracing the Future of For-Profit Higher Education
By Howard Lurie, Principal Analyst
For-Profit College Leaders Discuss Changing Demographics and Strategies for Student Success
Thursday, June 8, 1:30-2:15 pm
For-profits used to be bit players in higher education until a series of mergers, investments, and IPOs produced new giants, each enrolling tens of thousands of students nationwide. In the 2000s, for-profit schools were known for serving non-traditional students, investing in customer service and career programming, and pioneering online learning. Today things look rather different.
Enrollment peaked as the Great Recession subsided, amid regulator scrutiny of alleged bad practices at some schools. Since 2012, facing a more competitive nonprofit sector, for-profit enrollment has dropped 50%. Some institutions have held steady and a few have thrived.
In January, Eduventures predicted that following Corinthian Colleges and ITT Tech, another major for-profit institution, would soon exit the market. Already this year, Education Management Corporation (EDMC) announced its sale to the nonprofit Dream Foundation, and Purdue University has acquired Kaplan University for $1.
At the Eduventures’ Summit, I will convene a panel to take the pulse of this sector. Joining me will be the presidents of the American Public University System (APUS) and New Charter University, along with a former executive from the University of Phoenix. Together, we will explore questions such as:
- What lessons should be learned from the rise and fall of the for-profit sector?
- Is tax-status informative in judging institutional effectiveness?
- What have for-profit schools gleaned about student success, and how might this aid individual schools and positively impact higher education?
- Many for-profit start-ups—such as coding boot camps—are focused on non-degree education. Is this an important market signal?
- Post-Obama, is a less-regulated environment in the cards, and what effect might that have on for-profit schools?