Gathering Competitive Data
In the area that I live in there are a few different training centers, many more than I thought that there was. It is refreshing to see all of the availability that is offered.
Training centers can be a good thing and a bad thing...when you have that type of competition in your area, you have to create an advantage for your students. What ways can your college offer an advntage over a training center that is often cheaper and quicker?
There are many training centers in my area as well, but I think online education programs may pose more competition to some of our proposed new programs. What this has highlighted is that to be successful if we want to continue in the direction of offering these new program, we will need to market what is appealing and value-added about our on-site programs.
Since we all do basically the same thing with many of our programs, the path to setting yourself apart is service from admissions through to career services. Just like any sector of business, the ones that lead their sector usually put out a better product and provide the best service. Since our product is education, the service is coming from your faculty and your staff. Creating a world-class team focused on daily service to each and every student is how you "appeal" to students.
There are several competitors in our area but after evaluating what they offer, only 2 offer on-line in the new programs that we evaluating. We have to make sure that our programs offer several different components in order for the graduates to be very employable. We also have to assure that our service is over the top and that our on-line offerings are well thought out.
There is vast competition in our area. But our program is the only Dual Language, (English, Spanish), Accelerated and Acredited program at higher eduaction level in the nation. Our students are adults who are eager to continue or complete their eduaction in their own language and improving their English language skills at the same time.
List all the training centers in your community. What discoveries have you made in terms of serious competition to your institution and ideas for new programs to offer?
In the surrounding area that we are located are a couple of training centers that offer many programs, but we are targeting new students for a program in health management that we're offering and no other training center offers at the moment which opens new doors for us to recruit student who are interesting in the area.
Definitely. Now your issue will be getting the word out to prospective students and their potential employers. In my experience, it's better to have potential employers on your advisory board from the outset, to "warm them" to the program.