The Admissions Perspective

The Admissions Perspective: How Academic Leaders Are Facing a Continuously Changing State Of Admissions is based on the survey results of enrollment leaders at four-year, not-for-profit Higher Educational Institutions. These fall into a selected group of classifications developed by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement Teaching. Maguire Associates, of Concord, Mass. invited random samples of enrollment leaders, and in both 2014 and 2015, 15 percent responded. The data collection took place in July 2014 and May 2015.  College Enrollments

How concerned are you in improving your admissions process and the value of your institution?  What are the top challenges facing your admission officers and enrollment managers?

These are serious questions that are identified in the study and can greatly impact the engagement, enrollment and retention of student (especially Gen Z & Y) services.

See (community colleges) and (universities and colleges).  Take the Challenge!

Famous “Thought Leadership” Quotes I enjoyed reading in 2016. Happy New Year!

“The absolute justice of the system of things is as clear to me as any scientific fact. The gravitation of sin to sorrow is as certain as that of the earth to the sun, and more so–for experimental proof of the fact is within reach of us all–nay, is before us all in our own lives, if we had but the eyes to see it.” H. Huxley in a Letter of reply to Charles Kingsley (23 September 1860), who had offered him consolation after Huxley’s young son had died some days earlier.

“The smallest good act today is the strategic point from which, months later, you may be able to go on to victories you never dreamed of.” S. Lewis

“Time, like a snowflake, disappears while we’re trying to decide what to do with it.” Frank A Clarke

 “You probably can’t do more, faster. You certainly could do less, sooner.” Tim Ottinger (@tottinge)

“Around computers it is difficult to find the correct unit of time to measure progress. Some cathedrals took a century to complete. Can you imagine the grandeur and scope of a program that would take as long?”

“A client with a blank check kills creativity.” Mokokoma Mokhonoana in “Confessions of a Misfit

“I have observed some common traits in creative people. They are able to totally focus on the problem or issue while at the same time suspending their judgment about it, or what may constitute a good solution. They tend to view the world as a wonderfully complex palette of grays rather than seeing it in black and white terms. They place no time pressure on their need to be creative even though their boss or client may have set very specific deadlines for them. They have a deep and unwavering faith that the answer, or answers, will reveal itself/themselves to them, rather than having an ego-centric view of themselves as being creative. Many view themselves as a conduit rather than a source.” Tom Stirr

“Consensus is no longer adequate for predicting the truth and bureaucracies are no longer capable of enforcing them.  This makes echo chambers inherently unstable without some form of interaffinity group cross fertilization and trading of ideas to keep them from become inbred and decadent. So who wants an echo chamber unless it is an open one?  Who wants an affinity group unless there is a door that club members can use to exit and enter?”  Richard Fernandezin “Suppose It Is a Black Swan

“When all think alike, no one thinks very much.” Walter Lippmann

“The more a feller thinks he knows the less money he seems to make.” Kin Hubbard in “Abe Martin’s Almanack” (1911)

“An Englishman’s mind works best when it is almost too late.” Edgar Vincent,Lord D’Abernon

“It’s ineffably sad that today ‘that’s academic’ often means ‘that’s irrelevant.’”  Nicolas Kristof in “The Dangers of Echo Chambers on Campus

“To preserve mental resources, make low-stakes decisions quickly.” Thought Unfinished (@unfinishthought)

“Decentralization is not the goal. It’s just a tool we use to achieve censorship resistance.  Censorship resistance is the goal.”  Roger Ver (@rogerkver)

“There is a need for organized abandonment: the systematic withdrawal of resources–money, but above all, people–from yesterday’s efforts.” Peter F. Drucker in “Managing in Turbulent Times

The time to ask questions and act upon the answers is not when the institution is in trouble. It is while it is successful. For then it is most likely to have resources allocated to the past, to things that didproduce, to goals that did challenge, to needs that were”  Peter F. Drucker in “Managing in Turbulent Times

“No one respects the flame quite like the fool who’s badly burned. From all this you’d imagine that there must be something learned.  Recriminations fester and the past can never change.”  Pete Townshend “Slit Skirts”

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment.” Romans 12:2-3

Winners say, “There ought to be a better way”. Losers say, “That’s the way it’s always been.”  Sydney J. Harris in “Winners and Losers

“He picked up the lemons that Fate had sent him and started a lemonade-stand.” Elbert Hubbard

“You can learn many things from children.  How much patience you have, for instance.” Franklin P. Jones

“The way out of a rut is small wins” Thought Unfinished (@unfinishthought)

“Honesty consists of the unwillingness to lie to others; maturity, which is equally hard to attain, consists of the unwillingness to lie to oneself.” Sydney J. Harris

“Look up and not down, look forward and not back, look out and not in, and lend a hand!”  Edward Everett Hale in “Ten Times One is Ten” (1870)

“A genuinely creative career is like a milking stool stand on three legs. There must be accident, there must be sweat, there must be dissatisfaction.” Robert Ardrey in “Plays of Three Decades: Thunder Rock / Jeb / Shadow of Heroes”(1968)

“Hope is more patient than despair and so outlasts it.” Yahia Lababidi in “Aphorisms on Art, Morality, Spirit

“It is not despair, for despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not.” “Thus we return once more to the destroying of the Ring,” said Erestor, “and yet we come no nearer. What strength have we for the finding of the Fire in which it was made? That is the path of despair. Of folly I would say, if the long wisdom of Elrond did not forbid me.”

“Despair, or folly?” said Gandalf. “It is not despair, for despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not. It is wisdom to recognize necessity, when all other courses have been weighed, though as folly it may appear to those who cling to false hope. Well, let folly be our cloak, a veil before the eyes of the Enemy! For he is very wise, and weighs all things to a nicety in the scales of his malice. But the only measure that he knows is desire, desire for power; and so he judges all hearts. Into his heart the thought will not enter that any will refuse it, that having the Ring we may seek to destroy it. If we seek this, we shall put him out of reckoning.”

“At least for a while,” said Elrond. “The road must be trod, but it will be very hard. And neither strength nor wisdom will carry us far upon it. This quest may be attempted by the weak with as much hope as the strong. Yet such is often the course of deeds that move the wheels of the world: small hands do them because they must, while the eyes of the great are elsewhere.”

“It is wisdom to recognize necessity, when all other courses have been weighed, though as folly it may appear to those who cling to false hope.” R.R. Tolkien in The Fellowship of the Ring

“Whoever is abandoned by hope has also been abandoned by fear; this is the meaning of the word ‘desperate’.”  Alfred Schopenhauer in “Parerga and Paralipomena” (1851)

“We can be fully conscious of our failings, without being humiliated at the thought.”  Vauvenargues in “Reflections and Maxims” (1746) []

“Most of the good things that have happened to me, happened by accident when I was trying to help someone else.”  Frank A Clarke

“Shooting a bear doesn’t make you a badass. Feeding a polar bear while her cub humps your leg makes you a badass.” >  You Had One Job (@_youhadonejob1)

“One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.” Andy Rooney

“When all you are trying to do is the right thing, it isn’t hard to act, for you have no distractions.”  William Stafford

“Epiphanies often take the form of a sudden realization that things you once took for granted are on the brink of extinction.” Richard Fernandez in “The Last Headline of 2016

“The things we fear most in organizations—fluctuations, disturbances, imbalances—are the primary sources of creativity.” Margaret Wheatley

“Certain lessons cannot be taught, only learned.” Greg Norminton in “The Lost Art of Losing

“Few people complete their experience of an event until they have talked about it.” Martin Langford

 “Education is an admirable thing. But it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.” Oscar Wilde

“Measurement is at the intersection of goals and reality: agreeing on what to measure and comparing notes on what is measured is an excellent mechanism for building trust.” Sean Murphy

“The best way to persuade someone of your new approach is to begin with three agreements:

 We agree on the goals. We both want the same outcomes, we’re just trying different ways to get there.

We agree on reality. The world is not flat. Facts are actually in evidence. Statistics, repeatable experiments and clear evidence of causation are worth using as tools.

We agree on measurement. Because we’ve agreed on goals and reality, we agree on what success looks like as well.

All three allow us to enroll on the same journey, and to hold each other accountable for our work. Any other approach disrespects your partners and leaves you in a corner, without allies.”

Seth Godin in “Shared Reality, Shared Goals

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A Brief Thought About Thought Leadership in Higher Education

You would think the one sector in promoting Thought Leadership would be in higher education.  There are so many important events, trends, practices in higher education and training that can help a student or business in the present,  offer perspective and provide actionable (a call to action) advice that can have a significant impact on our everyday lives.

Thought Leadership in action can help to communicate actual experiences in the classroom in providing insights to future students and customers about how to overcome their most pressing problems.  When you solve problems in the classroom, it enables you to communicate these valuable experiences to your prospects and customers.

How does Thought Leadership bring you new opportunities? The science to attract students and business can also be a great benefit for your college. A reputation of being a “thought leader” means more potential learners and businesses will look to you first, people will find you!  Your programs and services can compete on more than tuition or price – your expertise and brand acts as a differentiator.  It also encourages more interaction with your new and current students in solving new challenges, creating new opportunities and develop new educational products and services.

How do you get started?  It really just starts with a thought.  Think of a classroom situation, a success story, an interesting topic, an experience, an observation or intriguing research.  Write about it on your website blog and start sharing on social media to promote and build influence.  If you want to get sophisticated, hyperlink something you offer that relates your article and your audience.  Create an optional lead form, score it and have someone from your organization (or ours) follow up and measure your success (i.e. website traffic, inquiries, conversion rate).  Bottom line:  Thought Leadership can be the basis to help you to start a “warm” relationship that can lead to a valuable appointment and project!!!!

Build a Communication Strategy by getting a team (yours or ours) of trained content provider and be consistent by setting content calendars weekly.  This provides you a great forum of what other people say about you, what you say, what you write and getting found when students are looking.

Interesting and current topics on your website will always depict you as an agent for change in higher education, what’s hot, what’s not, what’s new, what’s exciting, what’s significant and being a problem solver.  Thought Leadership also serves as a learning tool in guiding students and customers to diagnose problems and situations from symptoms and helps them to prevent problems from occurring.  As a result, they will look to you first for their high value problems or needs.

Being a Thought Leader in higher education brings value to your college and university. Your student and customer audience learns and respects you, you get called first, you compete on more than price, it provides you new opportunities, you become more interactive, and you learn more about new offerings.  Try it and watch it work!

Jeff Roth @The Learning Strategy

President-Elect Trump and Education

trumpWhat does the Trump victory mean for education?  Right now, all we can do is speculate. There are some things we do know, however. Education will not be a near-term priority. There are just too many critical issues for an administration that intends to usher in policy shifts on the economy, healthcare and immigration, for starters. That means within a few broad parameters, the Department of Education will be on its own for a while, as larger policy issues are resolved.

The new Trump presidential transition web site is short on details, no surprise this early in the planning process. About education, the site states that, “The Trump Administration will advance policies to support learning-and-earning opportunities at the state and local levels – where the heart and soul of American education takes place. We will accomplish this goal through high-quality early childhood education, magnet schools, STEM or theme-based programs; expansion of choice through charters, vouchers, and teacher-driven learning models; and relief from U.S. Department of Education regulations that inhibit innovation. A Trump Administration also will make post-secondary options more affordable and accessible through technology enriched delivery models.”

This reinforces the few things we do know; that choice will be a central theme, along with early childhood education, and that federal regulation will be limited.  Back in September, candidate Trump proposed a $20 billion block grant that would expand school choice for low-income students. Existing federal education funds would be redirected to pay for the block grant, with control left to the states to decide whether the dollars would follow children to public, private, charter or magnet schools. At the time, Trump did not specify which federal funds would be redirected, but given the magnitude of the program and its emphasis on making choice widely available to low-income students, it seems likely that Title I dollars would make up a substantial part of the  funding base. Congress likes choice and it has flirted with making Title I funds portable before, but even in a Republican controlled Congress a $20 billion program coupled with a significant shift in traditional Title I focus and funding could be a hard sell.

It also seems likely that the Trump administration will be friendlier to the for-profit education industry, particularly those in the higher education sector promoting more competition – less regulation between for-profits, public and private higher educational institutions.  You can expect to see a pull back on the gainful employment and borrower defense to repayment rules.  It will be interesting to see when the Trump administration comes down on open education resources and the Obama administration’s distaste for educational publishers.

The Department of Education is focused on finishing the various rules and regulations related to ESSA implementation and supporting the initiatives dear to the Obama administration. But it must be disheartening to know that much of this most recent work will be rescinded or ignored. Decisions about policy and implementation will probably be firmly in the hands of the states and federal oversight will be pretty light. It’s unlikely that the Department of Education will be abolished. It’s very likely that it will be downsized and that many new appointees and hires will be new to federal government and drawn from outside the ranks of traditional education practitioners.

Meanwhile the business of education must go on. We’ve already seen a few ugly incidents so it’s important that we learn how to talk and listen to one another. Teachers are at the forefront of helping their students learn how to have a civil discussion. More than ever, Businesses and Higher Education will need to collaborate to help to ensure the skill gaps meet the needs of current and future job growth.  It starts with a meeting and a discussion between businesses and higher educational institutions.  This is exactly what we help to facilitate. With more competition and less regulation, we think it’s especially important to help both business and students expand the places where they seek information and so that they get more adept at evaluating and selecting educational programs and providers.

The Learning Strategy