In the news: Academics changing methods with new student demographics

In the news: Academics changing methods with new student demographics

The Nonprofit Times, October 13, 2021

Ah, academic life. There are the classes, the dorm parties, the long nights in the library, a degree after four years. No. Wait. If you're in a nonprofit program those are simply quaint ideas of education in years gone by. When it comes to everything from certificate programs to master's degrees, the most typical student will be female, in her 50s and already working in the sector. Ages will vary by type of program but even master's degree students are trending older. [...]

As academic programs moved online, accelerated by the pandemic, there has been “Amazon- ization” of courses. Potential students can shop and get the best deal. “Price points matter as potential attendees can easily shop around as they search for content, the reputation of the entity offering training, and the right pricing,” said Robert F. Ashcraft, Ph.D., executive director and Saguaro Professor of Civic Enterprise at Arizona State University’s Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation.

“Price points remain low generally in the nonprofit sector for training; thus we raise supplemental funds to offset the true costs for providing relevant and high quality training,” he said. ASU is seeing a mix in payments. Half to two-thirds of students are receiving some type of reimbursement, but not necessarily 100% of the tuition, said Ashcraft.

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