Traditional Universities’ Continuing and Professional Education Units Position to Win in the Online Education Market

Share Article

Eduventures’ New Study Highlights Trends, Models, Practices, and Costs in Effectively Developing, Delivering, and Supporting Online Continuing Education: Traditional colleges’ and universities’ continuing and professional education (CPE) units for adult learners are leading the charge in meeting the demand for online education courses and degree programs. According to research highlights released today from Eduventures, the leading research and consulting firm for the education industry, between 16 percent and 20 percent of the typical CPE unit’s course enrollments are now from online courses, and online enrollments in continuing and professional education are growing at an annual rate of 20 percent.

Traditional colleges’ and universities’ continuing and professional education (CPE) units for adult learners are leading the charge in meeting the demand for online education courses and degree programs. According to research highlights released today from Eduventures, the leading research and consulting firm for the education industry, between 16 percent and 20 percent of the typical CPE unit’s course enrollments are now from online courses, and online enrollments in continuing and professional education are growing at an annual rate of 20 percent.

“This rate of growth is more than five times the average enrollment growth rate for higher education generally, and highlights how non-profit colleges and universities are leading the way in serving adult learners through their online CPE courses and programs,” says Eduventures Senior Analyst Sean Gallagher.

In its newest report, Benchmarking Online Continuing Education Operations for an Environment of Growth, a product of its Learning Collaborative for Continuing and Professional Education program, Eduventures provides a comprehensive and current view of online continuing and professional education offerings, design and operations, course development, and strategic and operational issues. Some of the highlights from the findings include:

Offerings

  • Continuing and professional education units’ online course and program “product portfolios” span a wide range of course and program types. The “typical” CPE unit offers approximately 150 for-credit courses, eight degree programs, four certificate programs, and 24 non-credit courses online. Fully online courses and programs – where classroom attendance is not required – represent the most popular online education delivery model, while two-thirds of CPE units offer hybrid courses, which combine online and traditional face-to-face instruction.

Design and Operations

  • Organizational design plays a major role in the scalability and success of online continuing education provision. CPE units very often take a lead role in managing online course and program development, and in centralizing support services for online students, while partnering with individual academic units (e.g., colleges or academic departments) within their institutions to determine which online courses and programs will be offered. The research identifies four predominant organizational models, “Independent,” “CE-as-Developer,” “Partnership,” and “Academic-Centric,” each with its own benefits and limitations.

Course Development

  • CPE units often can develop and bring online courses to market in six to seven months, and for the vast majority of colleges, online courses are more expensive to develop than comparable traditional, face-to-face courses. CPE units are benchmarking their course development times and lifecycles and optimizing their faculty compensation structures to develop more efficient online CPE operations.

“As online education becomes a significant overall growth driver for colleges and universities, qualitative and quantitative intelligence on successful models and practices for developing, delivering, and supporting online continuing education offerings is critical,” noted Gallagher. “CPE units can use this data to optimize their offerings and service, and improve their operational performance to compete more effectively with for-profits and other institutions serving adult learners in the growing online education market.”

These represent some of the findings from Eduventures’ report, Benchmarking Online Continuing Education Operations for an Environment of Growth. The full report, which was designed to provide institutions with insight into operations, to facilitate benchmarking, and to provide data and evidence for strategic planning, is available exclusively to members of Eduventures’ Learning Collaborative Program for Continuing and Professional Education (CPE). For more information on this report or Eduventures’ Learning Collaborative programs, contact Peggy Kelleher at pkelleher@eduventures.com or 617-532-6015.

ABOUT EDUVENTURES, LLC

For more than a decade, Eduventures, LLC has been the most trusted name in education market research, consulting services, and peer networking. Its clients include senior administrators and executives from leading educational institutions and companies serving the K-12, higher education, and corporate learning markets, as well as decision-makers in government agencies and the investment community. For more information, visit http://www.eduventures.com.

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Steven Shapiro
Visit website