networked institution
By: David K. Moldoff

The Networked Institution

Addressing Learners from around the world.


Learner Mobility and Degree Completion

For many reasons, learners swirl through the post-secondary education pipeline.  It's not just here in the United States.   Learner mobility is a mega global trend.  Learners change institutions partially completing credentials. They change areas of study.  They stop out.  They re-enter somewhere else - sometimes years later.  They even choose to study in another country.   

Impact on Learners:  We know the added cost, time and delay in completion - and employment is significant.   Time to a degree can extend well beyond two years for an associate and four years for an undergraduate.  Post graduate studies also has been extended by learner mobility as they seek advanced degrees aligned with career pathways.  

Impact on Institutions:  We know the rising effort and cost to compete for today's learners - especially for those who persist to completion, given the social phenomenon is increasing.  The impact on revenue and the added cost of working with other institutions can be significant.  The  alternative learning sources that make up part of the degree pathway with substitutions increases the cost of advising as students need more attention.  

Impact on Commerce and Industry: The economic imperative addressing the 21st century workforce needs led by industry, government and workforce development communities highlights the complexity and dependencies of competing for talent.  Mobility reflects patterns of movement drawn by economics.   The retooling, tuning and alignment is a continual process competing for resources, priority and funding from government or private sources.



Responding to the new norm:  Institutions partner with other colleges and universities locally and around the world.   It calls out the rise of the "Networked Institution" linked to support learner completion.   Institutions are adjusting by recognizing the need to work together.

Informal Advising: Some institutions choose to advise prospective learners on how they would count (or not) coursework completed at partner institutions through informal advice.  This informal advice may be missleading, one-off and stale, given how curriculum changes.  

International Partnerships:  Working with third party agents and promoting alternative campuses or partnerships under various trading names has helped some institutions work around the high cost of importing prospective learners.  

Transfer Friendly:  Some institution provide a prospective degree audit to uncover how external learning impacts the study plan and costs prior to enrollment.  The more responsive these institutions are translates to higher enrollment.     

Guided Pathways:  Working with partner institutions offering shared degree plans by programs of study, some instituitions are marketing guided pathways in regional markets.  This involves publishing one version of guided pathway both instititions utilize.  But it also means the institutions need to coordinate updates and changes on a regular basis.  

Industry Partnerships:  Some institutions reach out to corporations and work through government agencies stimulated by workforce development initiatives that stress the call for improved learning outcomes.  Adult learners returning to college to finish is still a huge opportunity for many institutions.  

Updating Technology:  The right automation can go a long way in helping an institution scale responsive services and address institutional concerns about academic credit portability.   There is a big difference working stand alone compared to working with other institutions on a shared platform.  The later provides greater access to information supporting guidannce with automated workflows that tracks all the events, decisions and oversight. 

When you need help with automating workflows, give AcademyOne a call.  Checkout a demonstration or webinar to see first hand how our software is changing the way institutions address learner mobility and leverage academic credit portability.