WASHINGTON, April 7, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Members of the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) need greater market, industry, and customer information, according to a recent study conducted by the association. The study revealed that colleges and university professional and continuing education units want direct and affordable research solutions. In response, UPCEA's Board of Directors approved the creation of the Center for Research and Consulting. Jim Fong, a leading education marketer and research professional, will direct the Center.
The Board's decision was based on data showing that eighty-eight percent of the 107 member institutions reporting said that market research was either "very or extremely important" to them while just 37 percent were "very or extremely satisfied" with their current market research.
"With budgets as tight as they are for many institutions and with so much competition in higher education, having strong information on the adult student and having marketplace information is essential to forming effective strategies, managing scarce resources and identifying opportunities," said Robert Hansen, CEO of UPCEA.
The Center's director, Jim Fong was formerly director of marketing research and planning for Penn State University Outreach and has held various leadership positions for survey research, consulting, and marketing companies. He regularly teaches graduate and undergraduate courses online and on-campus for Penn State University, Drexel University and Framingham State University. Fong was honored with the Adelle F. Robertson Award as the association's Professional Continuing Educator in 2004.
"Actionable research is critical to our continuing education efforts. With our razor thin budgets and with increased expectations for high quality programs that generate revenue, marketplace knowledge and research is essential. We are very fortunate to have someone who has both extensive higher education and market research experience to lead this new initiative," said Judy Ashcroft, President of UPCEA and Dean of Continuing & Innovative Education (CIE) at The University of Texas at Austin.
The association will offer all institutional members access to its benchmarking studies, such as its long-standing management and marketing surveys, but will also introduce issue-based benchmarking surveys. For member institutions that need more research data, an option to pay a $9,900 membership fee to the Center will give them access to more detailed benchmarking reports and one customized research study annually. The membership fee is designed to be an affordable option for institutions already investing considerable resources in market research and for smaller units unable to conduct research due to the high cost of outsourcing. All members of UPCEA have access to additional discounted custom research studies through the consulting side of the Center. Some of these services could include new program or market studies, pricing and marketing analyses, and other forms of research and consulting that may be unique to each college or university.
About the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA)
Located in Washington, D.C., UPCEA serves more than 380 institutions of higher education with a focus on professional, continuing, and online learning. The association provides its members with educational publications, programs, conferences, and services for the advancement of lifelong learning. UPCEA promotes awareness of the needs of adult learners and recognizes best practices in the field. For more information, visit http://www.upcea.edu.
Contact: Kandace Gilligan
Director of Communications
University Professional & Continuing Education Association
SOURCE University Professional & Continuing Education Association