Founded in 1906 and located in the historic Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, Suffolk University is a private research institution that serves approximately 10,000 students. As part of a focused expansion effort designed to serve the needs of a broader range of learners, Suffolk had identified potential new graduate programs and needed to better understand how the market would respond to each. Specifically, Suffolk stakeholders required supportive data to determine program viability and design, recruitment tactics, and marketing priorities in order to leverage their resources efficiently and effectively.
In 2015, Suffolk leadership retained Stamats to conduct an academic program demand assessment for eight graduate-level programs in the College of Arts and Sciences. As part of the assessment, our teams studied national, regional, and local interest trends in each field of study; reviewed competitor programs that were likely to draw from the same pool of prospective students; examined program details such as delivery format, degree completion time, cost, and reputation; reviewed job trends; and explored other factors that would impact program success. The goal of the assessment was to empower the university’s strategic decision-making by providing data on competitors active in Suffolk’s primary recruitment area, comparable program offerings around the nation, and the unique opportunities and challenges facing each program.
Based on Stamats’ assessment findings, our research team was able to provide broad market insights and detailed program-by-program recommendations on pricing, delivery, competitive brand positioning, website asset development, and recruitment messaging. Presented on-site in an easy-to-understand graphic format and paired with a thorough question-and-answer session, the data have provided a valuable foundation for Suffolk leadership as they continue to refine program planning and prepare for rollout.