- Between 2014 and 2015, Simmons College increased its online graduate degree program revenue from more than $5 million to over $45 million, and projects figures to surpass $60 million this year, according to reporting by Inside Higher Ed.
- Enrollment at the private women's college has jumped since the launch of its two its online degree programs in nursing and social work, with more than 2,500 students in part- and full-time study.
- Officials working in the online degree offerings say that the keys to success are in effectively managing personnel, gathering student feedback and fine-tuning the academic offerings to better fit the distance learning environment.
While there has been much talk about the need for increased access to programs via online courses, the keys to Simmons' success in online learning don't lie exclusively in the fact that programs are available through distance modules. Another key determinant of the success is the fact that the courses are developed in key industries for a region expanding in these critical areas. For colleges seeking to boost enrollment and tuition revenue, developing online programs in areas such as healthcare, supply chain management, business and professional services are the keys to alignment with labor trends and in cultivating student interest.
Academic leaders should work closely with marketing managers to develop online marketing strategies in keyword purchasing, SEO management and strategic online ad placement to ensure that potential learners in a city or state seeking are aware of programs and connections to jobs.