Finding new markets for graduate education programs via interactive video: An urban university network with rural schools
Increasingly, regional and urban institutions are supplementing enrollment by using interactive video telecommunications technology (ITV/DL) to deliver instructional programs beyond their traditional service area. While ITV/DL can have a significant impact on enrollment, interactive video needs to be evaluated on a case by case basis. Not all ITV/DL programs generate a level of enrollment sufficient to justify its cost.
This study explores a potential market for, and the financial feasibility of offering graduate education courses to teachers working in public schools in Dutchess County via ITV. The relationship among "Familiarity with ITV," "Regard for ITV," "Regard for Fordham," "Distance," "Certification," age, and gender (independent variables), and the likelihood of teachers enrolling in ITV/DL graduate education courses (dependent variable) was examined. Market segmentation was used to estimate the number of teachers likely to enroll in ITV graduate education courses. Cash flows and capital requirements were projected and analyzed using breakeven analysis and multiple capital budgeting evaluation techniques, including pay-back period, internal rate of return (IRR), and net present value (NPV).
Market data reveal a substantial market for Fordham University graduate education courses via ITV/DL delivered to school sites in Dutchess County. Capital budget analysis revealed that ITV/DL is potentially a low risk, highly profitable project with a good safety margin. Put simply, ITV/DL is a financially feasible way to supplement enrollment in graduate education courses.
ITV/DL fulfills all of the requirements for effective educational delivery: accessibility, quality, integration, control, and interactivity. Numerous studies comparing the effectiveness of ITV/DL with face-to-face instruction have found that ITV/DL is educationally effective, both in terms of achievement and student and teacher satisfaction.
Fordham University has the opportunity of taking a leadership role in the use of information and telecommunications technology to increase enrollment. Supplementing on-campus enrollment would help to support class offerings and maintain the quality and attractiveness of academic programs for advanced students. Making graduate education programs available to time- and/or place-bound teachers would enable Fordham University to respond to the needs of adult students by enhancing their access to degree programs.
0530: Teacher education
0516: Adult education
0516: Continuing education