Higher Ed Quick Tip: Align Program Curriculum with Job Outcome
If you feel like your Continuing Ed/Workforce Development unit is under more pressure than ever to drive enrollment and revenue for the institution, you’re not alone.
Consistently-falling enrollment and retention numbers in degree programs have driven leading CE units across the country to explore new technology, offer alternative credentialing, and perform deeper dives into student needs to better drive enrollment and revenue.
To provide visibility into this innovation, Modern Campus partnered with The Chronicle of Higher Education to host “Resourcing the Modern College to Serve Modern Leaners”—a webinar in which two community college presidents discussed how they developed strategies to strengthen enrollment and retention at their institutions.
Dr. Brenda Hellyer, Chancellor of San Jacinto Community College, shared her belief that tying program curriculum to current labor market demand tells students the institution cares about their outcome and success.
This practice encourages enrollment and motivates students to persist, because they see high returns on their education investment. She suggests creating program advisory councils whose members regularly discuss skills gaps and needs to grow their respective industries. The councils—alongside enrollment data generated by the college—can then highlight programs that are ready to be sunset, as well as suggesting offerings the college to bring to market.
“We’ve done that with other programs and other courses that don’t align to labor market data to where our students are going to be able to earn family living wages,” Dr. Hellyer said. “It takes a lot of leadership and a lot of commitment from an institution—knowing that if it’s not working, we’re going to either fix it or get rid of it.”
Last updated: June 29, 2022