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Professional & Adult Education Forum

Our Professional & Adult Education Forum provides employer-focused market research, marketing and recruiting strategy studies, and implementation resources to help you compete in a crowded market while supporting institutional goals. Our data-focused approach will empower you to make informed decisions across a wide range of areas, including:

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Creating a school of professional studies was a gigantic leap for this institution. Having EAB and COE to support and validate that we had the right kinds of ideas.. [was] critically important.

"Creating a school of professional studies was a gigantic leap for this institution. Having EAB to support and validate that we had the right kinds of ideas.. [was] critically important."

Karen Sibley, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, Brown University

Research & Insights


Marketing and recruiting across the adult student lifecycle

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To better attract adult learners, recruitment staff need to understand adult learners’ evolving expectations as consumers and unique focus on program outcomes. Messages must appeal to prospective student motivations, concerns, and emotional drivers to reach a greater share of the adult learner market. Adult learners often most value the promise of a concrete return on…

Over the past year, the Professional & Adult Education Forum has been investigating programs members wanted us to ‘secret shop.’ Through our efforts, we’ve identified the stage where recruitment strategy tends to falls short: prospect phone conversations. Today’s adult student is likely silently shopping and comparing programs independently, so you can’t afford to miss out…

Over the past six years, the Professional & Adult Education Forum has benchmarked the organizational characteristics of professional, continuing, and online education divisions. We’ve created a dataset that includes over 230 institutions to gain insight into how COE unit organizational design can promote (or inhibit) revenue growth. We commonly hear questions from our members about…

Launching and repositioning programs that can compete in a challenging market for professional, continuing, and online education requires a nuanced understanding of what motivates students to enroll. But all too often, working professionals who enroll in these programs are treated as one monolithic segment—or divided into career changers vs. career advancers. A closer look at…

Teaching analytics to your non-quantitative students prepares them for the nearly one million citizen data science roles we’ve found. The term “citizen data scientists” refers to professionals whose primary job function falls outside specialized data analysis, but who use data analytics in their work. As organizations rely more heavily on data analysis to make decisions,…



Join us at a 2020 National Meeting The 2020 Professional & Adult Education Forum meeting series focuses on top issues facing continuing, professional, and adult education units. Attendees will join fellow forum members in D.C. or Los Angeles for thought-provoking research, best practices, engaging breakout discussions, and more.

About the Webconference With adult student needs changing and the value of a degree in question, COE leaders feel the pressure to innovate and make up for traditional enrollment losses. Institutional leaders, the media, and external stakeholders believe that alternative credentials and short-format offerings could help solve this problem. Join us for this webconference as…

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