Moving Beyond OPM – It’s in our DNA

by Dan Janick

Next week marks one year since I gained the privilege to serve as CEO of Elsmere Education. It’s been an exciting year of growth and progress working alongside our outstanding team of Elsmerians, and an honor to support our university partners and their students. It’s also been a year of significant change in higher education and in our business. I’ve noted two consistent elements among the changes and along my climb up the learning curve. First, university leaders continue to seek trusted partners to help navigate the dynamic realm of online learning. Second, and importantly, Elsmere’s core principles of transparency, capacity building, and flexibility remain as unique and valuable as they were at the company’s launch in 2012.

Enablement Moving Forward

As a result of the explosion in students’ learning preferences for the online modality in higher ed, we’ve seen institutional leadership teams embrace the need to do something different. Online education is now becoming a core part of the institutional strategy for expanding a university’s ability to serve more students. Adult learners and online programs are no longer ancillary elements, they are strategically critical to the institutional mission. When something becomes strategic, leaders elevate its priority, make greater investments in time, energy, and resources, and push through resistance to change from faculty, faculty senate, and traditionalists.

While universities now share a similar aspirational vision for online education, each one is starting from a different place. Some universities have been offering degrees online for years, while others are in the beginning stages of this journey. Similarly, some institutions rely on existing OPM partnerships to deliver the marketing, enrollment, and other services, while others have established some level of in-house capacity to deliver these.

So, the question is – what should a college or a university do to begin or expand its online learning options for nontraditional learners?

While each path will be different, we believe a spirit of enablement guides the journey. Enablement comes into play by meeting each institution where it’s at on the journey and helping it advance each step of the way toward its desired future while teaching its teams how to execute and sustain success.

Our Unique Model

Elsmere has always offered unique models grounded in transparency, capacity building, and flexibility – and that flexibility is even more germane now. Offering a bundle of marketing, enrollment, and retention services is no longer unique. Every organization is made up of people, process and platforms (3 P’s) – plus a financial model behind them. As an institution evaluates its 3 P’s and how they work into its operating budget, the key is for organizations like Elsmere Education to offer options that fit the institution dynamically. What works for an institution today will change, so the operating and financial models must adapt over time.

At Elsmere, we don’t fear those changes, we embrace them.

The Next Big Thing – Education Process as a Service

Elsmere calls it Education Process as a Service (EPaaS). We believe this is the ultimate enablement model.

In order to enable our university partners to serve more nontraditional students, we’ve built a student success focused tech ecosystem and integrated processes that help university leadership teams overcome the obstacles and frustrations they face using campus systems built to serve traditional residential students, and manual workflows to monitor the student journey. Our EPaaS solution also fills a gap for universities that lack access to a best-in-class CRM platform, providing crucial data insights that drive student success and staff effectiveness.

EPaaS is delivered on the Salesforce Education Cloud platform, the world’s most widely used CRM system.

On top of our Salesforce foundation, we’ve built 40+ technology applications into a single ecosystem that enables universities to ensure their marketing, recruiting, and retention teams consistently deliver student success.

So, where is your institution on its journey toward a more impactful future with online adult learners? We’d welcome the opportunity to discuss how EPaaS and our Enablement Services can accelerate your progress.

Dan Janick is the Chief Executive Officer of Elsmere Education. Having served in various executive, board, and advisory roles over his 30-year career, Dan is an experienced leader who aligns people and resources with mission and values to bring about organizational success.
Through his prior leadership experience at Academic Analytics, LLC and SignalPath, LLC, Dan has helped technology companies scale effectively and positively impact the higher education and research communities.


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