To attract today’s adult learner in this dynamic and competitive higher education landscape, it is critical for your institution to ensure that prospective nontraditional students have access to degree programs in the way they want to learn. Specifically, you’ll want to consistently evaluate your offerings and look for ways to make your most popular programs accessible in a format that will maximize enrollment.
There are a number of key considerations to keep in mind as you analyze your school’s market, assess your degree offerings, and ensure you have the right program mix and modalities in place:
- Slower enrollment periods offer opportunities to creatively boost your student count in existing courses. Summer and late winter months can be a great time to utilize online and hybrid modalities to strengthen numbers in nontraditional offerings. For example, consider using these opportunities to offer additional sections of your more popular general education and elective courses, thus giving your nontraditional students more options to complete required courses on time or ahead of schedule.
- Appeal to your alumni and offer opportunities for them to remain connected through education. Your institution’s graduates may be spread across the country, and even around the world, but they can still fulfill continuing education goals with their alma mater if your school has online and hybrid options available. Consider offering your alumni special incentives to enroll such as scholarships or discounts. Alumni are your best source of referrals – take care of them and create opportunities for them to continue to choose your school.
- If you haven’t already, harness the power of online. You may have noticed a theme in our first two recommendations – online. Campus-based programs still have a place, but online is where growth will happen. Moving your programs into an online environment opens up your institution to a world (yes, literally a world) of opportunities.
- Use technology to meet students where they are. With access to innovative programs, services, and equipment that can connect people from all over the glob, merging your two populations of adult learners who prefer different modalities (ground and online) into a hybrid environment is more achievable and effective than ever before.
In today’s on-demand society where prospective students are able to readily find online degree options to fulfill their educational goals, you’ll want to ensure your institution stands out in the crowd. Build and market your program and modality offerings in such a way that prospective students are able to easily choose your school because of your institution’s forward-thinking approach to accessibility.
If you’re ever in need of a partner who can help ensure your institution is offering and marketing the right mix of programs in the right modalities, we’d love to connect.