You are here

From UB

Some low-income high school students in Adams State University’s service area, the rural valleys of southern Colorado, live up to 50 or 60 miles from campus. Thanks to a new federal pilot program, these students there and 43 other institutions can now use Pell Grants to take dual-enrollment courses.

Robert Miller is vice president for enrollment management of Centenary University.

Ubiquitous in the business world, big data is being adopted by higher education, particularly in the area of recruitment. With stagnant or declining recruitment budgets and increased competition for students, leveraging the data most colleges capture is a cost-effective approach that can yield significant results.

Niagara University, steps from the Canadian border in upstate New York, has been an international university with students and faculty members from our neighbors to the north. Recently, the university expanded its international focus by actively recruiting students from many foreign countries, particularly Vietnam. Why Vietnam and how does this relationship benefit the university?

Higher education is in the business of learning, but all too often institutions fail to extend learning to staff members by failing to provide professional development opportunities. With the aging workforce and the higher turnover ratio of millennials, it is more critical than ever to provide professional learning opportunities that maximize employee potential and foster leadership skills, creating a pipeline of talent that can also enhance succession planning.

Sometimes, well-known premises lead to predictable conclusions. But not always. Occasionally, they lead to surprises—and even busted myths. Here’s one: The best job of helping low-income and first-generation students gain access to higher education and reverse the trend toward greater income inequality in our society is being done by wealthy private institutions willing to invest their part of their large endowments into the salutary project of providing more financial aid for poorer students.

An eye-catching new home for STEM departments and programs at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven is part of the university’s efforts to boost its curriculum in those disciplines.

In addition to physics, biology and chemistry classes, the building hosts the Werth Center for Coastal and Marine Studies as well as the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities Center for Nanotechnology. 

Alice L. Brown doesn’t pull punches when discussing the problems of leadership at the small schools that constitute the Appalachian College Association. Some, she says, are barely surviving and their leaders seem reluctant to take the steps necessary to change course.

Besides freeing up IT to handle other tasks, new systems allow HR to be more efficient because data is located in one spot rather than spread through multiple systems that require multiple sign-ons. And new HR apps allow employees to use mobile devices to check benefits, complete a course or even schedule vacations.

Revenue alone doesn’t drive every real estate initiative. Higher ed institutions involved in development, typically off-campus, also consider the economic revitalization of a blighted surrounding neighborhood and initiatives that support the core mission.

Herman Bulls is vice chairman of JLL Americas, specializing in delivering comprehensive real estate solutions to federal, state and local governments, nonprofit organizations and higher education institutions.

The phrase “town and gown” is rooted in the notion that universities and the surrounding communities are naturally at odds. But forward-looking colleges and universities are finding deep value in blurring those lines, and instead are leveraging mixed-use developments to improve the community and campus alike.

Clockwise from top left: Lisa Daniels (Excelsior College), Vince Kellen (University of Kentucky), Thomas Blum (Sarah Lawrence College) and Elaine Lewis (Washburn University).

To get a picture of who is responsible for predictive analytics on campuses and what their jobs look like, University Business interviewed four campus “data czars” to learn more about their work, how it impacts their institutions and how they make it all happen.

The Consumer Financial ProtectionBureau’s forthcoming “Payback Playbook” intends to simplify the student loan repayment process by presenting clear, customized repayment options.

In April, the agency offered a sneak peek. The initiative will provide borrowers with simple repayment plan options any time they log into their student loan account. The Playbook summary will also be included with their monthly loan bills or in regular emails from their student loan servicers.

Graduates of The Citadel are encouraged to use their ePortfolios when applying for grad school or a job.

Just as websites morphed from digital brochures into versatile multimedia portals, electronic portfolios have evolved from information repositories to robust tools for showcasing student learning. Now, “ePortfolios,” house completed assignments, reflections on learning, photos, creative work and journal entries.

Portfolio providers: What are some uses for ePortfolios that you believe aren’t as common at colleges as they should be?

“We’d like to see more colleges using ePortfolios with guided learning pathways through a program or institution to assess learning at key points. The full potential for ePortfolios to encourage more integrative, deeper learning won’t be realized without a deliberate plan, ongoing assessment and higher stakes (such as program completion or graduation).”

—Webster Thompson, president, Taskstream

It has been demonstrated amply that financial aid leveraging can, under the right circumstances, increase enrollment and net tuition revenue. For some, however, that isn’t the case.

Enrollment leaders must therefore assess other aspects of recruitment to determine how effectively they are working to build larger, more committed applicant and admit pools, especially when increases in aid are not conducive or possible.