I visited a campus recently to meet with the president’s cabinet to discuss optimum enrollment size for their institution. They were a very pragmatic group, so this was not an abstract, blue-sky discussion. As we reviewed the various strategies for enrollment growth, we turned to the question of new programs to offer and reviewed data on programs that are in high demand.
Then the vice president for enrollment asked a good question. “These data show what current programs are in high demand in our market. How do we know if there is some new program, that nobody is offering, that would attract lots of students if we offered it?”
I get this question a lot. It’s not the only reason why so many schools are doing program demand studies. They also want to understand why enrollment levels are low in some programs and if it is because demand has fallen. Or they want to migrate a campus-based program to online delivery and need to know if that will drive students away or expand the market.