Oct 31 2006

Strategic Planning for Higher Ed IT

Technology trends, spending and projects at colleges and universities.

A roundup of facts on IT planning, distance learning, online usage and students’ use of Dayton University’s Virtual Orientation Web site.

IT Strategic Planning

Seventy percent of college and university IT administrators report that their institution has a strategic plan for information technology, up from 63.3 percent in 2001 and 48 percent in 1998, according to an annual survey by The Campus Computing Project. Although the newest figure is impressive, the survey noted that many colleges and universities still lack strategic plans for network security and disaster recovery.

1998: 48%
2001: 63.3%
2004: 70%

19 Million Minutes. . .

Last year, Dayton University’s fall entering class spent a collective 19 million minutes—that’s 13,194 days, or 316,667 hours—on the Virtual Orientation Web site, which is a homegrown Web application designed to smooth the college transition for incoming students. The site hosts a number of get-acquainted features, including a chat function for parents. It was designed to build a sense of community among the first-year students before they even meet one another.

* 166,702 logins
* 25,953 messages
* 5,632 textbooks purchased
* 4,000-plus profile pictures submitted
* 1,092 questions submitted to the help desk
* 37 requests for no morning and/or Friday classes

Going the Distance

By now, it is a truism that online distance learning has changed the face of higher education. Many in education have awaited the day when its blistering growth rates tempered and its limitations became evident. Unfortunately for the skeptics, the wait continues, as the number of students enrolled in fully online distance education again outpaced forecasts in 2004. Some 1.2 million students are currently enrolled in fully online distance learning programs, accounting for 7 percent of the estimated 17 million students registered in degree-granting post-secondary institutions. Projections see that number rising to 10 percent by 2008, representing some 1.7 million students. Eduventures estimates that the number of students enrolled in fully online distance-education programs grew nearly 34 percent in 2004, reaching some 937,000 students at year end. Eduventures expects that for-profit colleges’ disproportionate share of market growth will begin to moderate as competition increases and student program-selection criteria evolve.

Eric Bassett, research director, Eduventures.