Strategies for Developing New Academic Programs

Strategies for Developing New Academic Programs

February 25 - 27, 2019 | New Orleans, LA


Learn how to conduct internal and external analysis before 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 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.

Tiered pricing is available for teams! See the registration row below for details.

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

Your registration for this event includes the sessions below and materials, access to the networking reception on Monday, breakfast and lunch on Tuesday, and breakfast on Wednesday, as well as refreshments and snacks throughout the conference.

Day One: Monday, February 25, 2019
12:30 to 6:00 p.m.

Registration, Welcome, and Introductions



Setting the Stage for Change in New Academic Program Development

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

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

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?



Market Research – Identifying Opportunities for New Academic Programs

Inspiration for new academic programs is readily availableif 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

Day Two: Tuesday, February 26, 2019
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.



Key Workforce Trends and Implications for Academic Program Planning

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

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.



The Art and Science of New Academic Program Development

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



Accreditation/Re-Accreditation and State Authorization

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.



Infrastructure and Resource Planning to Support New Academic Programs

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 considerations:

  • 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?
  • A need for a current facilities utilization analysis?
  • Determining the need for new facilities?



Working Session: Developing Feasibility Plan

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.

Day Three: Wednesday, February 27, 2019
8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Market Positioning and Branding

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



Financial Budgeting and Modeling

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 hour 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

February 25 - 27, 2019

New Orleans, LA

Conference Hotel Information:

Hilton New Orleans St. Charles
333 St. Charles Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70130
Group Code: SFD

Room Rate: $129
Room Block Dates:  February 24, 25 and 26, 2019.
Available Until:  February 1, 2019.

Reserve Your Room: Call (504) 378-2800. Please indicate that you are with the Academic Impressions group to receive the group rate. Please book early - rooms are limited and subject to availability.



Bob Atkins

CEO and Founder
Gray Associates

Bob has worked with all of Gray’s education clients, consulting Presidents, CEOs, and CMOs on business strategy, pricing, location selection, and program strategy and is an expert in business strategy, marketing, sales and high-tech distribution channels.

Read Bob's full bio here.


DeWayne Frazier

Vice President for Academic Affairs
Iowa Wesleyan University

In addition to his current position, Dr. Frazier’s portfolio includes experience in 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).

Read DeWayne's full bio here.


Melissa Morriss-Olson

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Bay Path University

Under her leadership, a new academic structure consisting of schools and colleges has been established and faculty resources have been diversified and strengthened. She has led the development and launch of more than twenty new graduate degree programs, resulting in a significant increase in student enrollment.

Read Melissa's full bio here.


Chris Nicholson

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

Chris has over twenty years of experience in higher education enrollment management, marketing, and academic administration. He is currently Assistant Dean of Enrollment, Marketing, and Partnerships for University College at the University of Denver, which offers over fifty degrees and certificates and comprehensive non-credit programming to over two thousand students.

Read Chris's full bio here.


J. Joseph Hoey

Associate Provost, National University

Joseph brings over 26 years of experience in accreditation, institutional effectiveness, planning, board governance, and assessment. His published research encompasses engineering and graduate program assessment, academic program review, engaging faculty and building trust in assessment, validating student engagement research, transfer, and
online program evaluation.

Read Joseph's full bio here.

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?

Grace Royal
Program Manager, Academic Impressions

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