Strategies for Developing New Academic Programs

Strategies for Developing New Academic Programs

January 22 - 24, 2018

Denver, CO


Be better prepared to develop strategies for establishing new academic programs at your institution.

Learn the art and science of growing your academic programs in a way that maximizes your institution’s chance of success. You will walk through a set of criteria to consider when deciding whether or not to move forward with a new academic program or initiative. You will leave this event better able to assess a potential new academic program’s:

  • Fit with your institutional mission and goals
  • Operational feasibility given your capacity and resources
  • Prospective student enrollment
  • Internal support to get it up and running
  • Profitability and impact resulting from failure

Bring Your Academic Planning Team

Developing a new degree program or curricula involves many stakeholders. Because of this, we encourage you to bring your program planning team that consists of: provosts, deans, department chairs, operational/resource management administrators, registrars, and institutional researchers. Whether you are planning to develop a new online, blended/hybrid, or face-to-face program, this conference will help you to effectively plan a program. When you register two people from your institution, a third can attend for 50% off!

Testimonials from Past Participants of this Event

“Excellent for engaging in new academic program developmentfeel much better equipped to move forward.”

Ann Filemyr, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Southwestern College

“Within the first 3 hours I had already received my full money's worth.”

Justin Jones, Director of Career Services, LDS Business College

“This conference enabled me to remain an well-informed and strategic thinker in of higher education within the complex and ever-changing realities of our time.”

Martin Ahumada, Provost, Dine College

“The training program for New Program/Initiative is essential to all higher-ed institutions thinking about this topic. Excellent instructors!”

Helen Olow, Divisional Business Officer, University of California, San Diego

“Always satisfied with an Academic Impressions conference! Well-done, well-organized, and professional.”

Cathy Carey, Director of Curriculum, LDS Business College


Monday, January 22, 2018
12:30 - 1:00 p.m.

Welcome and Introductions
1:00 - 1:15 p.m.

Setting the Stage for Change in New Academic Program Development
1:15 - 2:15 p.m.
What are the current trends and disruptive forces that are impacting higher education today? What forces are particularly impactful for your campus? How might your current context and challenges inform your academic program mix and the decisions you make about new programs?

Creating an Appetite for Innovation on Your Campus
2:15 - 3:00 p.m.

Innovation is not easy within any context. Traditional modes of operation and decision-making create real barriers. In this session, you will learn some effective strategies for creating an innovative supportive campus environment. Specifically, our expert presenter will address:

  • Creating an urgency for innovation and change
  • Overcoming barriers that often get in the way of effective change efforts
  • Looking outward for innovative inspiration and best practices

Working Session – Identifying Your Key Barriers to Change
3:00 - 3:30 p.m.
You will have an opportunity to apply what you have learned as you work with others to identify your key barriers to change on your campus. What factors will get in the way or impede your ability to bring new academic programs forward?

3:30 - 3:45 p.m.

Market Research – Identifying Opportunities or New Academic Programs
3:45 - 5:00 p.m.

Inspiration for new academic programs is readily available—if you know where to look. Your presenter will address:

  • Utilizing primary and secondary market research to identify potential program demand
  • Key market research resources that every provost and academic administrator should have at their fingertips
  • Strategies for assessing the need and existing competition for new academic program possibilities

Networking Reception (included in registration fee)
5:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Continental Breakfast (included in registration fee)
8:00 - 8:30 a.m.

Key Workforce Trends and Implications for Academic Program Planning
8:30 - 9:45 a.m.

Your presenter will review the most critical national and international workforce trends and the potential impact for higher education. Specific questions to be addressed:

  • What are the demographics of today’s college student?
  • What will the world of work look like in 2025?
  • What are the fastest growing occupations and what educational demand does this create?
  • Which occupations are in decline?
  • What are new educational delivery models that might be considered in response to these trends?
  • What does all this mean for higher education?

Working Session: Assessing Your Current Academic Program Portfolio
9:45 - 10:45 a.m.
You will have the opportunity to work together to brainstorm a list of external threats and opportunities. This process should be integrated later on campus by completing a formal environmental scan and then integrating these findings with the preliminary list of external threats and opportunities.

10:45 - 11:00 a.m.

The Art and Science of New Academic Program Development
11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Following on this presenter’s previous sessions, you will be introduced to a process for developing, vetting, and operationalizing new academic programs. Time for Q&A will be included. Specific topics to be addressed include:

  • Essential elements and considerations for developing new academic programs
  • Important factors to consider in assessing risk and opportunity with new program possibilities
  • Principles for operationalizing new programs
  • Considerations for scaling and managing capacity

Lunch (included in registration)
12:30 - 1:45 p.m.

Accreditation/Re-Accreditation and State Authorization
1:45 - 3:00 p.m.
Seeking accreditation and/or re-accreditation of academic programs can be challenging. In this session, you will develop a working list of issues that need to be addressed regarding accreditation and changes to your campus mission. What is the current regulatory landscape that you must consider in planning your new programs? For example, if your campus is a traditional four-year college and you want to consider adding a non-traditional academic program or online learning, how will this alter the institution’s stated mission, and what accreditation and/or state authorizations will be necessary? We will explore possible changes to your institution’s mission statement and changes to your accreditation to accommodate proposed new programs.

3:00 - 3:15 p.m.

Infrastructure and Resource Planning to Support New Academic Programs
3:15 - 4:30 p.m.

Bringing on new academic programs requires thinking through a host of infrastructure and resource issues. Where will the resources come from to fund these changes? How will your new programs affect space utilization and technological requirements? Did market research indicate a sufficient market to produce the needed revenue? Can the staffing changes be phased in, or are they necessary up front to operate the proposed new academic program? Have you considered the following questions:

  • Faculty needed to support a new academic program?
  • Faculty reductions for program cuts or elimination?
  • Staff needed to move into a new strategic direction?
  • Budgeting for human capital to accomplish strategic change?
  • Classrooms and technology capacity?
  • Adequate parking?
  • Is there a need for a current facilities utilization analysis?
  • Determining the need for new facilities?

Working Session: Developing Feasibility Plan
4:30 - 5:00 p.m.
You will continue the work you started in the previous working session and begin developing a feasibility plan for one program idea for your campus. You will have opportunity to review issues covered by presenters as they may impact the potential for success for your program.
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Continental Breakfast (included in registration)
8:30 - 9:00 a.m.

Market Positioning and Branding
9:00 - 10:30 a.m.

Even the best designed new program can fail if the marketing and branding for the program is not well thought out and effectively executed. In this session, the presenter will discuss what it takes to successfully market a new program and to sustain one’s market position over time. The presenter will address:

  • Building a comprehensive new program marketing plan
  • Budgeting for marketing and recruitment efforts
  • Staffing options for program recruitment and marketing
  • Assessing the effectiveness of your marketing efforts
  • Using market research to determine program viability
  • Measuring demand for your new academic program

10:30 - 10:45 a.m.

Financial Budgeting and Modeling
10:45 - 11:45 a.m.

New programs that are not integrated into the campus’ five-year budgeting process and properly resourced will likely flounder or never get off the ground. Tough decisions are often required to trim funding of less profitable academic programs to be able to expand programs that will improve the institution’s bottom line. This final session will focus on:

  • Tying your strategic planning and new program development to a five-year budget
  • Directly linking planning process and budget
  • Identifying program reductions and program growth opportunities to keep the budget in balance

Wrap-Up and Q&A
11:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

January 22 - 24, 2018

Denver, CO


Magnolia Hotel Denver
818 17th Street
Denver, CO 80202

Room Rate: $179 +tax
Room Block Dates: January 21, 22, and 23, 2018.
Available Until: January 5, 2016.

Please book early - rooms are limited and subject to availability.

Reserve Your Room: Call 303-607-9000. Please indicate that you are with the Academic Impressions group to receive the group rate.



Bob Atkins

CEO and Founder
Gray Associates

Bob led Gray's entry into the education industry and the development of Gray's proprietary industry databases and service offerings. He has worked with all of Gray's education clients, consulting Presidents, CEOs, and CMOs on business strategy, pricing, location selection, and program strategy. He is an expert in business strategy, marketing, sales and high-tech distribution channels. He has helped AT&T, Avaya, American Express, Dex Media, Qwest Communications, HP, IBM, and other clients to develop growth strategies, enter new markets, and build their sales and channel organizations. He has also led efforts that have eliminated tens of millions of dollars in cost, particularly in sales and channel management. He is a published author, whose articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Sales and Marketing Management, and other publications around the world. He received an MBA, with honors, from Harvard Business School and a BA, magna cum laude, from Harvard College.


DeWayne Frazier

Vice President for Academic Affairs
Iowa Wesleyan University

Dr. Frazier’s portfolio includes the Adult and Graduate Programs, library services, academic support, international education, Registrar Office, Office of Student Development, career services, community service office, campus ministries and the university academic divisions (Business, Education, Humanities, Nursing, and Sciences). Dr. Frazier serves on the President’s Cabinet and is also a full professor in the Division of Business.

Prior to coming to Iowa Wesleyan, Dr. Frazier was the associate vice president for academic affairs and dean of the Graduate School at Campbellsville University in Kentucky, where he oversaw 17 different graduate programs in various disciplines. Prior to his work at Iowa Wesleyan, Dr. Frazier served as the Senior Vice President for International Programs at Upper Iowa University (UIU). There, Dr. Frazier oversaw campus internationalization efforts, including the implementation of an international student recruitment plan and the growth of UIU’s academic extension centers abroad.


Melissa Morriss-Olson, Ph.D.

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Bay Path University

As provost, she serves as the institution’s chief academic officer and also oversees admissions, enrollment marketing and analytics, student life and athletics, institutional research and all academic research and support functions.

While at Bay Path, she has led the re-engineering of the learning community and structure including the development of the Thumbprint—Bay Path’s distinguishing educational aspirations—as well as the Women Empowered as Learners and Leaders (WELL) program. Under her leadership, a new academic structure consisting of schools and colleges has been established and faculty resources have been diversified and strengthened. Dr. Morriss-Olson has led the development and launch of more than twenty new graduate degree programs, resulting in a significant increase in student enrollment.

Dr. Morriss-Olson is a nationally recognized higher education thought leader, speaking and writing often on topics such as higher education innovation, disruption and leadership. Her blog can be found here: The Accidental Provost or you can follow her on Twitter @BayPathProvost


Chris Nicholson

Assistant Dean of Enrollment, Marketing, and Partnerships
University College at University of Denver

Chris has over 20 years of experience in higher education enrollment management, marketing, and academic administration. He is currently chief enrollment and marketing officer for University College at the University of Denver, which offers over 50 degrees and certificates and comprehensive non-credit programming to over 2,000 students. Chris currently chairs the Marketing, Enrollment, and Student Services network for the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA), and also serves as an associate consultant for Ruffalo Noel Levitz, where he was one of 11 higher education leaders chosen to launch the firm’s adult, online, and graduate practice, and consults on strategic enrollment management, marketing, new program development, and program review and assessment. Chris has taught graduate online and face-to-face courses in marketing and higher education administration for over 15 years, and lectures and presents at conferences around the world on a range of topics, including enrollment management and marketing, higher education policy, and study abroad. He possesses a bachelor’s degree and MBA from North Park University, and a Ph.D. in Higher Education from Loyola University Chicago.


J. Joseph Hoey

Associate Provost
National University

Joseph brings over 26 years of experience in accreditation, institutional effectiveness, planning, board governance, and assessment.  A native of San Diego, Joseph has participated in accreditation site visits for multiple regional and international accreditors, guided research universities and focused colleges to successful reaffirmation, and consulted with 30 domestic and international institutions on accreditation and effectiveness. His published research encompasses engineering and graduate program assessment, academic program review, engaging faculty and building trust in assessment, alumni and employer feedback, validating student engagement research, transfer, and online program evaluation. He is co-author, with Jill Ferguson and David Chase, of Assessment at Creative Institutions: Quantifying and Qualifying the Aesthetic (Common Ground, 2014), and Reframing Quality Assurance in Creative Disciplines: Evidence from Practice (Common Ground, 2015). Dr. Hoey holds an Ed.D. from NC State University, a Master of Music from Florida State University, and a BA in Music from UC San Diego.

Can't Attend? Buy the
Conference Binder

Purchase the conference binder, which includes all presentation slides, worksheets, action plans, and additional resources.

Note: Conference attendees do not need to purchase materials separately.

Questions About the Event?

Tunde Brimah
Director, Program Development, Academic Impressions

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