8 ways to propel institutional growth with non-traditional student programs
- Non-traditional programs require non-traditional administration
- Allow for student and organizational flexibility
- Think consumer-friendly when designing programs
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 conceptualization 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 programs supporting them can be huge growth drivers. Below, we’ve highlighted eight ways you can leverage that growth:
- Increase Profits With Better Tracking
How extensively are you really tracking your nontraditional learning programs? Are you maintaining a list of course enrollment, course expenditures, student satisfaction and other vital metrics to feed into your enterprise resource planning software?
- Be Consumer-Friendly
Adult learners approach education as consumers. Are courses accessible? Do they align with students’ schedules? Is enrollment easy? It’s essential to design each step of the academic journey with adult learners’ concerns in mind.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 programs.
- Increase Organizational Flexibility
Nontraditional programs 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.
- Turn to Software-as-a-Service
Improperly integrating programs 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 programs that demand attention.
- 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 programs in mind, which underscores the appeal of Ellucian Elevate.