8 ways to propel institutional growth with non-traditional student programmes

Insights Article - 8 ways to propel growth with nontraditional programs

Key takeaways

  • Non-traditional programmes require non-traditional administration
  • Allow for student and organisational flexibility
  • Think consumer-friendly when designing programmes

What’s the biggest market for higher education? If you think it’s 18- to 22-year-olds, your mindset is a few years behind the curve. New studies show that nontraditional learners, those outside the standard conceptualisation of a college student, now make up the majority of those pursuing collegiate and postgraduate degrees.  

With that in mind, is your institution’s growth strategy still tied to students exiting high school? If so, it’s time to take a step back and re-evaluate your priorities. Nontraditional students and the programmes supporting them can be huge growth drivers. Below, we’ve highlighted eight ways you can leverage that growth:  

  1. Increase Profits With Better Tracking
    How extensively are you really tracking your nontraditional learning programmes? Are you maintaining a list of course enrolment, course expenditures, student satisfaction and other vital metrics to feed into your enterprise resource planning software?
  2. Be Consumer-Friendly
    Adult learners approach education as consumers. Are courses accessible? Do they align with students’ schedules? Is enrolment easy? It’s essential to design each step of the academic journey with adult learners’ concerns in mind.
  3. Work With Corporations
    Many adult learners are employed by businesses within your community, which presents opportunities for you to coordinate with these businesses to improve student experiences and funnel future candidates into your classrooms.
  4. Foster Long-Lasting Relationships
    It takes powerful software to facilitate the sort tracking and insights that can foster lifelong relationships with nontraditional learners. The preferences and actions of each class need to be used to iterate and improve your student experiences and to fine-tune engagement efforts postgraduation.
  5. Allow for Student Flexibility
    Not all nontraditional learners will end their studies as nontraditional graduates, and not all traditional students will graduate having attended your institution for four years full-time. The more accessible your credit-transfer process is, and the more accommodating you are to changes in student status, the more students will flock to your programmes.
  6. Increase Organisational Flexibility
    Nontraditional programmes require nontraditional administration. It may come in the form of pushing your decision-making process further down the line to ensure your instructional capacity accurately reflects student demand. Or it may require using analytics to remove subpar courses before they even begin, regardless of institutional entrenchment.
  7. Turn to Software-as-a-Service
    Improperly integrating programmes that support nontraditional students can negatively impact the lives of students and administrators alike. That’s why you should turn to a software-as-a-service solution that offers easier integration with your ERP and requires less maintenance, freeing up precious IT time for other programmes that demand attention.
  8. Consider Ellucian Elevate
    To keep up with the competition, you have to find a management software solution that is not only easy to integrate but also requires minimal upkeep while providing the insights you need. Few of the available solutions are built with nontraditional students and continuing education programmes in mind, which underscores the appeal of Ellucian Elevate.
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