A Birthday Post to Celebrate 10 Years of #HigherEd Experts

April 28th, 2017 Karine Joly No Comments

Today I’m sharing a post I wrote earlier this week at Higher Ed Experts (A personal look of 10 years of Higher Ed Experts) to make sure you – as a reader of this blog – get a chance to see it, since you’ve been such a big part of Higher Ed Experts from day 1 :-)

2 Kids, but 3 Babies?

I often joke I’ve had 3 babies even though I only have 2 kids.

Nope, my husband has had his adult card for many, many years, so I’m not talking about my better half.

Birthday CakeI’ve never baked birthday cakes for this one nor have I received any mother’s day craft from the little rascal. Yet, I’ve spent many sleepless nights worrying about what the future holds for this other baby of mine. I’ve also beamed in motherly pride while hearing positive comments about this 10-year old (I guess I shouldn’t say “baby” anymore now).

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a post about work-life balance or misplaced priorities.

I love my 2 sons to the moon and back. But, I’d be lying if I were to deny any emotional attachment with Baby #3.

From the day I first introduced it to the world 10 years ago, on April 23, 2007, I’ve worked very hard to help it grow into a unique professional online school for digital marketing and communication pros in higher education.

Higher Ed Experts has been – and hopefully will always be – a labor of love for me. It has become what it is today with the help of many, many talented professionals working in higher education. I can confirm that it does take a village “to raise” a school, too :-) And, I’m thankful to all who have helped make this dream come true over the years.

As I’ve already mentioned, I’ve never baked birthday cakes for Higher Ed Experts (something I insist on doing for my sons) but, it did turned 10 last Sunday. So, baking a… “birthday post” was the least I could do :-)

What’s in a baby name? A promise and a mission

Why was it named Higher Ed Experts back in 2007?

Higher Ed Experts

Because the domain name was still available 10 years ago ;-). But, there’s more to it.

When I chose the name, I was looking to include the keyword “higher ed,” since this was how most online searches to find industry specific information were labeled. With my blog collegewebeditor.com launched 2 years before, I had learned that the presence of “college” would attract professionals, but also a mass of students, parents or other people interested in college admissions or life.

When I selected “experts,” it wasn’t meant to be a statement about who we were at that time, but what we wanted our conference attendees and certificate program students to become.

Our faculty team is composed of higher ed experts.
Our conference speakers are also higher ed experts.
Our core expertise is higher education.
Our school’s mission is to nurture higher ed experts. Everywhere.

That’s why most of our Faculty members or speakers have been certificate program students or conference attendees. Higher Ed Experts isn’t a school with a handful of experts. Higher Ed Experts is a school that has trained close to a thousand experts working in universities, colleges and schools all around the world.

Higher ed marketing conferences or courses: always quality content first!

The quality of our training programs has always been at the center of what we do. Our online conferences are not your regular webinars. They are not (and have never been) part of an elaborate content strategy to increase leads to sell consulting services.

Education is what we do with our conferences and online courses. We’re a school, just like yours – only smaller (we even have a school page on LinkedIn :-).

Most conference attendees rave about our online higher ed marketing conferences for a simple reason: we spend a lot of time and efforts keeping up with digital trends in and out of higher education. We are also lucky to work with amazing digital professionals and early adopters in higher education.

Higher Ed Marketing Conference testimonial from attendee

There is a lot of talent and expertise in the digital profession within higher education. Our mission since day 1 has always been to search for, attract and showcase this talent in our higher ed marketing conferences and our certificate programs for higher ed professionals.

Higher Ed Experts faculty and students on the same team.

Launched in 2011, Higher Ed Experts’ online certificate programs have been taken by more than 900 professionals, all working in colleges and universities in the US, Canada, Australia, Europe, South America and the Middle East.

Instructor-led and cohort-based, our 4-week professional certificate online programs are based on proven online learning theories.

They are improved and updated with the help of the student feedback we solicit and receive constantly. But, what makes them really unique isn’t as much their course materials, but the amazing work of our Faculty team.

High level of true expertise in a given domain isn’t as ubiquitous as it can seem. We’ve been lucky enough be able to provide a stable, flexible and interesting enough environment to retain the majority of our Faculty members. This kind of stability helps nurture growing teaching expertise. Whether or not they still teach at Higher Ed Expert today, all our instructors share the common passion to help their higher ed colleagues become true experts. And, that’s why I’m so fortunate to work with such a team.

Our students – higher ed professionals like you – have also taught us so many things over the years. We teach, we coach, we mentor, but we also learn a lot from our students.

That’s why Higher Ed Experts has become a reference in professional development for digital marketers and communicators working in higher education. Our diverse community of students (from all type of schools and from many different countries) has helped us improve our professional certificate programs over the years.

Most of them enjoyed their learning experience so much that they spread the word about our programs by sharing testimonials and by recommending our programs to their team members.

Up to 32% of your higher ed colleagues enrolling in one of our professional certificate online programs have been referred by former Higher Ed Experts students.

Does it make us their professional alma mater?

Almost for some. I’ve been amazed by the loyalty of some of our newsletter readers, professional program students and conference attendees. Many have kept Higher Ed Experts as a trusted professional training resource through their successive positions and institutions for the past decade.

They’ve changed jobs, they’ve changed schools, but they keep attending our programs and conferences.

Program completion and cost control to serve the higher ed community

Program completion is at the core of our mission. We’re not a gym, our model isn’t designed to increase enrollment as much as possible without any regard for learning outcomes.

Search Engine Optimization SEO for Higher EducationWhile we teach digital marketing skills, our ultimate goal is not to market our programs, but to help our prospective, current and past students learn as much as they can to grow in their professional career.

As a result our faculty team and I work very hard to keep program completion rates as high as possible.

All our students – professionals like you working in higher education – work full-time. Many have family responsibilities or pursue an academic degree at their school. Like you, they are busy people with many conflicting priorities. So, our goal has always been to do as much as we can to help them complete their program (as a well as a project for work since the final project can be adapted and reused on the job) within 4 weeks.

In the 1st week of the program, I personally make sure everybody stays on schedule with reminders and regular check-ins when necessary. Our Faculty team is always available and helpful throughout the courses providing weekly personalized feedback about assignments and timely answers to student questions.

Our focus is to help people working for schools who often have limited budgets.

This is the reason why the prices of our professional certificate programs and our online conferences haven’t increased in the past 6 years.

I know, we are an oddity in a world where everything is getting more and more expensive. But, we’ve worked very hard to streamline our operations and to focus on what matters (with the help of data!). As a result, we’ve made productivity gains without sacrificing our high touch human-centered experience for program students and conference attendees.

Now, I can’t obviously promise that we won’t ever have to increase our tuition fees.

We probably will at some point, but this will always be a last resort solution, because I know very few professional development budgets in higher ed increase at the pace everything else does.

But, if you want to help us avoid increasing our tuitions, it’s easy: just spread the word about our conferences and our courses!

Even a tweet, a Facebook share or a simple recommendation to a colleague at a conference can go a long way.

More attendees or students for Higher Ed Experts will result in spreading our increasing fixed costs over a larger tuition bucket. That’s that simple!

Got a question or comment?