- In a talk titled "Engagement Beyond the LMS" Friday at the Educause 2012 conference, Northern Virginia Community College's Steven Sachs said that attracting and keeping students in the competitive online education market has more to do with an institution's ability to cater to online students' desires than it does affordability, instructional quality and a legacy brand.
- At the height of the online education boom in 2009, NOVA was experiencing only a 7% increase in its online student population while for-profits saw enrollment increases in the double-digits.
- Sachs, who is the school's vice president for instructional and information technology, says research showed that the biggest difference between NOVA and its for-profit competition was their spending of over half their budgets on student support services--and the school has seen its online enrollment increase since investing $2 million in the "Next Level Initiative" project, which focuses on boosting online student support services.
From the article:
DENVER - In 2009, at the height of the online education boom, Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) was experiencing barely a rumble. Online enrollments at for-profit institutions such as the University of Phoenix and DeVry University grew by 22 and 37 percent that year. Nonprofit universities, too, were scaling up their online arms. But at NOVA, the online student population increased 7 percent - the same rate as its on-campus population. ...