In a recent article in CampusTechnology magazine, for-profit colleges are praised for their advanced use of technology. The article’s author, John K. Waters, even argues that traditional non-profit colleges could learn a thing or two from their for-profit counterparts when it comes to IT, especially when it comes to integrating student feedback through technological improvements. Since career colleges cater to non-traditional students, including many who take most (if not all) of their courses online, embracing today’s “on-demand” digital culture is essential.
We have written elsewhere about today’s generation of connected learners, who demand that developments such as social and mobile technologies be integrated into their educational plan. This is especially relevant to career colleges, who must constantly adopt the newest, most useful technologies for continuous engagement, particularly because their students may be working or raising a family outside of their coursework. According to the article, when it comes to IT, for-profit schools tend to have the edge for these reasons:
- They integrate a wider variety of devices and capabilities, such as learning management systems, e-books, and digital libraries.
- Career colleges tend to invest more money on technology infrastructure, often spending over 10% of their operating budgets on IT while traditional schools spend less than 3%.
- For-profits aren’t afraid to survey student satisfaction, and are more likely to respond to feedback on technology due to the potential for student turnover.
- One practitioner emphasized the “technical agility” of for-profit colleges, emphasizing their tendency to implement new technologies efficiently and to abandon older infrastructure when it loses its utility.
Of course, with the help of solutions like Blackboard Learn, tech-savvy colleges of all types can best serve the needs of their students, no matter when or how they receive their education.