Regional institutions struggle with sustainability of business model
Tense budget stand-offs have forced regional colleges to reconsider the sustainability of their models, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports.
Absent the big athletics programs and high level research that draws students to flagship institutions, the article said, many institutions are undergoing "de facto mission changes."
- One expert suggests regional colleges look to their community college counterparts as peers and consider repositioning more like those smaller institutions, focusing more on applied degrees aligned with the regional workforce.
Declining populations and dwindling resources have forced a number of institutions to reconsider their models and get creative about their value propositions.
In an interview with Education Dive last week, one board member said absent a perfect storm of population, recognizable institutional brand and unique smatterings of program offerings, many smaller institutions find themselves struggling.
Many institutions are not likely ready to concede the perceived prestige that goes along with the current four-year model, even as they face the grim budget realities and declining enrollment numbers that are plaguing the nation.
Many argue that focusing exclusively on the regional workforce will limit these institutions too much and further hinder their ability to serve a broad population of students. Too, a heavy focus on vocational and career-track training further diminishes the role of the liberal arts in higher ed.
- Chronicle of Higher Education Where does the regional state institution go from here?
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