SDSU Global Campus’ program development process ensures all programs offered through SDSU Global Campus are meeting the needs of local, national and global students. Programs go through a process of intense research and recruitment which eventually leads to the full-fledged program Global Campus offers to students.
SDSU Global Campus’ Director of New Program Development Jaime Groth provided insight into the process in a Q&A session.
How do you determine the need for a new program?
We use a combination of the following: research to assess local, regional, and national programs being offered, job demand and industry growth data over the next ten years, SDSU program impaction data for credit programs currently offered on campus, industry trends, community needs. Lastly, we have to use our knowledge and experience from building these types of programs paired with instinct and intuition.
How much of a focus is there on creating programs that are in demand locally versus nationally?
It depends. If it’s a hybrid program with an in-person component such as a field or clinical placement, typically we would need to offer it more regionally. If it’s fully online we may offer nationally depending on local demand and how much competition there is for the program. For example, there are tons of coding programs out there and a lot of demand for those skills so we would likely focus our recruitment efforts more locally. Also, if we know our local community has a ton of interest in a program we want to make sure to serve them and focus on meeting the needs of San Diego and our region first.
How do you go about forming course topics and finding course instructors?
We want to make sure we are offering current curriculum and high quality courses, so we often work with subject matter experts from leaders of industry and faculty. There are a variety of ways to find instructors from word of mouth to LinkedIn to campus faculty search databases like Interfolio.
How do you measure a successful program?
A successful program is one where students tell us that the education and skills they’ve learned have helped them meet their personal and professional goals. We want to know that our curriculum and instructors are top notch and are offering students a quality learning experience. We use a lot of evaluations and data to help us measure success. So, in addition to feedback from graduates of our programs we can see what kind of interest there is in the courses by looking at how many people are visiting our web pages, reaching out to us for more information, and ultimately enrolling in our programs.
How long does the whole process of developing a program take?
It varies depending on the size of the program. A one course program will take a lot less time to launch vs. a 51 unit master’s degree. However, on average it takes anywhere from 6 months to two years.
What are some of the common challenges you face/questions you ask when developing a program?
Well a big part of my job is project managing. We try to anticipate what delays can be around the corner in order to lessen any impact, but there are always surprises (which keep things interesting for me!). One common challenge or adventure is that each program tends to have unique aspects that need puzzling through. Every time I develop a new program I’m learning new things about what clinical staff are needed to supervise students, or special equipment an instructor may need, or a new way to assess students online for a specialized course. We’re always learning and adapting to build these programs.