Don’t Trust Growth to Guesswork

by Rick Bentz

February 16, 2012

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There’s no question about it, the resources and costs that are both necessary and at stake in new program development are high.  And let’s face it, guessing which programs will be successful is far from a sound approach.  It really comes down to research.

Our very own Joel Borgmeier recently published an article in Today’s Campus in which he outlines the importance of program feasibility studies, and how the underlying research gives schools the insight they need to develop programs that will best serve students.

If you haven’t had a chance to read Joel’s article, “Take Out the Guesswork: A Research-Based Strategy For Program Growth,” I encourage you to do so.  Here are some highlights:

Program feasibility studies allow schools to objectively assess the audience, the site and the program itself.

  • Even without a large research budget, colleges can conduct their own in-depth analysis that relies on both syndicated and school-specific data.
  • Program feasibility studies can help identify and rate opportunities on a relative scale, helping institutions avoid a mismatch of programs within specific markets.
  • Combining research on student segmentation, the market, labor and economic factors, competition and mapping can make costly mistakes avoidable.

Remember, even an educated guess isn’t going to help you grow your program.  Before investing in new program development, ask yourself, is there demand for this program? Are there enough students to make it viable? If we build it, will they come? Can students be successful as a result of this degree?

If this still sounds like a daunting task to go at alone, let us know.  Our team at Datamark has completed hundreds of customized program feasibility studies for schools over the years and would welcome the opportunity to help you!  Contact Joel at 801-886-2002 to learn more about our Research Services.