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St. John Fisher College March 24, 2004. Blending Liberal Arts with Professional Programs. Colleges must expand their student markets, while maintaining their core values. Tom Kennedy, CEO New Ventures of Regis University Denver, Colorado. The Higher Education Landscape.

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St. John Fisher College

March 24, 2004

Blending Liberal Arts

with Professional Programs

Colleges must expand their student markets,

while maintaining their core values

Tom Kennedy, CEO

New Ventures of Regis University

Denver, Colorado

the higher education landscape
The Higher Education Landscape
  • Changing demographics
  • Digital & online issues
  • Virtual universities
  • Corporate universities
  • For-profit universities

The Higher Education Landscape

  • Higher Education enrollments climbed by 21% between 1980 and 2000 adding 2.5 million students.
  • It is estimated that between 2000 – 2010 enrollments will rise by 19% adding another 2.8 million students.
  • Half of Higher Education enrollments are part-time.
  • Part time enrollments more than doubled between 1970 and 2000.
  • The fastest growing part-time group is age 35 and older.
the higher education landscape1
The Higher Education Landscape
  • From 1980 – 2000 for-profit Higher Education institutions grew 5 fold from 165 to 789, outnumbering public 4 year institutions.
  • In 2002 the University of Phoenix served 116,300 students in 116 campuses in the USA and Canada.
  • In 2002 DeVry University served 47,000 students in 21 campuses in the USA and Canada.
the higher education landscape2
The Higher Education Landscape

The Internet

  • In 2000, 50% of the population of the USA used the Internet, 114 million weekly.
  • 95% of public schools in the USA are now linked to the Internet.
  • In 1999 there were 800 million pages on the Internet. The best search engine could only access about 16% or 128 million of them.

Universities must navigate the World Wide Web

  • “Digital Immigrants” vs “Digital Natives.”
  • The cost of digital plant competition is high.
  • Students expect superior web capability in universities.
  • Conversion to online programming is costly

The Good News

  • More students are projected to enroll.
  • More older adults than ever are enrolling.
  • The population is aging.
  • Slow growth of the labor force will increase need for education.

The Challenge

  • Many of the new traditional age enrollees are in lower economic brackets.
  • A host of for-profit schools are taking many of the older adult students.

A University Vision…

Supportive of

Adult Learner Programs

  • Market Responsive
  • High Quality
  • Designed for Adult Learners
  • Accessible Academically
  • Provides Convenient Locations
  • Provides Multiple Format Options
  • Provides Excellent Customer Services
  • Mission Connected

Tools needed


Degree Completion Option

Degree Structure





Transfer Options

Other College Credits



General/Liberal Studies Core


Accelerated programs


Student Services

Career Counseling




Adult Student

Financial Aid

Business Office




Student services


Quality Standards for Adult Programs

  • Mission Congruence
  • Learner focused and market responsive
  • Leadership and staffing
  • Appropriate organizational structure
  • Planning and resource allocation
  • Quality curriculum design and content
  • Student support services
  • Faculty effectiveness
  • Facilities and auxiliary services
  • Assessment and continuous improvement
  • Student fit

Tools needed


Accelerated Learning Studies

“Recent studies in which researchers compared the learning of younger (traditional) students enrolled in 16-week courses with the learning of adult students enrolled in 5-week versions of the same courses suggest that accelerated courses provide levels of learning indistinguishable or greater than those demonstrated by the younger students in conventional courses.” (Wlodkowski & Westover, 1999; Wlodkowski, Iturralde-Albert, & Mauldin, 2000).

Accelerated programs


Can an adult program thrive

in a traditional university?


The Survivors

  • Top tier reputation
  • Substantial endowment
  • Unique niche
  • Largeadult programs
  • Extensive online programs

The University of Phoenix Says…

“The people who are our students don’t really want the education. They want what the education provides for them – better jobs, moving up in their career, the ability to speak up in meetings, that kind of stuff. They want it to do something for them.”

“The University of Phoenix has dropped its requirement that students have some background in the liberal arts.”

“…the University of Phoenix may well succeed in inculcating mastery of certain practical disciplines. What is lacking is any concern with, or understanding of, the broader themes of life – indeed, with the questions of why the world is as it is and how life can and should be lived.” Howard Gardner, “The Disciplined Mind”


Making the Liberal Arts Integral to Adult Programs

  • Adult Programs Should Include Certain Features:
    • Truth
    • Beauty
    • Morality

“Education consists of more than school.”

“Questions are more important than answers; knowledge and understanding should evolve from the constant probing of questions.”

Howard Gardner, “The Disciplined Mind”


Regis University Mission Statement

Regis University educates men and women of all ages to take leadership roles and to make a positive impact in a changing society. Standing within the Catholic and United States traditions, we are inspired by the particular Jesuit vision of Ignatius Loyola. This vision challenges us to attain the inner freedom to make intelligent choices.

We seek to provide value-centered undergraduate and graduate education, as well as to strengthen commitment to community service. We nurture the life of the mind and the pursuit of truth within an environment conducive to effective teaching, learning and personal development. Consistent with Judeo- Christian principles, we apply knowledge to human needs and seek to preserve the best of the human heritage. We encourage the continual search for truth, values, and a just existence. Throughout this process, we examine and attempt to answer the fundamental question: "How ought we to live?"


Characteristics of the Core Educational Experience

  • The specific structure of the core educational experience varies within each of the University’s three Schools because of the different student populations and instructional formats in Regis College, School for Professional Studies, and School for Health Care Professions. Nonetheless, the core educational experience in all three Schools is characterized by:
  • Development of the Whole Person
  • Academic Challenge
  • Liberal Arts Foundation
  • Integration
  • Ethical Inquiry and Reflection
  • Spirituality and Religion
  • Concern for Justice
  • Global Awareness
  • Leadership

What is required?

  • New Structures
  • New Procedures
  • New Systems
  • New Ways of Thinking
  • New Ways of Doing

Profile of Regis University

Board of Trustees



VP Student Life CFO VP Administration VP Development

Dean, Regis College VP and Dean School Dean, School for Health

Professional Studies Care Professions

36,000 Credit Hours, $21.4 M

160,000 Credit Hours, $50M

20,000 Credit Hours, $8M

UndergraduateEducation Graduate

Business UG and Grad Business

Information Tech Info Tech

85,000 Credit Hours

75,000 Credit Hours

On-line 72,000 Credit Hours

Regis Profile


Profile of Regis University

Board of Trustees



Regis College Professional Studies Health Care Professions

  • 74 FT Faculty
  • 1400 Traditional Students
  • 110 FT Faculty
  • 700 PT Faculty
  • 14,000 Students
  • 25 FT Faculty
  • 900 Students

Regis Profile


Staffing Patterns & Major Functions


Chief Academic Officer

Dean Professional Studies

Administrative Assistant

Recruiting/Marketing Advising Faculty/Curriculum

Program Staffing



“…there is nothing more difficult to carry out, not more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things. For the reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the old order, and only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new order…”Machiavelli


New Ventures of Regis University

  • Since 1990, has assisted 32 private colleges and universities, nationally and internationally, to develop and implement accelerated adult education programs.
  • 93% of these schools have experienced moderate to exceptional success. We have never experienced a failure when the partner school adheres to the Regis model.
  • Is a part of Regis University, a Jesuit, Catholic institution serving 16,000 students, 13,000 of whom are adult learners. There are six campuses in Colorado and two in Nevada.
  • Is now a partner with Ana G. Mendez University System (Puerto Rico) in establishing a dual language accelerated adult education program in Orlando, Florida.

New Ventures of Regis University

6890 West 52nd Avenue

Suite 201

Arvada, Colorado 80002

Tel: 303.458.4929

Scott Campbell

Tom Kennedy