What Non-Profit Universities Can Learn From The ‘For-Profits’

Career College Central summary:

  • According to Steve Mintz of Inside Higher Education, there are six essential lessons that non-profits would do well to learn from the for-profits.
  • Lesson 1: That there are large markets of students who are poorly served or unserved by the traditional higher education establishment. These include college drop-outs, older students, and working adults. These students offer a large potential audience for existing institutions.
  • Lesson 2: That students’ educational trajectories need to be “process analyzed” to determine why students flounder and drop out. It is essential to use fine-grained analytics to identify the pinch points and barriers to graduation and address these head on.
  • Lesson 3: That too many students fail to graduate due to inadequate advising, mentoring, coaching, tutoring, and feedback. Too many at-risk students fall through the cracks and fail to receive the timely support that they need to succeed often because faculty and advisers do not recognize potential problems until too late.
  • Lesson 4: That the cafeteria-style curriculum, with unlimited options, does not serve many non-traditional students well. Time is generally the enemy of graduation, and wasted credit hours contribute significantly to low graduation rates.
  • Lesson 5: That efficiency and scale are not inevitably at odds with instructional quality. Scaled courses allow institutions to invest in next-generation personalized adaptive pedagogies that embed remediation and enrichment as well as active and collaborative learning into these classes.
  • Lesson 6:  That many students seek degrees with a clear value proposition. Those students who drop out often do so because college’s outcome isn’t obvious and the courses fit poorly into their busy lives.

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