Incentivizing Professional Development Through Credentialing

Would more people take professional development courses if they earned something for them beyond the knowledge itself? Reported by Inside Higher Ed, while certificates of completion from individual courses offer a nice sense of completion, if these courses were steps toward a larger or more recognized certification degree, would enrollment numbers increase? The takeaway? While […]

Cost-Cutting with Academics Off-Limits

On a cost-cutting mission, Drew University has put all academic expenses off limits. Reported by Inside Higher Ed, instead, Drew University has cut day care expenses, retiree health benefits, and public safety staff redundancies compared to peer institutions. The goal is to prioritize student-facing spending, and even launch various new academic programs to prioritize growth […]

More Universities are Offering Blockchain Diplomas

More and more universities are offering students their diplomas in the blockchain. Reported by Education Dive, rather than these transcripts being recognized and verified only by the registrar at these respective institutions, blockchain credentials allow students to have lifelong access to their credentials. The takeaway? As re-skilling and continual education certificates continue to grow in […]

New Report Suggests Less Barriers to Entry into College Than Many Think

NACAC’s annual “State of College Admissions” report helps dispel the myth that college is inaccessible. Reported by Inside Higher Ed, the average 4-year college admits nearly 2/3 of their freshman applicants. This figure doesn’t even include community colleges, which are open admit. The takeaway? College is by no means “easy”, but is more attainable than […]

What Can Our Institutions Learn from Other States’ Adult Promise Programs?

What can our institutions learn from other states’ adult promise programs? Reported by Education Dive, The State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) has been exploring the efficacy of Adult Promise Programs, programs designed to improve completion rates for adult students. These include last-dollar promises (subsidizing those tuition costs financial aid does not cover), and […]

Encouraging Study Abroad Opportunities in a Progressively Global Economy

While international student enrollment continues to decline in America, study abroad participants are growing year over year. Reported by Inside Higher Ed, a full 16% of those students earning bachelor’s degrees will study abroad at some point in their undergraduate career, with the number of American students studying abroad growing 2.3% in the past year. […]

Will AI Replace Teaching or Make Faculty More Human?

Will artificial intelligence replace teaching or make faculty even more human? Reported by EdSurge, Penn State University educators helped paint a picture at the EDUCAUSE national conference of how artificial intelligence and machine learning will help complement and support the work of faculty in the classroom. These include faculty using AI recommendation engines to discover […]

Computer Science Students Moving Beyond Coding

Reported by Inside Higher Ed, most computer science majors aren’t looking to code their entire lives. That’s why institutions like MIT are pushing their faculty members to become “bilinguals”, interdisciplinary specialists who have their feet in both computation and another discipline, better matching the real-world applications of computer science. The takeaway? With more and more […]

MIT Enters the AI Game

MIT is entering the AI Game. Reported by The Chronicle of Higher Education, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is spending $1 billion on a new college devoted to the study of artificial intelligence – both the technologies AI will help create, and the ethical challenges those creations will entail. The takeaway? As AI continues to […]

UC Berkeley Holds First-Generation Career Conference

Reported by EAB, The University of California at Berkeley’s FirstGen program offers an annual career conference where their first-generation students can network specifically with first-generation alumni and employers, and receive both academic and career advice from graduates who have taken a similar path to themselves. The takeaway? For how much these mentor relationships increase our […]

Non-Lecture Format Test at Cal Poly Pomona Raised Pass Rate by 23 Points

A non-lecture format test at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona raised the pass rate of an upper-division engineering course from 66% to 89%. Reported by EAB, Professor Paul Nissenson enlisted the help of two professors from the institution’s psychology and sociology departments to try and increase student achievement for this required course that was causing […]

Can AI Help Penn State Students Find Their Fastest Path to Graduation?

Can artificial intelligence help students find their fastest path to graduation? Reported by Campus Technology, a  team of engineering students at Penn State University won a university competition and $30,000 to help finish developing their LionPlanner app, which uses machine learning to align a student’s career interests with their shortest path to degree completion, and […]

More Institutions are Outsourcing their Gen Ed Curriculum Design to…Google

More institutions are outsourcing their gen ends to…Google. Reported by Inside Higher Ed, students at eight institutions this semester can enroll in introductory computer science and data science courses, developed by Google. Students are excited to learn Google-specific curriculum. And employers (at least Google) will likely be excited to employ students who have taken this […]

Florida Atlantic University Dedicates a New Position to First-Generation Success

While many institutions have academic success and bridge programs for students who enter their institution at the low end of their admission requirements, Florida Atlantic University has just created a new support office, dedicated to first-generation students. Reported by The Chronicle of Higher Education, about ¼ of the university’s students are first-generation, and the goal […]

New Wesleyan University MOOC Provides Career Counseling for Students

While many students have difficulty picturing exactly what their life will look like post-degree, it is of critical importance students understand their post-degree pathway as motivation to keep them moving through their degree program. Reported by EAB, Wesleyan University has created a Career Development MOOC in partnership with Coursera. Career Decisions: From insight to impact […]

What if Cities Saw Universities as Their Biggest Brain Trust?

What if cities saw universities as their biggest brain trust to solve their most pressing problems? Reported by Education Dive, Portland State University is attempting to become that, creating research centers for homelessness and smart city technology. PSU President Rahmat Shoureshi hopes to establish seven self-supporting centers on-campus in downtown Portland. The takeaway? How do […]

Do Free College Programs Actually Hurt the Lowest-Income Students?

Do free college programs actually hurt the lowest income students? Reported by Inside Higher Ed, studies examining tuition-free college programs in New York and Tennessee demonstrate that even “free college” programs don’t account for all the costs of attendance. “Last-dollar” programs, meaning those programs that only cover remaining tuition after federal and state aid have […]

Do Your Development Team Demographics Match Your Future Donors?

Do your development team demographics match your future donors? Reported by Inside Higher Ed, many colleges are rethinking how they staff their development offices to meet the fundraising needs of an increasingly diverse alumni and donor base. With only 11% of front-line fund raisers being persons of colors, according to the Association of Fundraising Professionals, […]

What Happens When a Big Donor Disagrees with a University Decision?

What happens when a big donor disagrees with a university decision? Reported by Inside Higher Ed, Joshua Hunt’s latest book, University of Nike: How Corporate Cash Bought American Higher Education looks at Nike’s founder Phil Knight and his precarious relationship with The University of Oregon, as their top donor. The book details how Knight’s generous […]

Subaru Now Offering an Associate Degree

Reported by Education Dive, students can now earn an associate degree in automotive technology from… Subaru. In partnership with Mt. Hood Community College in Oregon, upon graduation students will be connected with Subaru dealerships in the state for additional hands-on training and a job offer. The takeaway? Employers are looking for qualified workers, and many […]

25 Illinois Colleges are Working Together to Solve Graduation Rate Disparity

Reported by EducationDive, a 2017 National Student Clearinghouse Research Center report showed that white students in Illinois have a 6-year graduation rate of 66%, compared to 36% of black students, and 48% of Latino students. In response, 25 public and private institutions in Illinois launched the Illinois Equity in Attainment Initiative designed to eliminate racial […]

Can Behavioral Economics Motivate the Online Learner?

Can behavioral economics improve the study habits of online learners? Reported by Inside Higher Ed, a study distributed by the National Bureau of Economic Research shows many research attempts to “nudge” students into behavioral modification aren’t creating meaningful academic improvements. These interventions have included personalized faculty communications, incentivizing additional study time and group work, and […]

Six More Institutions are Partnering with edX to Offer Affordable Online Master’s Degrees

Six more institutions are partnering with edX to offer affordable online master’s degrees. Reported by Inside Higher Ed, edX is launching nine new degree programs with institutions including Indiana University, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of California San Diego, and Arizona State University. Two of these degrees price in at $10,000k or […]

Fertility Trends and the Increased Importance of the Non-Traditional Learner

Reported by EAB, Carleton College economist Nathan Grawe predicts that the traditional college-age population in the U.S. will drop by 15% between 2025 and 2029. Specifically, this trend correlates to the reduction of children born in the 4-year period following the Great Recession in 2008, due to financial uncertainty. The takeaway? The pursuit of non-traditional […]

China’s Attempt to Buy its Way into American Higher Education

Can a U.S. college still be classified as such if they’re owned by China? Reported by Inside Higher Ed, Chinese companies are actively attempting to buy U.S. colleges and universities, including most recently, Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. Concerns from faculty, donors and others include that Chinese corporations owned and controlled by the […]

Rhode Island is Paying Students to Apply to College

Rhode Island has started paying students to apply to college. Reported by EAB, the Rhode2College program is designed to provide low-income students with incentives for completing college discovery tasks – the majority of the $2,000 maximum incentive being granted after starting college. These tasks include creating a college short-list, completing federal aid forms, and submitting […]

Florida State University Holds On-Campus Thanksgiving for First-Generation Students

Stuck on campus for Thanksgiving? If you’re a first-generation student at Florida State University, that’s no problem. Reported by EAB, FSU’s Center for Academic Retention and Engagement cook and eat with FSU students stuck on-campus for the holidays due to monetary or family issues. The takeaway? To make sure the students you worked so hard […]

UC-Irvine Forgoes the Lecture Hall for Their New Active Learning Building

UC-Irvine is forgoing the lecture hall in exchange for a new campus building entirely devoted to active learning. Reported by EAB, this 65,000 square foot structure includes 15 smart classrooms and auditoriums, with screens on every wall and flexible furniture designed to better accommodate group learning. UC-Irvine is also requiring their faculty complete an eight-week […]

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 […]