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Trends in Higher Education. Presented by: Jeff Lowry Vice President of Client Success.

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trends in higher education

Trends in Higher Education

Presented by:

Jeff Lowry

Vice President of Client Success

“Today’s environment requires a new way of thinking. Higher education institutions are looking for solutions to shrinking budgets, growing enrollment demands and greater public scrutiny of their operations.”

Tom Shaver, Ad Astra Founder and CEO

state of the union
State of the Union

President of SHEEO (State Higher Education Executive Officers Association) recently stated in his annual finance report the following:

“We are beginning to see evidence that students who have the desire and ability to benefit from higher education are not enrolling due to tuition costs, inadequate financial aid, or enrollment caps.”

Closing Comment…

“Education and policy leaders will need extra measures of courage, commitment and creativity to address these dilemmas.”

presidential focus
Presidential - Focus

President Obama calls private meeting in December 2011:

  • The Country Needs
    • Innovations and cost management from colleges and leadership from state legislatures

White House Statement: President Obama discussed the need for bold solutions to “help more Americans attain a higher education at an affordable price.”

the challenges affordability
The Challenges - Affordability
  • Years of Revenue focus has allowed inefficiency to creep in
    • Operating costs per student have increased 2x inflation for past 10 years
    • Tuitions have Increased 4x inflation for past 10 years
    • State support had increased 1.5x inflation, but this support has declined in recent years due to the economic downturn
    • Increased time-to-degree further impacts affordability and need for subsidy in many states
  • A Culture of Autonomy and Academic Freedom has been slow to embrace institution-wide best practices and efficiencies
  • State and Local Support per student fell to its lowest in 25 yrs (SHEEO)
  • Net Tuition Revenues per student reached an all time high (SHEEO)
    • The % of educational revenues supported by tuition has climbed steadily from 23.2% in 1986 to 43.3% in 2011.
  • 853 schools analyzed for ROI. 22% showed a negative ROI. (Bloomberg Business Week)
the challenges student success
The Challenges - Student Success
      • Enrollment has nearly doubled since 1970, yet the completion (attainment) rate remains flat
      • Approximately 40% of adults aged 25-34 have a degree
      • Lumina Foundation: "The United States is one of only two nations in which the current generation has attained less education than their parents' generation.”
  • Degree completion rates
    • 2-yr. degrees (within 6 years): 38%
    • 4-year degrees (within 4 years): 53%
    • 4-yr. degrees (within 6 years): 58%
  • Retention rates (between 1st and 2nd yr): 65.7%
the challenges capacity
The Challenges - Capacity
  • Enrollment Growth*:
    • 1989-1999: 9%
    • 1999-2011: 59%
    • 2011-19: 14% (projected)
  • Full-time Tenure and Non-Tenure track Faculties have Grown only 7% and 21%, respectively from 1999-2009*
  • Per-Student Classroom space has decreased approximately 20% from 1974 to 2003**
  • Student Unions w/ Starbucks trump Classroom buildings***

* Chronicle of Higher Education analysis of U.S. Department of Education data

** SCUP Facilities Inventory Report

*** Tom’s anecdotal observation

the challenges additional contributors
The Challenges - Additional Contributors
  • Nontraditional Students are the new majority
    • 75% of today’s students are juggling families, jobs, etc while taking classes
    • 25% attend full time at residential colleges and have most of the finances paid for by parents
  • Attainment is difficult for the many of the new majority (part-time, low income and/or minority students)
  • Students are in school too long, leading to retention issues
  • Students are not all prepared for college course demands, causing a large spike in remedial course loads
national initiatives
National Initiatives

Race to the Top

2020 Initiative



No Child Left Behind

the gaps
The Gaps

Gap 1: National/State Initiative to Institution Mission

  • “Struggling to identify productive ways to collaborate with institutions”
    • National/State Themes have little connection to daily institutional priorities
    • Unilateral mandates more common than collaboration on goals/objectives

Gap 2: Institutional Mission to Academic Unit Priorities

  • Departments operate in autonomous silos with few tools or metrics to support data-driven decisions or performance tracking
    • Which departments efficiently allocate faculty and space resources?
    • Which departments meet student course needs?
    • What high-impact changes could improve the roll-forward schedules?
    • How can changes implicit in major transitions, such as a shift from quarters to semesters, result to “better” schedules?
our approach
Our Approach
  • Acknowledge Complexity: decision-support tools are needed to effectively allocate faculty and space to meet students’ needs
  • Measure Success Drivers: high-level goals (student outcomes, efficiency, and capacity) are dependant on progress in measurable, manageable “success drivers”
our approach1
Our Approach
  • Change Management Process – consistent vetting process

Solutions State of the Union

  • Analytics: focus, to date, on analysis of student demand for course seats and the enrollment capacity of academic space
    • Platinum Analytics: alignment of offerings to demand, highlighted by “change candidates” in tentative schedules
    • Strategic Checkup: assessment of baseline effectiveness of both course offerings and space management processes
  • Metrics: approximately 20 success drivers
    • Baseline effectiveness against peer school averages and “goals”
    • Roll-forward schedule refinement based on data
    • Impact on students, capacity and cost savings tracked in schedules
metrics that support success
Metrics that Support Success





Key 2012 Solution Enhancements

  • Analytics:
    • Dashboards
    • Predictive Program Analysis
    • Simulated Registration
  • Section File Snapshots (registration velocity, cancellation tracking, meeting time/room change tracking, attrition, etc.)
  • Student/Advisor Academic Planner (next slides)
  • Student Velocity Tracking and Workflow/Alerts
  • Course Offering Sandbox with Academic Scheduling Policy Setting/Tracking
trends in higher education1

Trends in Higher Education

Jeff Lowry

Vice President of Client Success


Office: 913-652-4144

Twitter: @AstraJeff

national initiatives governmental
National Initiatives (Governmental)
  • Obama’s 2020 Initiative – Regain position as most educated country by 2020
  • Obama’s Affordability Initiative – New campaign emphasis placing additional accountability on institutions to become more efficient
  • Race to the Top Initiative – Federal fund supporting states that demonstrate education reform through metrics, data systems and faculty hiring
  • No Child Left Behind Initiative – Federal fund to States tied to the creation of basic skills assessments
  • FIPSE (Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education) – funding for projects improving the quality of postsecondary education and increasing student success
national initiatives philanthropic
National Initiatives (Philanthropic)
  • Lumina – Private foundation with invested assets in excess of $1 billion
    • “Big Goal:” increase Americans with high-quality degrees to 60% by 2025
    • Grants to institutions committed to improving student access and outcomes
    • Philosophy: Achievement of the “Big Goal” will require student preparedness – academically, financially and socially, higher completion rates, and increased productivity to expand capacity and serve more students
  • Dell Foundation
    • K-12 data system tracking common education data standards
  • Gates Foundation
    • Focused on improving attainment in secondary and postsecondary education
    • Gateway to College – ensuring opportunities exist for those on the verge of dropping out to earn a high school degree while also earning college credit
national initiatives philanthropic cont
National Initiatives (Philanthropic), cont.
  • Complete College America
    • “Time is the Enemy”
    • 41% of incoming students are not ready for college credit work
    • Mission: Improve the number of Americans with college degrees and close the gaps for underrepresented populations
  • NASH/Access to Success
    • Working with 20 public higher education systems that have pledged to cut the college-going and graduation gaps for low-income and minority students in half by 2015