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How To Avoid the Pitfalls That Can Derail Your Enrollment Success

Blended Learning

How To Avoid the Pitfalls That Can Derail Your Enrollment Success

By Jeanne Frawley Hope is here, with a couple of caveats. As we enter the late-Covid class recruitment stage, recruitment is ripe with opportunity. Students have said they’re interested in heading back to campus. Yet, our least-represented students – both culturally and socioeconomically – are more disconnected than ever. How do we balance the excitement of returning to in-person learning with intentional outreach to our underrepresented students? As enrollment officers know, the racial and socioeconomic gaps are growing. This concern predates the last year, but the pandemic accelerated the issue. As Desmond Tutu reminds us, “There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in.” Last year, I wrote a post about recruiting in uncertain times. Those who found success had one thing in common – they recognized where families really were…

The Residence Hall Is Now A Classroom

Blended Learning

The Residence Hall Is Now A Classroom

By Teresa de Onis Summary Your residence halls are where most online learning is taking place now and where students will enhance their in-class experience after the pandemic is over, both in their rooms and in newly created learning and collaboration spaces. Modern Wi-Fi is key to delivering the new academic experiences, and there may be an opportunity to apply American Rescue Plan Act funds to this effort due to the changes in instructions your school has and will continue to implement. The Residence Hall Is Now a Classroom Smart thinkers and innovators in higher education are exploring how remote learning might be applied to amplify and even revolutionize the higher ed experience and how blending synchronous and asynchronous modalities with traditional, in-classroom learning might dramatically improve the way students and faculty interact and collaborate with each other. For small to mid-size colleges and universities looking to attract, retain, and…

ACE2021 Virtual Conference Recap

Blended Learning

ACE2021 Virtual Conference Recap

By Teresa de Onis “We love learning but hate school.” This was one of the learnings in a study of disadvantaged youths in Los Angeles cited by Dr. Paul LeBlanc, President of Southern New Hampshire University, in a session titled “The New U: The Age of Continuous Connection” at the American Council on Education Annual Meeting. Dr. LeBlanc’s point was clear: This is the mantra of the current student – the digital natives – and higher ed needs to understand this type of thinking and begin building new business models stat. ACE2021 took place this past week in a virtual setting. Readers may recall that ACE2020 was canceled last year, and there was no time to move to a virtual format, so it was great to attend this year. The investment of the time and money was well worth it. I want to use today’s blog post as a recap…

Students Should Not Fund the Technology Gap

Blended Learning

Students Should Not Fund the Technology Gap

By Jeanne Frawley As drops in student enrollment and retention due to the pandemic continue to cause financial challenges for higher ed, it’s time to address some root causes of these beyond the pandemic. As institutions seek to diversify the student body – ethnically, geographically, socioeconomically – we must find the gaps and align resources to provide solutions. Often, the first response to an enrollment or retention issue is to look at tuition costs. Institutions increase discount rates or reset tuition list prices but end up finding themselves in a race to the bottom as this response fails to address the educational value proposition. College tuition is expensive, and income inequality is at the highest rate we’ve seen since the 1920’s. Yet we see high-need students with full-tuition scholarships leaving our universities before graduation. Clearly, it’s not just about the money. It’s about value, resources, and bandwidth. Value is subjective.…

Top 10 Higher Ed Predictions for 2021

Blended Learning

Top 10 Higher Ed Predictions for 2021

By Teresa de Onis and Matt Loecke For many of us, the best thing that can be said about 2020 is that it finally came to an end. Let’s face it: it was a challenging year by almost any measure. It seemed there were fewer of those Year in Review shows that are usually popular come mid-December, while our New Year’s Eve celebrations were likely more out with the old than in with the new. We’re all glad to put 2020 behind us. But there’s a bright light on the horizon. Highly effective vaccines are rolling out, in no small part from the contributions of higher education. And an incredible transformation of higher education has begun. If there’s been a silver lining to emerge from the disruption, it’s that colleges and universities everywhere have started to rethink the way education is delivered. We all agree there is something special about…

It’s Time to Rightsize

Blended Learning

It’s Time to Rightsize

By Teresa de Onis A friend’s daughter is a freshman at a small university here in Texas. On a recent Sunday morning, her Wi-Fi connection in her residence hall dropped. [Sidenote: NOT an Apogee partner, ahem.] Thinking the problem must be on her end, she fired off a rapid series of urgent texts to dad. My internet’s not working. Why can’t I connect? Uggggh. Campus group chats lit up to discuss. Wi-Fi was down all over campus. You’d be forgiven for assuming internet usage among college students would be low on an early Sunday morning. But the story above reaffirms what most of us already knew: Generation Z would rather lose an arm than lose their internet connection. Recent statistics around Generation Z internet usage back this up. More than any previous generation, Gen Z begins using electronic devices at an early age. While younger members of the cohort may…

The High-Stakes Role of IT in Blended Learning

Blended Learning

The High-Stakes Role of IT in Blended Learning

By Teresa de Onis The disruption created by the COVID-19 pandemic compels us to too often focus on the shortcomings of our response. It’s reinforced by what happens to be a pretty healthy process for learning to do things better and more effectively. As we’ve discussed here in recent posts, there are considerable advantages to come for those campuses that understand and execute on these ideas. Higher education has long thirsted for meaningful innovation, and we can see it on the horizon. But there’s also a lot to celebrate for IT leaders and their teams now. Given the impossible task of transitioning the whole of your school’s class catalog online in the middle of a busy Spring 2020 semester, you knocked it out of the park almost overnight. No added budget or resources. Little in the way of knowledge or training for faculty unfamiliar with online teach and learn. It’s…

Differentiate With A Blended Learning Strategy

Blended Learning

Differentiate With A Blended Learning Strategy

By Teresa de Onis The steps you take now to improve your online product serve both your institution’s short-term and long-term interests. The more you lean into blended learning as a way to attract, retain, and graduate students, the more value a robust online experience will provide. Enhance traditional learning, don’t replace it Blended learning is here to stay. This isn’t because we believe a return to a purely traditional model isn’t possible, but because the value online learning offers as an enhancement to traditional learning is so exciting. In the months since the pandemic started, in your personal life, how many times have you caught yourself saying, “this is one change I hope sticks around”? We already see the massive potential for synchronous and asynchronous modalities to improve the in-class experience. These changes aren’t going anywhere. Imagine a student sitting in class, simultaneously streaming the lecture happening right in…

Inspire New Levels of Collaboration in Online Learning

Blended Learning

Inspire New Levels of Collaboration in Online Learning

By Teresa de Onis Federal data showed that pre-COVID-19 one-third of all enrolled college students took at least one online class. The rate during COVID-19 has skyrocketed, with official numbers yet to be released. While it’s impossible to understate the value of online learning during the pandemic, for small and midsized schools whose pedagogy is centered around intimate, highly collaborative in-person engagement, online learning is bemoaned by faculty. Many hoped that the pandemic might help professors see more value in online learning, but a new survey conducted last month found that the proportion of higher ed instructors who see online learning as effective is only at 49 percent. The good news: that’s up from 39 percent in a similar survey in May after emergency remote learning was implemented. It’s too easy to accept that online learning is ineffective or will always produce poor levels of engagement. It’s imperative that we…