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Weathering the Super Storm… The On Demand Model for Higher Education

Foundationally, a generational shift has occurred; today’s students have expectations that have been shaped by their life experiences.
University Business, January 2015

In this country, 25 states have enacted some form of legislation tying financial aid eligibility to student outcomes. At the same time, students are demanding more options and greater flexibility for achieving their goals, with one in nine likely to transfer to another school after one year. Welcome to higher education in the 21st century, in which funding, student outcomes, competition, and academic delivery are converging into a super storm that threatens the survival of many institutions.

Foundationally, a generational shift has occurred; today’s students have expectations that have been shaped by their life experiences. As such, they require an education delivery model that is more flexible and accessible than those of past generations. This model also needs to be accountable for the direct link between student outcomes and institutional success.
Supported by extensive research and grounded in experience through its work with one of the largest client bases within the higher education market, Campus Management’s On Demand Model for Higher Education delivers the blueprint for institutional success in this new era. This model is composed of four cornerstones that provide the foundation for institutional success today:

Constituent Engagement
Eliminating silos will help institutions to better serve the needs of their constituents. They need to design strategies that facilitate different types of engagement and communications channels to gain a 360 degree view of each student. Many institutions, for example, have implemented CRM solutions to improve recruitment, but this tool can also perform as the universal platform for the entire student lifecycle, integrating with SIS, LMS, CRM platforms, and staff members’ mobile devices, to gain greater visibility into the issues impacting student enrollment, performance, financial aid status, and other factors.

Flexible Terms
Traditional models start with established academic terms (semester or quarter) and students conforming to that schedule. The On Demand Model actually flips this structure by putting student needs first, allowing you to offer programs that meet their delivery preferences. Terms then become trailing data points that the system uses to create the academic years for managing financial aid. Flexible terms and models present new challenges, often around an institution’s ability to effectively retool its courses. The need to retrofit aging or inflexible systems is often the biggest obstacle for schools considering newer models such as flexible terms and competency-based education.

Associated Financial Aid
The complexity of financial aid increases significantly with non-traditional term delivery models. Systems should be able to package students, disbursements, refunds, and adjustments based on widely varying course schedules, programs, and terms.

Agile DNA
Successful implementation of the On Demand Model for Higher Education is essential for transformation. Institutions should be ready, willing and able to embrace change. They have to develop playbooks that address students’ needs and provide them with the learning environments they desire.
Between the super storm factors and the undercurrent of generational shift, the higher education landscape will look very different a decade from now. Those institutions that remain nimble and responsive to change, will have transformed those challenges into opportunities.

For more information, visit www.campusmanagement.com/superstorm.

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