By Eric Flottmann, Chief Operating Officer at Higher Ed Growth
Top colleges, universities and higher education leaders from across the country gathered in Orlando last week for the 2016 Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU)* Exposition and Convention.
A proud sponsor of the event, Higher Ed Growth (HEG) led sessions on creating better student outcomes and meeting compliance in the ever-changing education landscape. These two topics continue to be top of mind for the industry, and they’re also central to “Aligning the Future,” which was APSCU’s focus this year.
Based on the sessions and peer conversations, here’s how industry leaders from APSCU 2016 are paving the way for higher ed.
The regulatory environment currently seems stable, but as industry experts know, that can change at any time. As a result, schools and higher ed marketers must be vigilant and detail-oriented to stay out of compliance hot water. This can be difficult, however, as issues can arise at various points throughout the student lifecycle.
The good news is there are innovative new technologies to streamline marketing and help meet regulatory needs. When higher ed institutions are able to track prospects throughout the entire lifecycle, it enhances accuracy and creates a more compliant path. Some new tools even display proper disclosures automatically and provide call-verified recordings to prove current industry guidelines are being followed. Compliance is really in the details, so those utilizing all-in-one tools to streamline the process are gaining a significant advantage.
Collaboration is also a trend seen across the board in higher education. Education Technology adoption has influenced how students communicate with professors, advisors and one another. Collaboration may even be tied to better student outcomes and boosted career opportunities.
As it turns out, it is also key to higher ed marketing campaigns. Schools and marketing partners who have open discussions around goals and performance create more effective campaigns and can see higher enrollment rates. In particular, it’s important to share benchmarks, short- and long-term goals, lead-level conversion data, and detailed return reason data. Technology has made it even easier to be transparent and communicate campaign details.
Spotlight on Trade Schools
Regionally focused trade schools often slip under the radar and don’t get the kind of attention of the larger colleges and universities. However, the APSCU conference further reinforced what we’ve been seeing in our enrollment data and partner campaigns: Trade schools are having a lot of success.
From course completion to debt repayment, trade schools are reporting many positive metrics. This speaks to programs that resonate with current and potential students and have relevance within the job market. In addition, trade school programs are often quick to complete, inexpensive, and teach skills and competencies that graduates can use right away in the labor pool. It’s time to shine a spotlight on these smaller schools truly leading the way in student outcomes.
In all, APSCU’s 2016 Annual Conference was the epitome of collaboration with industry leaders sharing best practices, use cases, trends, and technology. Despite the rapidly changing environment, there are many success stories in the marketplace and more opportunity than ever before.
* APSCU is now Career Education Colleges and Universities (CECU).