Academy Administration Practice Research Project Abstracts September 2013

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1 Academy Administration Practice Research Project Abstracts September 2013 The following abstracts describe how Hanover Research collaborated with higher education institutions in September RECRUITING & MARKETING STRATEGY 2. ACADEMIC PROGRAM MANAGEMENT 3. INSTITUTIONAL EFFECTIVENESS 4. COMMUNITY & ALUMNI ENGAGEMENT 5. RESOURCE MANAGEMENT 1750 H STREET NW, 2nd FLOOR, WASHINGTON, DC P F

2 RECRUITING & MARKETING STRATEGY Analyzing College of Science Enrollment Trends At the request of the director of strategic enrollment management at a large system branch campus, analysts performed a locally-focused market evaluation to assess regional demand for the College of Science s current bachelor s programs. After mining the institution s enrollment data across 20 degree offerings, comparing institutional, state, and national completion trends from , and projecting employment growth through 2020 from the National Crosswalk Service Center, Hanover determined that only the Civil Engineering degree program offered favorable enrollment potential. Seven degrees represented a potentially favorable enrollment outlook, seven degrees projected steady enrollment figures, and enrollment for the Electrical Engineering bachelor s program appeared potentially unfavorable. Marketing for Law School Study Abroad Programs After a private law school s summer abroad program experienced a significant decline in enrollment, the dean called for a report to benchmark the recruiting and marketing strategies of six highenrollment law schools and outline trends in the law school summer study abroad landscape. The report determined that the supply of law school study abroad programs exceeds demand. To increase enrollment in this saturated landscape, the institution should design program curriculum and direct marketing efforts to acknowledge law students primary concern: taking on additional loans to study abroad in light of challenging post-graduation employment prospects. i. Program Alumni Student Survey ii. Strategies for Establishing Study Abroad Partnerships iii. Analyzing Study Abroad Program Profitability Recruiting Online MBA Program Participants To bolster program enrollment, the associate dean of academic programs at a northeastern business school requested an assessment of best practices in program marketing and recruitment from 10 online MBA leaders in addition to an evaluation of the global online MBA market. The report determined that online MBA program application volume has increased faster than any other type of MBA program, and then listed marketing and recruitment recommendations for the institution to pursue, such as: enabling a short marketing cycle for prospective students, making investments to build a loyal alumni base, and embracing social media channels. 2

3 ACADEMIC PROGRAM MANAGEMENT Determining Viable New Programs In order to grow enrollment from 3,000 to 5,000 and building graduate degree offerings, the provost needed to determine viable new programming and expansion opportunities across the next five years within the institution s local market. Analysts applied labor statistics, NCES, and IPEDS data to examine state-wide labor market trends, identify high-growth occupations, and present the level of education required to obtain entry-level positions within these fields. The report suggested that the institution consider expanding its current speech pathology offerings to include a master s option and investigate online master s offerings that cater to low-saturation, high-demand fields such as post-secondary education and mental health counseling. i. Predictive Enrollment Modeling ii. Financial Aid Portfolio Management iii. Competitor Program Profiles Selecting Students for Post-Graduate Courses To develop a fair and consistent admissions process for its graduate school, a partnering university sought to benchmark 47 different professional-entry degree programs nationwide. Analysts summarized best practices in student selection criteria, outlined academic and non-academic predictors of graduate student success, and profiled selection criteria in place at highly-ranked institutions. The report found that while undergraduate GPA and entrance exam scores are significant predictors of graduate student success, students soft skills such as creativity, motivation, and communication should also be considered as additional ranking criteria when the university implements a holistic selection process. Assessing Demand for a Bachelor s Degree in Psychology The director of academic assessment sought to understand the competitive psychology degree landscape across three neighboring states specifically requesting data regarding competitor graduation totals, five-year growth trends, and psychology research sequences. The analysis applied conferral statistics at the state and local level to assess potential student demand and profiled programs at four competitor institutions. Analysts determined that state employment projections anticipate steady growth for occupations in psychology and related fields and that the institution s 18.5 percent compound annual growth rate for the past five years outpaced most competitor institutions ultimately supporting the development of this new degree offering. 3

4 INSTITUTIONAL EFFECTIVENESS Simulating USNWR Rankings The dean of a law school wanted to reconstruct the 2014 USNWR rankings methodology to provide actionable strategies for the institution to increase its rank in the 2015 report. The ranking reconstruction tool mimicked USNWR s grading methodology, allowing analysts to examine school strengths and weaknesses and the school s position within each ranking category relative to competitor programs. Simulations determined that the school s largest rank improvement may be achieved through an increase in peer assessment score, while other significant improvements would result from increasing: median LSAT score of admitted students, graduate employment rate, and educational expenditures. Improving Student Outcomes At the request of a large state university, analysts investigated guidelines for designing institutional and program-level plans for learning outcome assessment in accordance with SACSCOC accreditation requirements. The report: 1) reviewed SACSCOC accreditation outcomes assessment principles, 2) suggested methods for creating exemplary assessment plans, and 3) reviewed the assessment practices of five peer institutions. The findings urged the university to define specific student practices, identify desired learning outcomes, and embrace e-portfolios and web-based management systems to enhance data collection and streamline the evaluation process. Supporting Student Athletes On behalf of a liberal arts college, this report investigated effective policies for acknowledging student athletes demands and providing student supports to eliminate academic setbacks. By reviewing practices in structuring meaningful support programs for student athletes and profiling institutions with exemplary academic supports for athletes in place, analysts advised the institution to: 1) develop an early identification system for at-risk student athletes, and 2) explore options for the athletic department to fund a support center of advisors and peer counselors versed in NCAA regulations. COMMUNITY & ALUMNI ENGAGEMENT Surveying the Construction Industry To solicit input from industry contacts about a technical institution s proposed construction management degree program, analysts surveyed 39 construction company representatives. The survey sought to gather insight into program demand, the skills and competencies the curriculum should cover, and the future employment prospects of program graduates and the ensuing analysis yielded positive results regarding the proposed program. Employers described the program s need to develop a number of technical skills and competencies related to quality assurance, ethics, and building materials. Furthermore, 64 percent of respondents indicated interest in partnering with the institution on this program. 4

5 RESOURCE MANAGEMENT Analyzing Financial Health Ratings On behalf of both the associate provost and chief information officer of a private college, analysts assessed financial data across all metrics used in the Forbes and Bain ratings to determine areas for growth that could improve the institution s ratings. The report determined that both the Forbes College Financial Grades and the Department of Education Financial Responsibility Test rely heavily on metrics such as endowment assets and expendable assets in relation to expenses and debt. While debt reduction, smart investing, and increased expendable assets are pivotal to boosting the college s standing on both lists, peripheral factors such as admissions yield and the percent of students receiving institutional grant aid will afford the institution an edge on the Forbes grading scale and ultimately increase attractiveness to prospective students. i. Budget Analysis of Revenue and Expenditures ii. USNWR Ranking Simulation iii. Economic Impact Analysis Reviewing Faculty and Staff Compensation Drawing from three data sources outlining salary levels in the higher education market (IPEDS, AAUP, CUPA-HR), analysts evaluated current faculty and staff compensation levels at a Midwestern university from both national and regional perspectives. The analysis determined that the university falls below the reported national mean salary for every academic ranks across all three sources and that the university should consider raising professor salaries by between percent to meet the overall national average. 5

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