Case Study: Audit and Improve Career Services Organization
Client institution was regionally accredited and had been placed on accreditation “probation” for failing to meet employment outcomes in its prior reporting period. System included eight campuses and over 20 programs, nearly half of which had non-compliant employment outcomes.
Resolution: Conducted a full Career Services program, process, and data review. The recommendations resulted in a one-year project focused on process and procedure and included:
- Rewriting all career services documentation, tracking reports, and auditing processes
- Conducting a full-day Career Services Boot Camp for all career services staff across all eight campuses
- Coaching Career Services leadership teams for six months to improve day-to-day management focus and ongoing placement outcomes.
Results: When contracted, every campus in the system had one or more programs that did not comply with regulations for a total of 13 non-compliant programs. In the first year after implementing the new career services protocol, only three programs remained in the struggling or non-compliant list and the overall average employment rate across all eight campuses rose from under 58% to over 70%.
Case Study: Lead-to-Start Improvement
A multi-campus for-profit college system identified that they were experiencing deteriorating lead-to-start results which were eroding their profitability by driving up cost to start. While evaluating the opportunity, it was also noted that first-term continuation rates were also declining.
Resolution: A thorough audit of all student-facing activities from the moment a lead was received through to the census date of the second term was undertaken. The result of the audit identified four key areas of focus for improvement:
- Simplify the application and financial aid process
- Clearly articulate the student support team for assisting students through the application process
- Transform the orientation program for new students and their support network
- Identify students that may not succeed / persist much earlier in their first term
The team implemented a series of programs that ranged from new communication tools to entirely new tracking systems. These tools and processes were designed by agile program teams that each took a specific area, and rapidly iterated to a new method, then were responsible for system-wide training and rollout of the new process.
Result: Over a six month period, the new initiative drove lead-to-start up 1200 bps and contributed to an increase in first-term continuation (the number of students active on census in term one that are still active on census in term two), from under 80% to over 88%.