The Changing Landscape of Adult Education


By: Carol Aslanian Aug 01, 2016

CALEM 2016 brought together higher education leadership to discuss the changing landscape of American higher education. What we learned about the new character and demands of students today led many of us to rethink past strategies on how to attract, serve, and exit these students with the skills they need to meet new and changing requirements of the workforce. 

As many of you realize, overall higher education enrollments have been rather flat in recent years. And high school graduation numbers have lessened in certain regions of the country, particularly in the Northeast, Midwest, and Northwest. Many of you are seeking new information and strategies to attract post-traditional undergraduate learners and graduate students. And, given the steady rise of online learners, many of you are seeking advice on what to offer, how to offer it, and when to offer it to this diverse group of students who span many age groups. CALEM did an excellent job in presenting practitioner and expert views on how to move ahead.

 Here are some takeaways that apply to any institution:

  • Age no longer predicts the way we learn: changing demographics and family patterns lead many younger students to programs we once classified as β€œfor adults only.”
  • Applicants want quick and responsive contact from schools when they inquire and apply.
  • Online and hybrid programs and courses are growing in demand on a daily basis.
  • Most online learners study with an institution located within their region.
  • Schools need to create and deliver programs that can be developed on a timely basis; back-to-back terms of 6-8 weeks over the course of the year saves time and money.
  • Digital marketing techniques are the most effective means of reaching prospective students.
  • It is critical to get buy-in from the leadership of your institution as you pave new ways to attract new students with new strategies.
  • Working closely with business and industry can produce new and more students, as well as increased revenue.

. . . And much more.

Be sure to look for announcements shortly for CALEM 2017. It’s going to be a conference you won’t want to miss!