Higher education is changing faster than ever and understanding student expectations will help set your program up for success. From achieving accreditation to offering online programs, schools must manage their brand reputation and continually innovate to stay competitive and attract students. One of the best ways to innovate and enhance your program’s reputation, and add value to your student experience, is to use the latest digital tools without breaking the bank.
What Students Want in 2020
Today’s students want to know they’re getting more from their tuition than a diploma. They want to know their career will make a difference and they want a return on their investment. Some would-be bachelor’s and master’s students are opting out of school altogether, citing debt and career prospects as their top concerns.
The good news for social work and counseling programs is that the job market is hot! From 2014 to 2024, the number of social work jobs is expected to grow 12%. From 2018 to 2028, the number of counseling jobs is expected to grow 22%. Both rates are faster than the average for most other jobs. But, this bright future doesn’t mean that programs can get complacent.
It’s imperative that programs demonstrate to current and prospective students that you’re they’re investing in their careers. To paraphrase Aristotle, “tell your students what you’re going to teach them, then teach them, then tell them what you taught them.” Tell prospective students how they’re going to benefit from your program by highlighting your gainful employment stats and the difference they’ll make in others’ lives as a social worker or counselor through real stories from your alumni. Then, as students, teach them exactly what they’ll need to know in the field. When they’re close to graduating, show them again how you prepared them by pointing to concrete examples like how the time tracking tool they used in their field placement is exactly like what they’ll use for submitting billable hours.
Showing students that your program offers tools and resources to help them graduate and achieve gainful employment, will bolster enrollment and prove to your students that you are investing in their futures.