Part three of a three-part series.
If your institution wants to maintain control of the future of its programs but needs help getting started or making a switch from an OPM, an online program enablement (OPE) partnership may be the answer.
OPEs provide data transparency, support development of your team and position your programs for long-term success. OPE companies typically operate in a fixed fee or hybrid model, requiring financial investment from the institution in lieu of an OPM revenue share agreement. The benefit is that when your programs do take off, the profit is all yours.
Four Factors for Evaluating OPE Companies
When evaluating OPEs, think long term. Understand your institution’s long-term vision for learning and build a five-year plan that takes into consideration market demand, how it aligns with your institution’s academic strengths and market competition. This will help you set realistic expectations for growth.
The following factors will help you identify the right OPE for your institution – one that will support development of a successful partnership and prioritize your institution’s goals.
- Consistent Expectations: Openly discuss your expectations for the partnership including transparency of data, processes, reporting of outcomes and enrollment growth.
- Proven Success: Identify OPEs with proven track records. Talk with their current clients, ask about successes and challenges (all partnerships have both), how challenges were addressed, and how the OPE plans to maintain the partnership.
- Flexibility: Determine if the OPE is willing or able to flex on the services they provide. During the course of the partnership, you may want to develop internal capacity to assume some of the OPE functions. Will the OPE help you do so and then pivot to providing other services you need? Conversely, you may find you need the OPE to assume additional functions, particularly at the start of a partnership. Can the OPE pivot in a timely manner to do so?
- Culture: Consider the culture of the OPE. Does it seem like the OPE is presenting a “plug and play” approach? In other words, do they offer a formulaic approach to supporting your programs, or do they demonstrate an authentic interest in developing a sustainable collaboration, in understanding your institution, programs and goals? Do they demonstrate a true partnership versus a vendor approach? Are they using data to inform their strategy and continually adjust?
Investing in the Future
Diversified learning options are essential to long-term success. However, building a long-term strategy is complex. With an OPE company guiding institutions to overcome market challenges, those schools can reach more students and maintain ownership over their programs.
Own the future of your programs by working with an OPE company like Collegis Education that has the people, processes and technology in place to positively impact your entire institution.
This is the final article in a three-part series. Read the other articles: The Hidden Secrets of an Online Program Management Company and OPE: A Better Alternative for Long-Term Growth.