Ohio University (OHIO) is no stranger to success in higher education. The university consistently ranks in the top 100 of American public universities, as reported by U.S. News & World Report. They pride themselves on fostering resourcefulness, grit, and community in their programs. With more than 100 years of delivering business education, OHIO confers more MBA degrees than any other state institution.
Despite these accomplishments, OHIO isn’t content to maintain the status quo. Instead, the university continues to innovate modern, affordable education for students. To achieve this, they sought a strategic partner to support their College of Business programs.
The Search for a Collaborative, Forward-Thinking Partner
OHIO had a clear vision of what they wanted in a partner. First and foremost was collaboration. They weren’t looking to outsource or hand things off to an outside vendor. It also wasn’t enough to only have a consulting relationship. They knew in order to grow strategically in an ever-changing higher education marketplace, they needed a partnership focused on shared goals.
“OHIO and the College of Business have a long tradition of preparing professionals for meaningful career advancement,” said College of Business Dean Jackie Rees Ulmer. “Our nationally known business programs combined with Wiley’s expertise in successfully supporting online degree programs across higher education enable us to further deliver on our commitment to providing accessible and industry-relevant educational opportunities to students across the country.”
In addition to a collaborative partner, they were also seeking a provider who could help them scale up or down quickly, optimize processes strategically, and bring the expertise required to pivot when necessary.
OHIO identified Wiley University Services as the right fit, mainly due to our expert industry knowledge, forward-thinking innovative approach, and commitment to continuous improvement.
Strategic Teamwork to Put Learners First
“Why do we do this? It’s about providing an exceptional experience for our students,” Kari Lehman, Vice Provost for OHIO Online explained.
“OHIO focuses on outcomes for its students no matter their challenges or opportunities, so we support them with a student-centered strategy. We’re proud to uphold OHIO’s student-centered approach and ensure students receive the distinctly OHIO quality of care and support they’ve come to know over the years.”
Whether a student learns on-campus or online, OHIO prides itself on providing a holistic approach to student care, focusing on career and personal assistance.
At OHIO, every student in the College of Business receives meaningful, individualized career support services through OHIO’s Graduate Career Acceleration Team (GradCAT) and RiseSmart, who provide career networking, webinars, and unique learning opportunities. They also work with an industry coach and a personal branding expert who provides feedback on their LinkedIn profiles and helps them tailor their resumes.
Through strategic messaging, Wiley and OHIO ensure students know these services are available, illustrating that OHIO is a lifelong partner in their students’ growth and achievement. This level of career support is a valuable feature of online programs, and learners need to know they can count on it wherever they complete their coursework.
OHIO’s business students are busy individuals who need thoughtful, personalized guidance. They may also be career changers or otherwise entering the field of business for the first time. For these reasons, OHIO knows that the accessibility online courses provide is vital to students’ success.
“We know that most of our students are working professionals, and one of the things we say is we work to stitch people in instead of weed people out,” said Lehman. “Our faculty are really dialed into working professionals and understand they have lives, they have jobs, they have families. We will work with students and help them succeed.”
We at Wiley understand this deep commitment to students because we share it. We’re excited to add to OHIO’s excellence in student engagement and build upon their efforts to connect students across the country.
“The level of engagement and community that faculty and program directors bring to their online students is second to none. The full-time faculty make online learning and those students a priority, and it’s amazing to see,” said Sarah Gusewelle, Senior Partnership Director at Wiley.
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Looking Ahead to a Shared, Innovative Future
OHIO needed a partner equally committed to their students’ success. Wiley and OHIO have a shared goal of students achieving their aspirations and feeling the support of an experienced, resourceful community. Wiley’s collaborative approach supporting six master’s programs and ten certificate programs with marketing, recruiting, student support, and retention services allows OHIO to allocate resources and efforts strategically and efficiently.
“Not only is Wiley helping us deliver an exceptional student experience to them as they enter into the program, but they are supporting students throughout the program,” said Lehman. “Having a strategic partner helps us focus our resources on the things that only we can do. We feel comfortable moving other work over to Wiley and know that they will execute against our mission and against our brand. This allows us the space to do the things that add value to our students and our programs.”
Moreover, our partnership requires continual communication and collaboration to ensure we meet our shared, forward-thinking goals.
“The OHIO and Wiley teams meet several times a week, and we really are aligned on our goals. We’re on the same team and are striving to make the programs successful, and, ultimately, the students,” said Gusewelle.
Together, we’re striving to ensure an exceptional student experience across all touchpoints. For instance, Wiley worked hand-in-glove with OHIO’s University Communications and Marketing team to integrate new web pages into their existing website using their content management system. The result? Regardless of modality, all students have a seamless experience on the website, finding helpful information such as coursework and admissions guidelines and ways to reach out for assistance. OHIO also saw a boost in traffic to their existing website with new information for new audiences.
In addition, Wiley is supporting OHIO’s campus-based Professional MBA and Online MBA programs, showing that we can assist with both online and on-ground modalities and assist a student in choosing the program that best fits their needs. Once students are in contact, we help the university with enrollment and retention.
“This partnership is additive, not duplicative. We are already proud of the amazing work we do, and Wiley is building on that. Our input feels valued, and we have watched the Wiley team adjust to us, our needs, and our expectations,” said Lehman.
The partnership with OHIO can lead to more innovative training opportunities for students, such as online certificates, hybrid programs, and modern approaches to upskilling. Both teams are eager to continue adjusting to the higher education marketplace to deliver the programs and opportunities learners need.
“I have been really impressed with the way Wiley has adapted to our needs. I’ve never heard a ‘we can’t do that.’ They always find a way to incorporate our needs,” said Lehman.