OPE: A Better Alternative for Long-Term Growth

Many of today’s higher education leaders recognize they need help to launch and grow their online programs and certificates. That’s why some have turned to private sector companies to help establish and guide these programs. The two most common types of providers and the models they use when working with schools include:

  • OPM (online program management) companies: Offer turnkey services to help institutions bring programs online in return for a sizable share of the tuition over a set period of time. Solutions are typically one-size-fits-all. 
  • OPE (online program enablement) companies: Offer unbundled, fixed-fee services to bolster a school’s internal online program efforts and bring them to market quickly. Solutions are customized to the school’s specific goals, challenges and mission.

Benefits of an OPE

OPEs offer the best option for schools wanting to own the future of their online programs and transform the institution. While OPE partnerships require schools to invest in the upfront costs of launching online offerings, because there is no on-going revenue-sharing required with an outside company in exchange for investment, the institution is able to enjoy the following benefits:

  • 100 percent transparency. Tools, best practices, intelligence and insights are shared with the school. With an OPE, goals are shared so there can be open, strategic  conversations around what it takes to successfully implement marketing, admissions and enrollment strategies. 
  • Full-funnel data enablement. Data from across the entire student journey is collected, connected and activated, and the insights are used to optimize investment, increase reach and improve conversion. 
  • Improved infrastructure. The performance of a school’s website, systems and student experience are all improved, while the school retains ownership over them. 
  • “Whole university” impact. The health of the entire institution is taken into consideration, not just one particular program, ensuring the work positively impacts the school as a whole.   
  • Full control over decision making and strategies. Institutions have control over their investments, as well as branding and messaging, with no reliance on the “black box” paid media tactics OPMs typically use to drive leads.

For Long-Term Success, Consider an OPE

Online learning options are essential to sustainable success. An OPE partnership is compatible with schools’ long-term goals, allowing institutions to add online programs while retaining control and meeting the demands of today’s students—and those of tomorrow. An OPE provider like Collegis Education can help schools successfully own the future of their online courses and programs.

Learn more about working with an OPE

This article is part of a series about OPMs and OPEs. Find part one, “The Hidden Secrets of an Online Program Management Company,” here and check back for part three.

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