Directions: The purpose of this exercise is to teach you how to look at various factors to make an educated decision to determine if an educational program is likely to be effective at an institution. Many institutions do not have the resources to do a true market analysis before considering whether to adopt a proposal or not, a mini-analysis of the related environments must be reviewed and presented. Helpful hints and directions for doing this analysis are in blue below. Each proposal must include each header included in this template.
The scenario is as follows:
You are the program director of a nursing program at a small private university in the State of Texas. Your institution is private and not-for-profit. You have a nursing program on the residential campus and now you have been tasked with determining if offering an online RN to BSN program would be feasible. Your online tuition is $1200 per credit hour or $3600 per 3 semester hour course. The program can be structured with traditional semester long courses or in an accelerated format if you prefer.
The Excel spreadsheet (attached in the course) will allow you to calculate the program costs. Tuition rate has been provided; you will have to decide what feels will be charged and estimate other costs for the program.
Your analysis must have the following elements:
Summary of Proposal
This summary needs to be a concise overview of the major aspects of what you are proposing: who, what, where, when and why.
Assessment of Need
Consider the following items:
- Consult the U.S. Department of Labor statistics to look at projected needs for this skill in future years
- Examine labor needs in the state the program is located and surrounding states. Remember this is an online program, it cannot be offered in another state unless the university is a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA); information on SARA can be found at http://nc-sara.org/sara-states-institutions. The annual cost is $2000 per year and then any fees charged by your state.
- Perform a brief literature search about the needs for the program being proposed:
- Look for sources to validate the need at the state, national or local level
- Evaluated projected starting pay of graduates Is it something a student or parent would pay a private university tuition for?
- Evaluate long-term earning potential of graduate if no other education was pursued
- Evaluate industry and business projections for employees in this field; for example, if Google is opening up a center in Texas it is likely more IT graduates will be needed
- What is the projected pay for graduates?
- Evaluate the environment
- Are there any political factors that might render this degree need obsolete in the future?
- Is a competitor starting a similar program who will get their program out there faster?
iii. Is there an opportunity for corporate partnerships? If so, how likely is it truly to occur?
- Are there other potential partnership opportunities in the community or with professional organizations?
- Think about applicability of what you are proposing to certificate programs
- Think of the applicability of what you are proposing for continuing education
- Calculate good estimates that are supported by your data
I want to evaluate the need for a masters’ program in Christian ministry
- Find data on the approximate number of worship leaders in Texas using the Department of Labor, State Labor Office or other organizations. It is likely the data will encompass all personnel employed by all religious organizations, so a safe estimate would be about 20% or less of these would be worship leaders; remember you would only be looking at paid worship leaders since it is unlikely ones that do not get paid (such as in small churches) would not seek a graduate degree in this area
- Next, if you are in Texas look at the number of churches in Texas. Most likely you would exclude religions that are not Christian as well as Catholics who do not have worship leaders traditionally.
- Next you would estimate of this estimated number of employed worship leaders, how many would likely be interested in this degree. This could be estimated conservatively at 10% because those in small churches who are getting paid are likely not receiving a large enough salary to commit to a graduate degree in this area.
- Next, search the literature to see if you can find some evidence this degree is needed. Supporting literature should be as current as possible since the labor situation can change rapidly.
- Next, do an informal survey of churches in the local area. For example, contact 20 larger churches…if only one person was interested in this informal survey, the program is likely not needed in the area you surveyed. If that is your target area, the program may not be feasible to pursue. If you had 3-4 interested, then the informal survey should be expanded to a larger area. If there was minimal interest it is likely the program would not be self-sustaining at least in Texas.
- Evaluate possibility of partnerships (local or other) for continuing education, certificate programs or support.
- Repeat this process for other states you intend to offer the program in (if it is online it has to be a state you can offer courses in)
Note where and how program will be offered. Will it be full semester or accelerated?
Indicate if new faculty will have to be hired or if department adjunct load will increase. Indicate the projected cost of these faculty.
Will additional staff be required (including student workers)? If so, please include projected cost figures. This is not only for the program staff but may also apply to support staff in the university as a whole.
Equipment and Materials
Note any equipment or materials needed to start this program
Library and Information Resources
List any books, journals, databases or other that will have to be purchased for this program.
Note any technology you will need for this proposal. This should include both information and instructional technology. Some examples would be an iPad, Doceri software or animation support for creating new learning experiences.
Address total projected revenue, total costs, one-time costs and break-even point for this program. Be conservative in your estimates of enrollment to ensure the program; higher education budgeting is usually done based on projected enrollments. If your projection enrollment is too high, this program and other programs in your area might have their budgets cut to make up for the shortfall.
This can include such things as health policy being formulated, political considerations, legal considerations, accreditation considerations, etc. etc. In this area address anything of importance not discussed in other areas of this proposal.
Conclude this analysis by making overall recommendations for this program. Should it be implemented as is? Should the idea be revised? Should the university proceed with this program?