Community Colleges Explore National Collaboration to Fight For-Profit Marketing Machine
Individual community colleges can’t match the marketing budgets of for-profit institutions that plaster their regions with advertisements. So they’re exploring ways to fight back by going national, pooling their efforts to promote online programs in a new marketing collaboration that was announced Sunday at a distance-education conference here.
The discussions, led by the American Association of Community Colleges, represent a fresh spin on an older strength-in-numbers distance-learning vision called the International Community College, which failed to get off the ground after four years of planning.
The distance-education landscape has changed drastically since that telecourse project. Both for-profits and an increasingly aggressive group of traditional four-year colleges now often recruit by purchasing “leads” on potential students that are parcelled out by online portals – a game community colleges have generally not joined.