Online programs are a relatively recent addition to the overall higher education timeline, but they’ve rapidly grown in popularity over the last several years. More and more students are finding they prefer the flexibility and convenience that distance education provides. Now, institutions that are just beginning to embrace the virtual classroom are facing a pivotal moment as they determine what it will take to successfully launch online offerings.
For most schools, the way forward comes down to choosing between two methods. The first option is to select an online program management (OPM) company, which provides a full suite of services for no initial payment in return for a considerable portion of tuition revenue later on. The other method is an unbundled approach that involves a school bolstering their internal efforts while partnering with one or more fee-for-service vendors to fill gaps — and it requires significant upfront investments.
From a financial perspective, it can be difficult to determine which of these two options is the better fit for any given institution. The decision of whether to choose an OPM or an unbundled approach really boils down to evaluating six key elements:
- Upfront investments
- Potential risks
- Needed services
- Who has decision-making authority
- Contractual restrictions
- Future earnings
Clearly, choosing a method for bringing programs online is a complex decision that requires input from numerous stakeholders and a firm understanding of the institution’s needs, vision for the future and current economic standing. Find out how to frame important conversations related to online program enablement and choose the path that meets your objectives by downloading this complimentary resource.
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