Summer Sessions: Marketing Strategies for Small Colleges

By Schee, Brian Vander | College and University, October 1, 2006 | Go to article overview

Summer Sessions: Marketing Strategies for Small Colleges


Schee, Brian Vander, College and University


Increases in summer session enrollment at colleges and universities are common announcements in the media (Dainow 2001; Young 2003). The growth trend is according to institutional design: Summer sessions provide opportunity for students to complete their programs of study in a timely fashion, for faculty to supplement their annual income, and for colleges to increase their enrollment and revenue. This is equally true for large state-supported universities and for smaller institutions.

In order to increase summer enrollment, some institutions offer incentives. For example, the University of New Mexico offered a 15 percent discount on tuition and fees for the summer 2006 session (Uytterbrouck 2006). Lacking the resources, reputation, and size advantage of public, doctoral degreegranting universities, smaller private institutions face a greater challenge as they seek to make summer sessions a net revenue center of operation. (In this article, "small private colleges" enroll fewer than 1,500 students, have minimally competitive admissions practices, and have little to no endowment.)

A case study of one small private college found a significant increase in summer enrollment when several key changes in the summer session's design were implemented. This article describes summer enrollment challenges at small colleges as well as key factors for success as identified in the case study.

Challenges to Small Colleges

Small private colleges often are at an enrollment disadvantage because of their higher tuition, fewer resources and program offerings, and lack of economy of scale. Students must be attracted to the colleges according to the promise of more personalized attention of faculty and staff as well as the sense of community. However, certain factors unique to small colleges put them at a significant disadvantage when it comes to enrollment in summer sessions.

Faculty Perspective

Scott (1995) found that faculty perceive a lessening of academic rigor in summer sessions as a result of sacrificing course content and breadth. Moreover, reduced contact hours or days between class meetings may lessen the amount of time available to students to fully comprehend course material. Crowe, Hyun, and Kretovics (2005) identified the primary concern as maintaining academic rigor in summer session courses adapted from traditional semester-long courses. Note that studies show that students learn as much or more in summer sessions as during the fall and spring semesters (Daniel 2000). It is unclear whether this is the result of the types of courses offered in summer sessions or of the motivation of the students who enroll in them.

Faculty who teach summer courses may not be focused exclusively on pedagogy. According to Doane and Pusser (2005), assistant professors at public, doctoral degree-granting institutions can expect to earn five to seven thousand dollars per summer course taught; for full professors, this amount increases to between eight and ten thousand dollars. In contrast, faculty at small private colleges can expect to earn just two thousand dollars per summer course taught, regardless of rank. A small private college faculty member who teaches eight courses over eight months (two semesters) for an annual salary of $45,000 earns $5,625 per month; offering the same instructor $630 per credit hour to teach one course for one month is equivalent to a monthly salary of $1,890, only one-third of the regular compensation. Committee work and student advising are greatly reduced in the summer, but who can blame faculty members for pursuing other endeavors deemed more worthy of their time? Insufficient numbers of faculty willing to teach summer courses thus can be a significant problem for small private colleges.

Larger institutions have a significantly larger pool of instructors from which to draw for summer sessions. Small institutions - particularly those in rural areas - may not have access to qualified instructors beyond their full-time faculty.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Summer Sessions: Marketing Strategies for Small Colleges
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.