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Distance Strategy in the UAS School of Management Dr. Mark Speece Associate Professor of Marketing (past Department Chair & MBA Director) University of.

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Presentation on theme: "Distance Strategy in the UAS School of Management Dr. Mark Speece Associate Professor of Marketing (past Department Chair & MBA Director) University of."— Presentation transcript:

1 Distance Strategy in the UAS School of Management Dr. Mark Speece Associate Professor of Marketing (past Department Chair & MBA Director) University of Alaska Southeast Juneau, Alaska, USA The Seventh International Conference on eLearning for Knowledge-Based Society 16-17 December, 2010 Assumption University, Bangkok, Thailand

2 frequently, no coherent strategy 72% of e-learning initiatives have no cost-benefit analysis (Pratt 2005) unrealistic expectations but no market assessment (Ennew & Fernandez-Young 2006) no definition of market (Marginson 2007) no adaptation to market and competitive conditions (Beaudoin 2002) why do DE programs fail?

3 DE core is about academic content & access, not technology learning outcomes must determine technology choices (IHEP 2000) technology-driven organizations often fail to understand the market (Ennew & Fernandez-Young 2006) demand-driven model of DE (Moore & Kearsley 2005) acquiring technology is not strategy

4 who is our market? what does that market want, need, or demand? what are the characteristics of this target market? what service can we provide to fulfill those needs? how do we allocate and organize resources to accomplish this? key strategic questions

5 Case: collapse of demand for UAS business programs SCH = student credit hours end of the 1990s: 20 % decline of SCH in just a few years UAS market historically 80 % part-time adult-learners most stay in Alaska, use degree to advance in the State online education began growing in late 1990s no need to quit job, move to Juneau to study

6 continued loss of adult learners at UAS but we have reversed this in SOM how?

7 estimating Alaskas management education needs Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development statistics & projections interviews and interaction with business leaders surveys of existing students interaction and partnerships with community colleges and UAF/UAA Schools of Management national data on student trends population projections for Alaska

8 SOM demand projections estimate 100 BBA graduations per year once program is operating at full capacity i.e., SOM aims to educate about 6.4 % of the people who fill management jobs estimate 20-25 MBA graduations per year once up to full capacity. about 15 % of Alaskas MBA demand

9 target market: adult learners Juneau Borough: 4.9 % of Alaskas population, cannot support strong residential programs. about 1/3 of Alaska residents do not live close to any campus with a bachelors or masters. UAS distance delivery reaches them; they can stay with family and keep jobs, employers dont lose needed expertise.

10 Juneau

11 adult learner educational & delivery needs education must directly help careers, practical content, Alaska focus. cannot ignore family and job responsibilities; must have flexible education schedules, requirement for physical classroom presence makes it very difficult to pursue education

12 basic strategic principles non-competition with UAF, UAA: we are all part of the same system; too small to beat them, anyway. Board of Regents wants clear and cost-effective mission differentiation University of Alaska Board of Regents. 2003. The University Of Alaska System Strategic Plan 2009: Building Higher Education For Alaska's Golden Anniversary.

13 Basic strategic principles focus on un-served parts of market, where SOM can provide high quality & make big impact meeting State needs. cooperate with branches to feed upper division

14 what is available in Alaska? UAA & UAF offer classroom-based programs; this makes sense; 64 % of Alaskas population lives within an hours drive of UAA or UAF. the young generation needs university, and even many adult learners can take evening & weekend classes.

15 New Service Development has three critical components service concept quality business education; this has not changed. service system but program content depends on context; job demand Alaska mainly in service industries, resource extraction is capital intensive, and little manufacturing. service delivery process – top priority initially this is the distance education component at first.

16 first priority: access = service delivery mostly asynchronous web-based courses with non-required synchronous elements (AAS, BBA, MBA) synchronous satellite courses, web support (MPA) coordination with branch campuses (AB, AAS level courses)

17 SOM program delivery local lower division market statewide upper division market

18 reverse the decline of UAS business programs SCH = student credit hours SCH 3 term moving sum move to online & satellite courses: reversed decline, but then demand leveled out. delivery system made feasible to buy but once students have access, program issues become critical need to offer full programs that are tailored to Alaska

19 student response to UAS distance delivery The fact that I am able to keep a full-time job while pursuing this degree was/is most important to me. I liked the fact that I could attend school and at the same time work. (UAS MBA student response to anonymous survey on why decided to apply)

20 continued improvement: service system issues full programs, required courses available every term, simple path. Alaskanize program content most UAS BPA students intend to stay; want education to help them move up in Alaska. competitors have these, no advantage, they simply make UAS equally attractive outside competitors cannot do this, Alaska market is too small to customize for it

21 SOM Programs: stepping stone approach lower division certificate= 30 credits AAS & AB = 60 credits undergrad advanced cert.= 18 credits specialized BBA (multiple emphases)= 120 credits graduate certificate = 12-15 credits MBA, MPA = 36 credits undergrad minor (non-business students)

22 SOM programs: high end of market high quality programs distance = accessible to working adults; it does not mean easy or low standard. UAS programs aim for top quality level. accrediting agencies set minimum standards, no long-term market for lower quality, anyway.

23 what is quality? program coherence: interconnected courses, building expertise, close attention to building competencies. 6.3 Students understand the holistic and systemic nature of the organization and its internal and external environment. (UAS BPA competencies 2006)

24 what is quality? integrated course sequence course1 course2 course3 repeat relevant themes etc. reuse some cases repeat some examples

25 what is quality? advisor attention to student progress allocated a staff position to full-time advising, filled with a masters qualified staff member, funded study for a graduate certificate in advising. makes sure students are aware of stepping stones, keeps them in sequence so they can handle content coordinates with branch advisors for easy transfer issues periodic progress reports

26 student response rigorous, challenging courses: Kept hearing from students how tough the program was; guess I figured that was an indicator of quality! (UAS MBA student response to anonymous survey on why decided to apply)

27 what is quality? practical orientation: employers want business grads to actually be able to do something. UAS: learn the concepts, but substantial attention to application; professors have real-world experience as well as excellent academic credentials.

28 student response Alaskanized program content: The program was geared toward Alaskan business... the program rotated around Alaskans and Alaska Industries … (UAS MBA student responses to anonymous survey on why decided to apply)

29 what is quality? professor attention to the courses: as general policy, core courses are taught by full time faculty; adjuncts are for a few specialized topics. UAS is somewhat at odds with current practice but very consistent with what DE experts and accrediting agencies say is necessary.

30 what is quality? conscious integration of DE best practice: professors must be DE teaching experts, as well as experts in their fields. no laissez faire approach, teamwork to build courses, we look carefully at what each and every course must accomplish.

31 back to growth of UAS business programs SCH = student credit hours shift from course to program focus and recovery tactical error four terms: Fall07, Spring08, Fall08, Spring09 mean SCH growth per term: 21% top among 32 units of UA system

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