From Instructional Designer to Learning Engineer

Reported by Inside Higher Ed, Northwestern University has recently hired three learning engineers. Distinct from instructional designers, these learning engineers conduct analytical research and drive technological change at the program level, while Northwestern’s instructional designers are often focused on building individual courses. The takeaway? While “instructional designer” has served as a helpful catch-all word to […]

The Secret to Student Engagement Is…Religious Affinity?

Is the secret to student engagement…religious affinity? Reported by EAB, 190,000 survey responses from the Wall Street Journal ranked colleges and universities on their student engagement, including how challenged and inspired students feel on campus. The top 5 scoring institutions (and 8 of the top 11) were religiously affiliated, including Dordt College, Oklahoma Baptist University, […]

St. Mary’s College of Maryland Incorporates Career Development into Their Courses

Can students get a degree without ever knowing what’s next after graduation? Reported by The Chronicle of Higher Education, even though a STEM field like Physics feels pretty safe’ish from a career perspective, the American Physical Society announced a $2.2 million effort devoted to helping students better understand their employment and career path possibilities post-degree. […]

Top 7 Challenges Facing Higher Education

What are the biggest challenges facing higher ed? 2,000 faculty shared their top 7. Reported by EAB, 2,000 college and university faculty were surveyed on the biggest issues they’re facing at their own institution. These rank, in order, insufficient funding, maintaining or increasing academic standards, decreased enrollment, student retention, staffing, completion, and graduates not being […]

The Enrollment Growth Strategy of Price-Matching

If you can’t beat them, match them. Reported by EAB, several private institutions have introduced tuition price-matching programs. For example, beginning next Fall, qualified students can attend Oglethorpe University for the same tuition and fees rate as their home state’s flagship institution. Some institutions like Robert Morris University even offer a price-match plus option, providing […]

The Year of the Women’s College

It’s the year of the women’s college. Reported by Inside Higher Ed, more and more students are intentionally choosing women’s-only colleges. For instance, Bryn Mawr College has experienced a 8% increase in applications since 2016, and Barnard College, a 10% increase. Theories include the strength of the #MeToo movement, and a greater cultural focus on […]

Using Virtual Reality to Enhance Academic Enhancement

Is virtual reality ready to provide students with a more immersive learning experience? Reported by Campus Technology, in a pilot program by Berkeley College, 79% of students reported feeling more engaged with the course materials when using VR apps. These interactions included international business students virtually visiting North Korea, and an entrepreneurship class getting pitched […]

Scaling Motivation is Crucial to Democratizing Higher Education

Knowledge is progressively becoming free. But education isn’t. When I entered higher education nearly 10 years ago, I did so because I believed we were at the precipice of the democratization of higher education. That self-paced AI-assisted high-quality education was a pin-drop away from truly revolutionizing higher education. And my biggest wakeup call over this […]

Capital University Provides Tuition Discounts for Mission-Centric Families

Good guys actually finish first, or at least their children can now get ½ off their tuition. Reported by Inside Higher Ed, Capital University has launched their “Good Guarantee”, offering ½-price tuition for undergraduates whose families have chosen “mission-centric” careers in nonprofit and public-service work. The takeaway? There are many different strategies for promoting your […]

Are Apprenticeships an Underlooked Solution to Higher Ed Degree Completion?

Could apprenticeships be a strong alternative for RNs to obtain their BSN? According to a new report by New America, hospitals with more BSN’s do generate better patient outcomes, but asking RN’s to get their degree while working full-time is admittedly difficult. That’s what’s so appealing about the promise of nursing apprenticeship programs. These apprenticeships […]

Why You Should Be Bullish on Higher Ed’s Ability to Innovate

For those who say higher ed is slow to innovate, we sure are making some serious progress in higher ed, folks. We’re utilizing new technologies, and we’re seriously questioning them. We’re experimenting with micro-grants for our financially struggling students to keep them persisting to graduation. We’re exploring the affordability of open educational resources, and the […]

Do Higher Ed Tuition Resets Actually Lead to Enrollment Growth?

Do tuition resets actually reset an institution’s enrollment growth trajectory? Reported by Inside Higher Ed, The University of the Cumberlands will cut their on-campus undergraduate tuition by 57% next year, from a $23,000 sticker price down to $9,875. Like many tuition resets, this one mostly impacts the university’s discount rate, with students actually saving $1,298 […]

How Will Employer-Sponsored Tuition Transform Higher Ed?

Will higher education as an employment benefit transform higher ed? With more and more global companies like Disney, Walmart and Amazon offering relatively free college for their employees (for specific programs and through specific institutions), will this employer-sponsored model change how adults seek to degree complete? The takeaway? As national employers begin to take education […]

Open Educational Resources Save Ohio University Students $1 Million in Textbooks This Year

65% of students decided not to buy a textbook because it was too expensive, even though they expected it to diminish their grade. Reported by Education Dive, while textbook costs continue to create a financial burden for higher ed students, Ohio University’s campaign for their faculty’s adoption of Open Educational Resources is expected to save […]

How Temple University’s Fly in 4 Programs Keeps Students In Class Instead of At Work

Could small grants be a smart economic solution to replace the earnings from part-time jobs and ensure our first-generation students persist? Reported by EAB, Temple University’s “Fly in 4” initiative is designed specifically to reduce students’ reliance on part-time employment earnings. At Temple, students working more than 15 hours a week at off-campus jobs had […]

How to Personalize Online Education Without Artificial Intelligence

In discussions about “personalized learning” in online education, the conversation often turns toward artificial intelligence and the promise of self-paced learning. And those conversations are absolutely exciting. But there is another aspect of personalized learning in online education that often gets overlooked. The actual person. And their interactions with other persons. Where we move from […]

University of Texas at Dallas Adds Quickbooks Bootcamp to Accounting Program

Would an accounting bootcamp teach students how to use Quickbooks? Reported by EdSurge, accounting courses at the University of Texas at Dallas teach students classroom theory, and then practice applying that theory using real-life work scenarios via the popular accounting software, Quickbooks. Rather than graduating students who understand advanced theory but don’t know how to […]

Dual Enrollment Programs are Saving Students a Semester of College

Do dual enrollment programs improve a student’s likelihood to graduate? Reported by Inside Higher Ed, 61% of students who enter the University of Texas System are now bringing college credit with them, through dual-enrollment credit and/or Advanced Placement credit. These students who enroll at UT with existing credit have a higher retention rate, and are […]

Students Aren’t Afraid of the Academics, But They’re Still Afraid They Won’t Finish

For students who aren’t confident they’ll complete their degree, it’s not necessarily the academics themselves they’re nervous about. Reported by EdSurge, nearly a quarter of students 18 and older currently enrolled at a 2- or 4-year institution believe it will be difficult for them to finish their degree. From a study conducted in partnership with […]

Micro-grants as Stop-Out and Drop-Out Prevention at University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Are micro-grants a solution to student stop-outs and drop-outs? Reported by the Hechinger Report, 70% of students who leave UNC-Charlotte late in their program do so for financial reasons. In response, the university has created Gold Rush micro-grants (typically around $1,500) to help students stay enrolled. And 95% of these micro-grant recipients have either successfully […]

Paying Faculty More to Teach Online at Colorado Mesa University

For institutions who struggle persuading their full-time instructors to start teaching online, one university found a creative solution. Reported by Inside Higher Ed, Colorado Mesa University incentivizes their instructors based on the number of students and the total number of credits hours enrolled in their online courses. Even with enrollment caps in place on these […]

Incorporating Information Literacy into Higher Ed Course Curriculum

How can we help students fight fake news by teaching them information literacy? In an article by The Chronicle of Higher Education, David Gooblar from the University of Iowa provided advice on how to incorporate information literacy into your courses. His advice includes partnering with your librarians on-campus to incorporate learnings in your classroom, teaching […]

Princeton University’s Principedia is Response to Anonymous Course Review Sites

Students continue to utilize course review sites like to share their course experiences, determine a course’s difficulty, and learn a professor’s hot-or-not’ness before enrolling. Reported by The Chronicle of Higher Education, Princeton University in response has published a more transparent and comprehensive student review of courses, through a forum they’ve named Principedia. Any Princeton […]

Fayetteville State University Adjusts Physical Campus Space Due to Online Student Migration

As higher ed’s student body begins to migrate more and more online, how do our physical on-campus spaces need to adjust? Reported by The Chronicle of Higher Education, Fayetteville State University is demolishing two unoccupied dormitories. But it’s not because Fayetteville State is struggling from an enrollment perspective – it’s simply that their student body […]

Rutgers University Study Shows Link Between In-Class Device Use and Poorer Test Performance

Do laptops and mobile devices help students in the classroom, or distract them? Reported by Inside Higher Ed, a recent study from Rutgers University was published in Educational Psychology, revealing a causal link between cellphone and laptop use during class and poorer exam scores. Testing student performance against themselves, 118 students were split into two […]

Eastern Michigan University’s In-State Tuition Price Match for International Students

For years, colleges and universities welcomed full-pay international students to help balance out their traditional student tuition discount rate. But with a downtrend in international student interest due to changes in the political climate, some institutions are changing their pricing structure to attract more international students. Reported by Inside Higher Ed, Eastern Michigan University has […]

Vanderbilt University’s Qualitative-Based Faculty Assessments

Vanderbilt University is trying to determine if the qualitative portion of faculty assessments can be better utilized to identify outlier faculty – both your highest and lowest performers. Reported by the Chronicle of Higher Education, Vanderbilt University’s findings were that in order to identify your best and worst professors for any given course, you need […]

University of Michigan’s Subscription-Based Continuing Education

Does a degree you earned 10-20 years ago continue to provide you with real-world relevance? Many institutions are attempting to solve this continuing learning puzzle for their graduates. Reported by The Washington Post, the University of Michigan is offering a subscription-based program that allows their graduates to continue to take courses there, forever. The takeaway […]

Helix Education Brings Home More Bling at 33rd Educational Advertising Awards

Helix’s award-winning in-house creative team brought home more bling for our partners, winning Silver and Merit prizes at the 33rd Annual Educational Advertising Awards. Congratulations to (L to R) David “Sparky” Mortimer, Chris Winkler, Peter Anglea, Hayley Westwood, and Brennan Wall. Silver: Huston-Tillotson University :30 TV Commercial Merit: National Louis University Search Site

2 easy ways to protect your college or university brand from the wrong side of the internet

A beautiful ad for your institution. On-brand. On-message. Carefully concepted. Beautifully designed. And sitting on a website full of inflammatory hate speech. More and more colleges and universities are receiving complaints about ads promoting their institution being served and seen on offensive websites. And the outcry from the complainer is often about why on earth […]

Helix Education Explores Game-Changing Enrollment Growth Strategies in New Playbook Industry Conversations, Considerations and Research Shape Helix Education's Expanded, Step-by-Step Guide to Adult Enrollment Success

The first volume of Helix Education’s Enrollment Growth Playbook sparked thoughtful and critical conversations at institutions around the country, and was lauded as ‘a powerhouse of knowledge’ and ‘must read’. Today, Helix is proud to share the next evolution of its thinking with the release of its expanded playbook. The newest version brings to light […]

Are you A/B testing or A/B hedging?

Marketers often do not want for ideas. Conversations around the creative table often yield a number of different directions a single campaign could go. Thus, the idea of A/B testing seems inherent in the DNA of marketers. But unfortunately, what ends up happening often is that marketers, so close to their babies (ideas), really end […]

You want your goals to produce results, but by addressing symptoms instead of causes, you’re only scratching the surface. Set your sights on what you ultimately hope to achieve instead of focusing first on what you think you need.

Higher Ed’s problem with short-sighted goals

It’s goal-setting time at your institution, and the following ideas float around the table: “We need a new brand!” “We need a new program!” “We need a new website!” While these things may be true, it’s likely that what you really need is more students. You’ve gone through the process—you’ve identified weaknesses in your higher […]