There was definitely a vibe in the air at UPCEA’s recent 99th Annual Conference in Miami! The event theme was “Own the Moment,” and true to this call, attendees and exhibitors were energized by the opportunities they were starting to see as the university environment evolves.
As Alice S. Warren, Chair of the 2014 UPCEA Annual Conference and Advisory Committee put it on the conference website, “We are at a critical point in higher education. As leaders of Professional and Continuing Education, we have the opportunity to take charge of our missions and goals, to serve adult students with quality continuing education and online programs, to demonstrate the impact our programs are making to the constituents served, and to contribute to the success of the overall mission, vision, and strategic goals of our institutions.”
How higher education professionals are embracing the evolving environment
One of the biggest challenges I discussed with attendees while I was manning Ungerboeck Software International’s trade show booth was around how higher education professionals could identify new ways to increase community engagement with their continuing education program. In some cases, attendees expressed the importance of offering unique conferences for adult students to attend. In other cases, we discussed the growing need to understand their target audience better to increase enrollment.
It was clear that the greater pressure to adapt to ta changing university environment meant that managing the details and relating to the community were more important than ever. The student of today is looking for a more specialized approach to education. It’s less about the four-year degree, which makes continuing education programs even more appealing.
To meet their goals, I was able to talk to a lot of higher education professionals about how software built just for their market can solve problems exactly like these. To this end, I’ve also posted a recent blog highlighting six reasons using customer relationship management software is vital to an institution’s continuing education program.
Providing students with the right tools to be successful in the workforce is challenging without the most current technology. The face of a student is changing, and higher education professionals have to utilize their resources differently.