Usability Feedback and Keeping With the Times:

Essay by teecie March 2008

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Eventually, Chadron State College will confront the question of marketing to expand its catchment area beyond the city and neighboring towns. The demand to be competitive will come from reduced state subsidies, as is happening in California now, and from the natural inclination of families to obtain the best possible education for their college-age children.

In the medium term, CSC may also scrutinize the opportunities available in adult education and we do not mean just the residents of the city either. The market is massive. As of 2002, the U.S. Department of Education estimated the adult education market at some $260 billion (Wagner, 2003). And participation rates are high. Among workers 25 to 44 years who already possess a college degree or at least some college, from 66 percent to 72 percent could attest to have participated in some kind of formal adult education (index period: past 12 months). College graduates were in the market chiefly for work-related training (54%).

Work-related skills also counted first for those with some college (38%) but a great many also pursued avocations or wanted to finally earn a college degree (IES, 2008).

The U.S. Office of Vocational and Adult Education estimates that for the rest of the decade, no less than 21 percent of job openings will demand a bachelor's degree or better (Occupational Employment Projections to 2010). The drive to earn a college degree or gain new skills is heightened by the fact that job stability can no longer be counted on in the new, more "productive" America.

The world also looks to America and Europe for high-quality education. The University of Phoenix, for instance, already has students from more than 70 countries enrolled in online courses.

More aggressive positioning in the online education marketplace for both college-age youth and adults will highlight...