Eliminate Guesswork & Risk in New Program Selection

Elevator Speech

The failure rate for new programs is close to 50%. Yet, your institution must add, modify, and even phase out programs if it expects to remain viable in a changing market. So, how do you eliminate guesswork and risk in your programming decisions? Job board statistics, population demographics, and faculty suggestions elevate risk and reduce predictive validity.

We recommend that programming decisions be supported by: (a) independent research focused on objective evidence of need in your market, (b) a marginal analysis of need considering current and potential competition, and (c) a full appraisal of the threats and opportunities material to program success. InterEd's Market-Maker™ program feasibility research mitigates risk to a negligible level and does so for a fee that represents a fraction of the benefits of enrolling a single new student.

Every day we help successful, growing colleges and universities determine which programs to offer in which markets, at what time, whether to offer them online, on-ground, or blended, distinctive features that will ensure program success, and what kinds of support exist in the employer base.

InterEd conducts more client-specific program feasibility research than any entity in the nation. Moreover, we possess a larger and more historically deep longitudinal knowledge base on program success than any entity in the nation, including the US Department of Education.

If this is a good time for you to begin looking at your next round of programming, drop us a note or give us a call. We provide the most accurate and cost-effective services available.

If you're not certain, read on for more detail about our process and the questions we answer.

Important Questions

InterEd's program feasibility research (Market-Maker™) studies answer questions such as these:

  • I'm concerned with revenue shortfall; which programs should I consider?
  • Do current programs meet the needs of our markets? If not, what are we missing?
  • Will this program be successful if offered by our school in our market?
  • Should this program be offered online, on-ground, or blended? How do I model the differences?
  • How many graduates will be hired and by whom? How long will this pattern persist?
  • Are employers looking for specific content? If so, what?
  • Which employers are willing to assist in program development and externships?
  • Will regulatory issues affect the success of this program? If so, how do I address them?
  • How successful is my competition and what is their growth rate?
  • How many seats are filled by competition? Do they turn away qualified applicants? How many?
  • Are other programs lacking features that I might offer to meet the needs of the market?
  • We have four new programs in mind; which (if any) should we launch first?

Adaptive Methods

Because we are measurement scientists, we pay close attention to the predictive validity of our recommendations. Over the years, we have refined our methodologies by eliminating variables that contribute to unreliable recommendations. At the same time, we have added variables that refine our predictions to the point that, for many program areas, we can mitigate virtually 100% of the knowable risk.

Yet, methods we abandoned more than a decade ago are still the mainstay in the industry. Many institutions are still basing decisions based on faculty recommendations, federal and state job growth statistics, and job placement ads.

Precision Answers

InterEd's knowledge-base subsumes tens of millions of data points and thousands of sources. The majority of our data comes from direct acquisition by our researchers and analysts. One example: since our inception in 1994, we have had in-depth conversations with more than 30,000 employers, education providers (colleges and universities), and oversight entities (professional accreditors, licensing bodies, professional associations, etc.). Thus, when we gather fresh data to answer your specific questions, our findings benefit from being placed in a the context of massive historical data as well as parallel current data in other markets.

Speed, Cost & Confidentiality

In three to four weeks [1], and for less than the big box firms charge to provide you with a backward-looking boilerplate report they have already sold to your competition (changing a few headings), InterEd will mitigate your risk with custom forward looking guidance based on research conducted for you alone and never sold to another institution.

Exclusive Intelligence

For the areas that we track (primarily degrees linked to jobs at primary or secondary levels), the precision, currency, and market-specific relevance of our information surpasses all other sources of date, including federal data, by a wide margin. We'll explain why.

In spite of what they may claim, no other entity – public, private, or governmental – possesses the breadth or depth of program intelligence possessed by InterEd. That is why, in most cases, we can mitigate 100% of the risk in a program launch decision.[2]

Three Options

While no two situations are identical, the majority of our program feasibility research fit into three categories.

High Level Scan to Identify the Short List

After learning your goals and underlying resources, we scan your market's environment, deriving all relevant facts from InterEd's knowledge and databases from which we identify a short list of potential programs worthy of in-depth research.

 Choose this option when you don't have a preferred list of new programs but want to identify the 3-5 programs that represent an appropriate extension of your current programming. This is the first of the fastest and lowest cost options.

Prioritize Your Short List

Working from a list of potential programs you have developed internally, perhaps also existing programs you want to consider eliminating, we derive all relevant facts from our knowledge and databases to prioritize your list. We provide detailed reasons for priorities assigned.

 

Choose this option when you have a preferred list of new programs and want to prioritize that list to the programs that represent an appropriate extension of your current programming. This is the second of the fastest and lowest cost options.

Near-zero Risk Final Determination

Starting with a specific program that you want to launch, assuming positive findings, we determine the supply and demand side, now and forward looking, by talking with employers and providers. We identify future environmental issues by talking with overseers and senior knowledge-holders. We identify competitive threats and cooperative opportunities. We identify potential drivers and distinctives for program success. We identify exact salaries being paid. If desired, we offer our pricing suggestions. Finally, we contextualize local findings with regional and national findings and trends. This is the most labor intensive and slowest of the three general options. The average research time is two weeks in the field and one week combined in the analysis and report writing stages. In most circumstances, you would want to choose this research for a program that had otherwise cleared internal obstacles.

 

Choose this option when you want to eliminate all the knowable risk associated to offering a specific new program and you will benefit from having detailed notes and contact information from employers and others willing to work with you to ensure your success. Even though it is the most expensive of the three options, the cost is typically one-third to one-half of a generic or slightly customized big box report.

Avoid Mass Produced Reports

Schools often come to us after they received a report from a market- or job-based program research firm. marketing firm or job board. Their report consisted of page after page of generic charts, graphs, program and job tables, and lists of possible branding distinctives. Nowhere did they find concrete intelligence and decision support.

It doesn't take long to see that these reports are designed to be written once and sold to many schools with minor modifications. No confidential field research is conducted in the client's behalf. No detailed list of recommendations, action-items and potential sources of assistance is presented. Anything that might look like a recommendation is carefully paired with a counter-recommendation. The risk these reports seek to mitigate is risk to the company that produced them. Your risk is not a consideration.

Call or Email Now

Retain InterEd to conduct fresh research, exclusively for you (no one else is provided the specific intelligence we gather for you), and get concrete recommendations that we stand behind.

Call us at 262-725-4661.

Questions? Send your email and/or phone number and we can help you decide if any of these services will meet your needs.


[1] This represents the research time. We will give you a start date based on the current research load. We are usually able to keep start dates within a 5-15 day period.

[2] If we can't mitigate 100%, we'll tell you why and will provide a confidence estimate.