Program Selection and Assessment

These choices are among the most important and difficult strategic decisions an education provider can make.  An outdated program portfolio may include once-great programs that now have limited student demand or jobs for graduates.  Great new programs may be overlooked.  An unfocused portfolio may have a scattering of small programs that are difficult and expensive to manage.A great gardener must constantly decide what to prune and what to plant.  Every year, great schools decide which programs to Stop, Start, Sustain and Grow.

It is not easy to decide where to invest and where to cut.  Some high-performing programs need more investment of attention and money to grow; others may have saturated their markets.  Some weak performers are in poor markets where additional investment would be wasted; others are in good markets, where investment may be richly rewarded.  To make matters more complex, current programs compete with potential new programs for money, time, and management attention.  As a result, optimizing an institution’s portfolio requires a comprehensive look at all current and all potential programs.

Over the last few years, Gray has worked with their clients to develop the data and tools to enable efficient and comprehensive program assessments.  The following case study illustrates this program portfolio planning process.  Please be assured that all individuals and educational institutions in the case study are fictional.  GrayData is drawn from a variety of public and proprietary sources and is for illustration only.

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One-Page Summary of the External Market Data for a Program


Download Gray's Methodology