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Trends Most Likely To Affect Malone University

Environmental Scan of Trends & Implications

(PDF version available for download)




Stock fluctuations


Federal oversight of financial aid (direct lending)

Budget tightening at the University level

Federal and public perceptions regarding cost escalations

Uses of endowments

Student debt loads

Uncertainties in banking and loan markets

High unemployment rates

Increased tax rates for higher socio-economic family income levels

  • Constraints in budget allocation due to restrictions placed on University cost centers
  • Endowment fluctuations directly impacting administrative support, capital projects, institutional development and student scholarships
  • Direct lending from federal government reduces competition, increases student loan rates and drives up costs
  • Potential federal control of tuition adjustments and allowable percentage increases
  • Changes in funding sources for students will require us to be creative and/or provide alternative revenue streams
  • Need for us to secure more external grant funds for special programs
  • Difficulties in securing funds needed for targeting and recruitment of underrepresented groups
  • Need to think about impact on tuition discounting strategies and other pricing strategies
  • Losing key opportunities to hire best candidates due to inability to competitively pay potential faculty members and capable administrative and marketing staff
  • Potential changes in EFC rates especially for wealthier families; pressures on personal and family ability to pay
  • Educational choices being made for economic reasons with less emphasis on spiritual development or Christian focus of institution
  • Losses in retirement funds mean longer-term, higher paid faculty not retiring – loss of balance in "ranks" and compensation levels
  • Potential impact on fund-raising strategies and commitments from entrepreneurs and wealthy donors
  • Increasing pressure from BOT, alumni, politicians, and general public to control costs and reduce tuition increases





Increased federal scrutiny regarding student learning outcomes

Pressures to provide low-cost access to disadvantaged students

Changes and demands in accreditation and other regulating agencies

More federal "definitions" (such as meaning of a credit hour, gainful employment, etc) and demands for regulatory reporting

Executive branch push toward Community College assistance

Mandated national health care and other social/welfare services

  • Increasing demand regarding measurements of quality and learning
  • More paperwork and reporting requirements
  • Expectations from students for job placement and career assistance
  • Ways to increase access for disadvantaged students
  • Potential influx of transfer students
  • Rate of recent high school graduates gravitating toward lower-cost and geographically close educational options (especially community colleges and lower-cost public in-state options)
  • Federal assistance may be channeled to public and open-access institutions and away from private selective institutions
  • Need for healthcare workers, counseling, mental health and support and service industries




Changing nature of the liberal arts and professions

Public perceptions of added value

Projections regarding job placements

Increasing scrutiny of the role and/or need for higher education

Demographic shifts - decline in high school graduates in Northeast Ohio (and larger Midwest and Northeast region)

  • Decline in choice of CCCU schools as "first choice" – less emphasis on applicants for Christian atmosphere or holistic development (in contradistinction to faculty and alumni perceptions of these values)
  • Recruitment and enrollment numbers are directly connected to applicant and parental perception of need
  • Need to develop strategies for assisting graduates with placement and the value of liberal arts degree
  • Develop ways to inform public about educational value and purpose
  • Opportunity is here to develop more external partnerships with community, corporate, and civic organizations and church networks
  • Develop lifelong learning options and alternative venues for training and professional development
  • More push toward securing immediate employment following graduation
  • Perceptions of less need for "liberal arts" education (employment concerns trump "developing a philosophy of life")
  • Focus on "value" and outcomes in conversations with parents and applicants
  • Explore changing definitions, perceptions, and educational strategies for liberal arts
  • Analyze National Labor Relations Board job projections
  • Monitor emerging industries and societal needs (e.g. shale oil industry, bio-technology, sustainable energies, health care, nanotechnology, etc.)
  • How do our course offerings consider, contribute to, and respond to these changing environments?




Perceptions of Malone


  • Impact on marketing and recruitment initiatives
  • Malone not perceived as "inclusive," global, international or diverse in its population and emphases
  • Clarification of presidential vision and priorities
  • Increase web-marketing initiatives and use of search engine strategies
  • Develop successful marketing strategies for emphasizing job placement as well as ecumenical, multicultural, and diversity strengths
  • Develop appropriate "branding"



Changing Technologies

  • Increase and enhance web-marketing initiatives
  • Continued rapid change in hardware and software options will challenge innovation, communication strategies, delivery methods, and instructional practices
  • Monitor comparative ratios of distance residential students
  • Develop strategies and innovative structures for creating "community" online
  • Explore potential for reaching out to international markets
  • Rapid expansion of social media
  • How to use media to develop "community" and create spheres of influence
  • Need for "knowledge" workers, especially those with technological competence
  • Identify emerging fields and how we might meet these needs




Online Education:

Changes in need and demand

  • Potential changes from residential to online student body
  • Reconsider modular formats in light of need for flexibility and student demand
  • How to develop more online communities and what will be the nature of these
  • Analyze optimal ratios for enrollments in courses and programs
  • Consider type and number of faculty and staff needed
  • New skill-sets will be needed by faculty and staff
  • Additional training and support staff needed for instructional design and delivery for quality online programs
  • Overcome public/academic perceptions of inferiority
  • Provide online support (spiritual, personal, professional) for the increasing number of online students
  • Demonstrate how online education can meet formational and affective needs of students
  • Rapid rise of alternative delivery options
  • Re-tooling of for-profits, aggressive marketing, advertisement and branding push; targeting of adult populations and vocational need
  • Rapid rise and expansion of MOOCs, entrance to market by large well-resourced universities and other entrepreneurial providers
  • Acceptance of MOOC credit (American Council of Education and others)