Why do some programs grow while others fail

SALT 2010 Orlando, Florida

Why some programs grow while others fail, SALT 2010 Orlando, Florida, March 2010

This paper presentation addressed why some college continuing professional education programs are growing, while other programs are declining. Using quantitative data from course enrollments for the past six years as a quantitative measure of program growth, and a survey of staff and faculty supporting the programs, OnLine Training’s institutional research component addressed the question.

OLT offers continuing professional education courses nation-wide and works with approximately 23 colleges providing online continuing professional education courses. Most of these courses are mandatory pre-licensing courses. OLT tracks course by course, and program by program enrollments. During this period of economic downturn OLT noted that some programs are growing rapidly, while at the same time other programs appear to be in decline. This research effort addresses the question, what factors are associated with program growth and what factors are associated with program decline. Eight growth factors were identified and sixteen decline factors were also identified.

The primary factors associated with growth appear to be attitudinal and personnel related. Those programs oriented on growth, which are actively managed, with a large product mix are enjoying strong growth. The factors associated with decline are a mix between institutional and a failure to understand the factors associated with maintaining a viable program. For more information please contact OLT at 561-283-0333.