August 13, 2019
We recently held a one-day conference for developing and marketing online programs in Chicago.
Not surprisingly, much of the conversation centered around answering the question, “How do we decide what new programs to offer?”
In general, the protocol for deciding which majors to offer online is not that different than deciding on new programs for traditional-age students, adult students, and even graduate students. The one particular question, of course, is whether or not the program is suitable to offer online or even in a hybrid situation.
With that preamble in place, here is a quick checklist that I go through when working with a client that is interested in new programs:
As a rule of thumb, I like proposed new majors that address the following questions:
The final question, of course, is:
10. Can we “well deliver” this program online? Will it be a great experience for students?
If the answer to this final question is “no” then any further discussion about this potential new program is mute.
If you look at this list of questions the odds are high that no one program will “green light” on all these variables. However, the programs with the greatest chance of marketplace success will likely have more “yeas” than “nays” in response to the questions above.
NOTE: The checklist above is drawn from a larger “business plan for new majors” document.