Planning New Professional Education Programs: A Look at Key Considerations

2024-03-29T13:29:06+00:00Digital Learning, Education, Learning Innovation|

Developing new professional and continuing education (CE) programs requires careful planning and thoughtful consideration of various factors. This post explores some of the key elements you might encounter when reviewing a spreadsheet outlining potential CE program offerings, drawing from the sample data provided (though it’s important to note that specific details will vary depending on your institution and program). 1. Program Options and Considerations Program Length: The spreadsheet might show you a range of options for program lengths, from shorter online courses to full-fledged certificate programs. Course Formats: The data might include various delivery formats like fully online, blended (online with in-person elements), or on-campus intensives. Break-Even Analysis: This analysis would show the minimum number of students required to cover the program’s costs. Pay Scales: The data might include potential instructor pay scales depending on factors like experience and credentials. 2. Finding the Right Balance When creating new CE programs, it’s crucial to find the right balance between the program’s: Value Proposition: What unique benefit will this program offer potential students in terms of career advancement or skill development? Market Demand: Is there a sufficient number of interested professionals in your target audience who are willing to pay for this program? Delivery Costs: Can the program be delivered in a cost-effective way, considering factors like instructor fees, technology needs, and marketing efforts? 3. Spreadsheet as a Planning Tool A spreadsheet can be a powerful tool for planning and comparing different program options. Here’s how it might be used: Cost Modeling: The spreadsheet might be used to model program costs under different scenarios (e.g., different enrolment numbers or instructor costs). Identifying the Most Viable Option(s): By comparing break-even points and revenue projections across various program options, you can identify those with the highest likelihood of financial success. Optimizing Program Design: Data from the spreadsheet can inform decisions about program length, format, and [...]

The Data-Driven Blueprint for Successful Online Programs

2024-03-29T13:41:35+00:00Business & Leadership, Digital Learning, Education, Innovation, Leadership, Learning Innovation, Management, Marketing, Strategy|

Launching and sustaining a successful online program takes more than just a great idea. It requires careful planning, a solid understanding of the numbers, and a clear vision for the student experience. Three essential tools – the pro forma, enrollment cascades, and course sequence cascades – offer institutions a multi-faceted lens through which to plan, analyze, and make data-powered decisions when establishing and scaling online programs. 1. The Pro Forma: Your Financial Roadmap Think of a pro forma as the financial blueprint for your online program. It's a model that projects your expected multi-year revenue, expenses, and profitability. A well-crafted pro forma helps answer these critical questions: Feasibility: Can this program sustain itself financially? When will it break even? Resource Allocation: Where should I invest most heavily? Where can I optimize resources? Decision-Making: Should we go ahead? Having hard financial data helps avoid costly mistakes Scenario Planning: What happens if enrollment is lower than expected? What if we raise the tuition? Funding: A robust pro forma can attract internal or external funding. 2. Enrollment Cascades: Tracking Your Students' Journey An enrollment cascade charts the progress of student cohorts throughout the program. It reveals where students might be struggling, dropping out, or thriving. Here's what an enrollment cascade tells you: Bottlenecks: Are there high drop-off points? This is a red flag for problems with course design, advising, or support. Targeted Interventions: Pinpointing student attrition allows for customized support to get them back on track. Data, not Guesswork: Enrollments cascades drive investment in the resources that make the biggest impact . Predicting the Future: Enrollment trends help you anticipate how many students you'll need to support each year – forecasting faculty, facilities, and budget needs. 3. Course Sequence Cascades: Ensuring a Smooth Progression A course sequence cascade visualizes how students flow through the series of required courses in your program. It reveals [...]

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