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Recruiting Intelligence

Your Students. Your Programs. In China — Event Tomorrow

Struggling to define strategies that will bring back your enrollment from China? You’re not alone.

But there’s good news: Clark University met the needs of their Chinese students this past year with an innovative and quickly installed remote campus in Shanghai. Their story is full of instructive lessons. And our webinar tomorrow will enlighten (see link below). 

And there is even more good news: Chinese parents are still eager to provide a US-style education for their child, with 97% of parent respondents in our latest market research citing the US as their first-choice destination for their child’s education.

The short of it: opportunity for your institution is still out there. Chinese parents and students are ready and waiting for your message despite current travel restrictions, if only you could reach them…

As you plan your strategy for next year, consider this: CIEE has created a powerful option that has proven successful at helping US institutions meet their Chinese students where they are. And it is not just about enrollment. It is so much more, thankfully. 

We’re talking long-term partnership building in one of your key markets and a new pipeline that will foster both student success and help you reach your enrollment goals. We’re talking International Campus Opportunities with your programs and your students — in China. Clark University was one of ten US institutions that acted fast and benefited from this innovative approach last year. Now, they will be sharing their story with you. 

Join us tomorrow, Thursday, April 15th at 11am Eastern for a webinar event with CIEE and Clark to discuss the state of the Chinese market, the international campus experience, and the steps necessary to make this opportunity work for fall 2021 at your institution

Register Now

This event is for academic institutions only (.edu email addresses and other academic institutions).

Moderated by Ben Waxman, Intead CEO, the expert panel of your colleagues with a wealth of experience in higher ed and China will include:

  • John LaBrie, Dean of the School of Professional Studies and Associate Provost for Professional Education, Clark University
  • Jill Zhang, China-based Admissions Counselor, Graduate Admissions, Clark University 
  • Seamus Harreys, Vice President Global Enrollment, CIEE
  • Brad Farnsworth, Principal, Fox Hollow Advisory, Former Vice President for Global Engagement at American Council on Education

Read on for a preview of the valuable topics to be discussed and how to continue leveraging your presence and academic programs in this challenging time. 

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Is Flexible Incrementalism the Answer to Student Enrollment Growth?

According to Moody’s reports on the financial pain 4-year institutions are facing, higher ed administrators are managing a host of escalating challenges.

What we know: cutting your way to success has never worked for any institution.

What we want: strategic, incremental investments that pay off.

But which ones will lead to predictable enrollment growth and revenue? Oh, and student success?

There is a guiding light, a process to achieving this kind of success.

With technology playing an increasingly critical role in every aspect of our lives, especially now, academic institutions have recognized the need to accelerate the adoption and development of digitally oriented enrollment processes and education delivery. These moves can reverse enrollment declines and support the quality of education that students and families expect. A new partnership between Intead, iSchoolConnect, and Google addresses these needs with a smart, agile, and modular approach.

Framed as a modern and flexible model, incremental investments in technology for marketing and student success can align university leadership, administrators and importantly, faculty. CFOs take note, this is a plan for predictable enrollment and revenue streams.

The team delivering on this approach brings deep skills in marketing, enrollment management, and technology to support academic institutions through transformative initiatives carried out incrementally.

The goal is to produce an enrollment management transformation and a re-imagined approach to student success. Affordable marketing and AI-powered technology investments, each with clear transactional wins (think ROI) that justify the process, move the institution through a series of system improvements and enhancements toward the envisioned state. 

We’ve been here before, and we know that transformation is tough at large institutions. Bold and expensive strokes often fail to build the necessary stakeholder buy-in. The result: limited successes, far less than envisioned. 

Incrementalism recognizes that there are common modules every institution will want to address (recruitment, enrollment management, alumni relations, student and career services, etc.). Each institution is different in how and when each valued area blends into the transformation effort.

Read on to view our latest webinar in which I am joined by Ashish Fernando, iSchoolConnect CEO, and a panel of excellent guest speakers from Dartmouth, Babson, Northeastern, and Google to discuss how this new approach can pave the way to predictable, affordable, and transformative enrollment results. 

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The End of False Promises

Tracking the macro indicators of market growth and decline is where we were at the start of our journey more than a decade ago. The Intead team defined the global market opportunity for student enrollment in ways we felt others were not seeing. And we published our findings and ideas.

While we in higher education are no strangers to global enrollment shocks, there’s no getting around the reality that the year 2020 and the seismic health, political, and economic shifts have challenged our collective efforts to achieve institutional growth. The student enrollment declines being reported are very real and so many of us are feeling them and anticipating more declines in the near term.

Just this week IIE and the National Student Clearinghouse are providing new data showing how the student market has changed for the worse. These numbers are absolutely worth watching and it all makes for good headlines.

Yet, the team here has moved far beyond those headlines and numbers you are seeing. As we approach each new client engagement, we are focused on where specifically the opportunities lie. Which micro demographic? Age range? Region? Academic program interest? Which market differentiators will be attractive and where? Specifically. Globally and locally.

A wealth of data available to make really smart decisions

Today, there is so much data to analyze to help define the real market opportunities for each institution. Given the harsh market conditions, decisions today will determine which institutions will thrive going forward. In some cases, it is about which ones will simply maintain, forget about thrive. Many are trying to predict the future and with investment in the right tools, that is possible.

"Really?" You ask. "Yes," we reply.

The reality: Your bottom line is more important than ever. Your budget? Smaller than ever. Your enrollment goals? More challenging than ever. Your students? Struggling to succeed.

With so much of this past year being entirely unpredictable, a little confidence in the future would be truly welcome.

Luckily, there is an achievable path forward to predictable and sustainable enrollment growth. We’re talking long-term transformational growth here — those “Aha!” moments that transform your institutional practices and reality for years to come. Interested?

Today we are talking to all of you big picture thinkers.

Enter: Predictive analytics.

We know what some of you may be thinking. Long a buzzword in higher education, predictive analytics strategies often come with a “proceed with caution” label and (valid) concerns about budget, staffing, and implementation.

But we’re here to change all that with our new eBook — The End of False Promises: A Guide to Real Predictive Analytics Success.

In this newest Intead publication, we discuss predictive analytics, past, present, and future, including our vision for a manageable, affordable path to incorporating data- and Artificial Intelligence-powered (AI) solutions throughout the student journey at your institution.

To bring this new reality of actionable predictive analytics services to life, we have partnered with iSchoolConnect, a growing leader in advanced EdTech artificial intelligence (AI) tools, to create a new model for marketing, communications, and analytics for academia. Bonus: as one of the world’s few official Google Cloud partners, this new tie-up has access to data insights and resources others only dream of!

The successful approach we are talking about relies on flexible, incremental investments that produce clear returns. With a trusted partner guiding your institution forward on this journey, the transactional successes add up to transform your entire system for enrollment management and student success.

Read on for a quick-hit predictive analytics crash course and to download your free copy of the new eBook. Plus, a closer look at the new Intead + iSchoolConnect approach.

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Webinar: Predicting Revenue, Enrollment & Student Success

There's one important thing institutions should do to reverse enrollment declines. Most won’t do it.

What you need to succeed: the knowledge that each incremental investment provides a near-term win, a return on investment, while advancing your institution towards a transformative state for long-term growth. 

On Monday, November 16th at 12pm (EST), we will be joined by an amazing line up of experts to discuss how predictive analytics and flexible, modular investments in technology can transform both enrollment management and student success.

With so many institutions experiencing enrollment declines and budgetary challenges, strategic investments are essential. No institution has ever cut its way to success. 

Join us for this intriguing discussion about predictive analytics powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI). Following our webinar, attendees will receive an advance copy of our newest eBook on how to customize this modular approach for your institution. And we will be making a big announcement about how Intead is changing, significantly, to take advantage of the opportunities we see ahead.

Register Now

During the webinar, I will be joined by my co-host, Ashish Fernando, CEO of iSchoolConnect, and together we will get some amazing strategic insights from:

  • Lisa Adams, MD: Associate Dean for Global Health, Director of the Center for Global Health Equity, Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine
  • Jesus Trujillo Gomez: Strategic Business Executive for Higher Ed at Google Cloud
  • Kerry Salerno: CMO, Babson College
  • Hillary Dostal: Economics Adjunct Professor and Lecturer, Northeastern University and Endicott College
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Thinking Forward

Are your moments of fear and anxiety your best growth opportunities in costume?

Reality check: some days the fortitude to push forward is harder than others. There is simply so much work to be done.

Still, we are moving forward. Always.

On this morning following the US 2020 election, regardless of the final outcome, the hard work of pushing for learning environments that advance individuals and society takes forward thinking and energy.

We, as a community, do this every day because we know that a diverse student population fosters cultural understanding and personal growth.

We, as the Intead team, supply the expertise and energy to make this happen with all we have in us.

And we know that institutions at the top of the food chain and the bottom do not achieve diverse learning environments easily. Today, the light is shining very clearly on the fact that without proactively addressing student recruitment, enrollment, and support processes, institutions fall into ineffective practices. Worse, practices that can subjugate and demean student segments. Practices that undermine and diminish the very mission statements institutions hold so dear.

Still, we move onward with fortitude and hope for a future in which students and institutions can realize success. 

And while the path to that future might not always be clear, opportunities abound. Read on for our perspective on recognizing those opportunities, including the latest data from Moody's Investors Service and NAFSA that point the way forward. 

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Fishing in a Gale

Even in the best of conditions, commercial fishing is a really tough job. You can’t always be sure of a catch in the first place. The work requires specialized equipment, a strong constitution, a team that works well together, patience, and an ability to read the signs. And even with all that in place, there is still no guarantee of success. 

And then, there is fishing in a gale.

Your boat is being knocked about. Your footing is unsure. There are a host of really challenging external conditions to navigate while your team continues to work with the equipment and do the important job of catching the fish.

External conditions cannot set you back!

You see where I’m going with this, right?

Right now, your enrollment managers and admissions reps are all fishing in a gale. We all are. Our institutions are counting on us to produce the catch that will keep everything afloat. Current conditions cannot set us back. And yet…there is no guarantee of a catch.

Some days, the fish simply are not biting. They only want to nibble (as Google search and click trends may indicate).

Enough with the metaphor, here are our top tips to enroll your incoming 2020 cohort and work toward your enrollment goals for 2021.

Read on for tips to produce the catch even on a bad day. (ok, so we are still using the metaphor).

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30 Global Turnkey Campuses

In our conversations with students, we hear a clamoring for certainty.

We’re betting you hear it too. Stick with us here, we’ve got two solid options to present to you. Doing this right will get your current and prospective students singing your praises all over the internet.

The set up: we can see already that the larger mechanisms for fall enrollment – from visa processing to so many other factors – are delayed at best. Intead is talking to a number of institutions that understand our new realities and are taking their student first philosophies to a new level.

In hearing from university presidents about all of the very real administrative machinations that make our new abnormal SO incredibly challenging for institutions, some are saying, “That’s not your problem, its ours.

That right there is innovation speaking. That is institutional leaders understanding why they have their jobs in the first place.

The opposite is also happening. Telling your students (domestic or international) to “wait and see” is not putting your students first and it is not a competitive advantage.

Institutions explaining why they cannot meet students’ (and families’) demands for certainty because of cumbersome internal bureaucracies and systems, well, those institutions will reap what they sow. In this crisis, the nimble (or rich) survive.

Giving students concrete options to move forward right now is where you want to be. Acting now to offer a clear plan for students to maintain their track toward graduation and do more than remote learning programs will cement more of your student relationships for the next four years.

Read on for two specific paths that will serve your international and domestic students in ways that will preserve their graduation timetable and your tuition revenue stream.

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New Revenue Sources: Your Success Depends on It

How does a university facing reduced enrollment find new sources of revenue? Let's get specific. 

There are a number of answers to this question. And they hinge a bit on how much time your institution has. Is this need for diversified sources urgent, as in, “Let’s get a new program out there this summer to increase fall enrollment”? Or do you have funds (endowment or reserves) to draw upon for the next year to weather the storm, allowing new revenue sources to be developed more slowly?

Either way, the response will require speed -- not a strong suit for academic institutions in general. And it requires a level of nimble creativity and well-coordinated collaboration. These are hard combinations to pull together. But mostly, it is the compressed length of time to bring a new idea to market that will likely be your biggest challenge.

With this post we are offering a range of ideas for new academic programs that you can offer to students across the country and around the world. For the most part, these are all programs that you can create from what you have on hand already. There’s a bit of repackaging and rebranding required. And an innovative delivery system. But it can all be done in the time you have available.

What’s the catch? Why haven’t you done this before? Well…

To succeed at this, you must have support from the those at the top and the ability to innovate. Easier said than done. But now your success depends on just that — getting it done. 

Want to find a way to fill the looming holes in your revenue streams? Our recommendations and tips follow.

This is not for the feint of heart. Buckle up and read on.

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Can Boot Camps Go to University?

Thinking about tech boot camps as a new revenue stream? We are.

If you've not already read last weeks post about Full On Armchair Recruiting with clear and supported guidance on what comes next for student enrollment, student experience and student services, well, we highly recommend it ; -)  We've received a fair number of emails from your peers who found the advice highly valuable as they make plans for fall 2020 and beyond.

Here's the thing: given anticipated and imminent enrollment drops, new revenue sources are going to be really important.

With all the changes happening now and coming down the pike for academia, we want to continue to look forward and point the way for how your institution demonstrates its value and hopefully finds new revenue sources. Turns out, in this environment, thinking about new revenue streams has suddenly taken on a fevered pitch. That's a good thing. We LOVE innovation.

You and your colleagues have likely talked about the quick-hit education providers cropping up in the form of coding boot camps. We’ve been keeping an eye on these burgeoning businesses ourselves. After all, they’ve been sprouting like weeds over the past eight or so years.

Their aim is to teach practical skills to nontraditional students looking to enter or change careers or move up the professional ladder. Courses tend to use project-based learning to cover topics like full-stack web development, digital marketing, data analytics, UX/UI design, cybersecurity, cryptocurrency, blockchain and more.

Universities have seen this as a threat to their engineering and IT offerings. But are they truly threats?

Within the past few months, Michigan State University, George Washington University and the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies each announced their own tech boot camp (or fintech) programs. There are others taking this direct competitive approach.

The trick for many universities is that their infrastructure is not necessarily set up to provide continuous, short-run programs. One challenge for boot camps is that their administrative infrastructure is slim and stuggles to support scaled growth. They also struggle with credibility. Will their certificates have value for the graduates over time?

Can you see where we’re going with this?

There’s an opportunity for a symbiotic relationship that can benefit students, local economies and your respective programs. Enrollment marketing, take note! Read on.

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What’s Your Recruiting Superpower?

A serious question for you: what should your recruitment team and The Avengers have in common?

We hope your answer isn’t fashion sense, although if you’ve been wearing capes to any student fairs recently, that’s certainly one way to attract attention!

The Avengers know the secret to a powerful team: skill diversity. As you build your own roster of recruitment superheroes, it is important to consider the specific “superpowers” needed to be effective at each stage of the recruitment funnel. And yes, each stage is different. Ensuring that you have the right staff member in the right place at the right time will be paramount to achieving your enrollment goals.

Having just returned from the ICEF and AIRC conference conversations in December, we feel compelled to consider your staffing needs. Do you have the right people in the right seats with the right skills?

So, what are these superpowers, you ask?

We’ve created a helpful infographic to guide you through team roles and needed skills at each stage of the funnel. Use it to assess your own team structure and identify areas for professional development. Keep this funnel in mind as you draft job descriptions and make hiring decisions and remember to consider both the hard and soft skills new team members may bring to the table.

Avengers assemble! And read on…

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