The University of West Alabama announced it has expanded its partnership with Wiley Education Services, a division of Wiley, to enhance the University’s enrollment management efforts. The seven-year agreement was signed Friday on the UWA campus at a gathering of the University community and Wiley officials.
“This is an exciting time for our University,” said UWA President Ken Tucker. “We have an outstanding relationship with Wiley, having begun an existing partnership with them in 2016 to support similar efforts for UWA’s online offerings. Through that collaboration, Wiley has helped the University more than double enrollment in online programs.”
Wiley partners with higher education institutions to deliver online degree programs that help students earn their desired degree, advance their skills, and reach their career goals. Wiley-powered programs are, on average, more affordable than comparable online programs, generate strong student outcomes as measured by graduation and retention rates and perform well in terms of learner and faculty satisfaction.
For UWA, Wiley’s efforts are focused on boosting enrollment, a particularly critical task in a time when higher education continues to see projections decline nationwide.
“We are extremely proud of the success we’ve been able to achieve over the last five years in partnership with the University of West Alabama,” said Todd Zipper, President of Wiley Education Services. “With this expansion, we look forward to helping UWA continue to grow enrollments, while helping fill the critical job needs of the wider community the University serves.”
“Recruiting and enrollment management services are vital to the lifeline of a traditional university like ours, and those efforts have been constrained in several ways over the last few years,” explained UWA President Ken Tucker. “A growing number of increasingly challenging obstacles to higher education for many families means that the University must take a bold approach to growing and sustaining our enrollment numbers, and Wiley will bring their expertise, resources, data analytics, and best practices to help achieve this goal.”
Like virtually every other aspect of society and the nation’s economy, higher education in the U.S. continues to endure the trickling negative effects of the pandemic—those related to the economy, employment, cost of living, and the perceived need to replace experiences with convenience.
“We recognize that traditional on-campus undergraduate students still want, and will benefit from, the college experience that we offer at UWA, and we also recognize that a substantial number of students simply do not know that we are an option,” Tucker said. “We are also convinced that if we can get a student to campus for them to experience what our faculty and staff have to offer and the special feeling they have when they are here, that student has a significantly higher likelihood of enrolling and becoming part of the UWA family.”
Other challenges are as simple as population declines.
“Census data shows that changes in population will continue to pose challenges to higher education for quite some time,” Tucker explained. “Simply put, the number of college-aged students in our nation is on a downturn, so our audience is shrinking, making recruitment much more competitive.”
UWA President Ken Tucker said that the partnership reflects the progress that the University is striving to achieve.
“Our University has placed a strong emphasis on working collaboratively to enhance our offerings and to grow the programs that we believe make our region a better place,” Tucker said. “On campus, our teams work collectively to create opportunities and develop the initiatives that are bringing positive results, and through this partnership, we will expand the efforts in a measurable and effective way.”
Through the partnership, Wiley will help UWA with recruitment, enrollment and student retention, as well as marketing UWA’s on-campus offerings, and conducting market research for new programs.