- California and Pennsylvania are making efforts to boost enrollment in their community college systems, utilizing different approaches to target underrepresented student populations, according to Inside Higher Ed.
- A California proposal seeks to close gaps caused by declining enrollment over the last 10 years by creating an online-only college which targets unemployed or underemployed adults who may want additional schooling.
- Pennsylvania is looking to use an "interactive television" model to reach students in rural areas. The Rural Regional College of Northern Pennsylvania will target students living in nine counties in the northwestern part of the state where there are no public community colleges. The state’s Department of Education approved the new school last month, where students will interact on television with an instructor teaching students live.
As more potential students question the role of a traditional four-year college degree and as non-traditional students become a larger piece of the population colleges serve, institutions may benefit if they start considering the college as services rather than a physical location. Some schools have partnered with international universities to offer ‘microcampuses,’ offering dual-degree programs for students who cannot make the journey to the United States. Institutions could benefit if they start viewing the services they offer as tied to an approach rather than a location, a trend that is increasing.
Cutting back on physical campus space in lieu of offering more remote sites could cut down on administrative and maintenance costs of expansive facilities, and it could increase the revenue generated by attracting potential students who may not have previously considered attending college if it meant traveling from home, or going for a full four-year degree. While it could be difficult to entice professors to move to more remote locations to access underrepresented students, a reported rise in freelance work in higher education may introduce a new collection of potential educators to the college classroom. And utilizing tech to enhance the classroom experience can often mean that the professor will not actually need to be in the room to offer a personalized learning experience, as is purported to be the case at Pennsylvania’s new school.