Research

If you don’t have the data, you can’t make the decisions

In a world where we produce 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day, discovering and determining what data you should use to inform your decision-making is almost surely overwhelming, to both staff and budgetary resources. Each of our research-based strategies are focused on meeting your potential students where they are. We pay close attention to the critical data points students are looking for when choosing an online degree program:

  • Speed-to-completion
  • Convenience
  • Price

Our research experts find and make sense of the information that can drive valuable action for your institution, including state/regional information from:

  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) data (national and regional undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate demand, conferral rates across disciplines)
  • our custom competitive data collection
  • our relationship with Eduventures, and more

How We Utilize Research to Maximize Opportunity

We then use this information to make strategic recommendations for Your Institution:

Degree Demand

Our experts compile and analyze IPEDS data for the past five years to determine the number of degrees conferred and degree growth at both the national and regional levels. Top producers in each degree category will be identified and their programs will be analyzed to identify their competitive advantages.

Workforce Development

We compile occupational sets from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for each degree program to include the following: employment levels, projected occupational growth, median salaries, educational attainment, job titles, skills, and employers, where possible, at both the national and regional levels.

Competitor Landscape

We develop a list of up to 20 competitor institutions that offer online programs comparable to your selected programs. Emerge will compile data for each program to include degree title, specializations, program length, cost, professional accreditation, prerequisite requirements, and admission requirements.

Opportunities to Expand Your Portfolio of Online Programs

We utilize existing research on high-potential programs to identify future online program opportunities for your institution, which will be prioritized based on the strength of each opportunity. 

Partners in Research Expertise

Eduventures Research, education partner of Emerge Education

Eduventures provides us with proprietary research, analysis, and advising services to support decision-making throughout the student lifecycle.

Michelle Tufford, research expert partnered with Emerge Education

Michelle Tufford, CEO of Online Degree Database

Michelle is a twenty-year veteran of market research. Most recently, she was Director of Research for a global education company that partners with universities to deliver online degree programs. Michelle led research to support new business development and existing partner program optimization. She has worked with more than 100 universities, in the U.S. and abroad, and delivered more than 500 market viability studies, online program portfolio reviews, and online degree competitive analyses to improve the performance of new and existing online programs (such as prioritizing new concentrations, evaluating the efficacy of program admissions requirements, conducting online program website evaluations, and more). She oversaw the delivery of student surveys to measure satisfaction with enrollment and retention services, and consulted on student surveys to measure program outcomes.

Michelle has also worked closely with faculty and administrators inside universities to ensure that their online programs are designed to meet distance students’ needs. She is the author of The Big Book of Online MBAs, the first publication to provide a directory of online MBA programs in the market.

Prior to entering the education industry, Michelle worked for 15 years at a Fortune 100 financial services company where she led research on new product development and customer service innovation, customer engagement, and brand health / advertising effectiveness research. She earned her graduate degree in Geography at Ohio State University and lives in Chicago, IL.