In one national survey of Chief Academic Officers, 70.8% agreed that online education is critical for their institution’s long-term strategy. If that’s true for your institution, how do you move the online discussion to a more strategic level?
● Be comprehensive
At many institutions, online planning involves people from one specialized area of the institution, but often ignores other functional areas that can help (or hinder) online success. This “silo” approach to planning can lead to fragmented views of preparedness and/or performance, and miss the broader needs and demands of an institutional strategy.
● Identify factors related to success
The word “strategic” refers to those things that help achieve a plan, not just planning for its own sake. With help from my colleague Madeleine Rotrand (www.madeleinerotrand.com), we’ve created the infographic “Should We Take Our Degree Programs Online?” to help you think through (or rethink) those factors that drive a comprehensive online strategy--whether you’re considering fully-online degrees for the first time, or reviewing your traction and momentum after years of online delivery.
● Change the rules of the game
To become strategic about online, we need to change our perspective from that of a poker player (hoping that the hand we’ve been dealt is a winner) to a chess master (moving pieces into alignment over time in advance of a planned action).
So, what’s the first step in being more strategic? We recommend an initial strategic assessment to provide a fresh set of eyes and a new perspective to help answer two fundamental questions (How are we doing? Are we ready for what we’re planning?).
JenEd Consulting offers broad experience in providing strategic assessments that assist institutional planning for online growth and expansion. We have found these assessments to be critical components to three levels of strategic development:
● Short-term operational changes to realize immediate opportunities for growth and improvement
● Mid-range shifts in institutional priorities, structures, and practices to create new markets and significantly larger enrollments
● Long-term concepts to focus strategic priority setting and resource allocation
I hope you’ll take the first step and let us know how we can bring a fresh perspective to your online strategy.
Dr. John E. Neal
JenEd Consulting, LLC