Re-Thinking Program Innovation: Lessons from Neglected Trend Data

For many colleges and universities, maintaining enrollment – never mind growing – is a formidable challenge. Traditional population decline, combined with the longest economic expansion in U.S. history and intensifying competition, have persuaded many higher education leaders to turn to new programs.

Launching a program in a “hot” field of study may in fact be a good idea, but it risks a herd mentality. Boosters can over-play potentially misleading evidence of demand such as an uptick in online search or backward-looking program completions, or assume that success for other schools guarantees success for their own. It is all too easy for leaders to fall into the trap of launching ever-more new programs only to be saddled with a bloated and an inefficient portfolio.

In this webinar, Eduventures Chief Research Officer Richard Garrett explores rarely analyzed program and enrollment trend data, drawing on two decades of program feasibility work for hundreds of colleges and universities nationwide. This throws new light on three fundamental questions:

  • Over the past decade, is enrollment by field of study best characterized by change or continuity?
  • To what extent have the most successful schools – in terms of enrollment – relied on launching new programs?
  • What is the optimal program portfolio size by enrollment scale?

The goal of this webinar is to better inform higher education leaders about the power and pitfalls of new programs. Leaders spanning traditional age and adult, campus and online, and undergraduate and graduate programs will benefit from this session.

Related: Eduventures® 2019 Research and Advisory Services


Richard Garrett

Richard Garrett

Eduventures Chief Research Officer

Richard has 20+ years of experience researching higher education trends worldwide, particularly online learning, non-traditional students, internationalization, and commercial activity.