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Changes in University Markets

What are the 5 largest U.S. universities?
1. University of Phoenix
2. Miami-Dade College
3. Arizona State University at Tempe
4. University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
5. Western International University
“Surprised? Two primarily online universities and one community college among the top five. FYI, the University of Phoenix has more than twice the number of students (117,309) as any of the next four (which range from 54,169 to 50,663).”
[Source: via the Dangerously Irrelevant blog – Chronicle of Higher Education. Campuses with the Largest Enrollments, Fall 2005. August 31, 2007.]
I’ll bet many public librarians would have put Phoenix into their list given the stress supporting those students (and local taxpayers) has become. Probably some academic librarians would have known about the emergence of distance educatrion as a major player and the competition from large colleges has become. I read somewhere (I wish I could find the cite) that the majority of the students at the University of Phoenix are single mothers and that is a major target audience for them. Mothers with kids is a major market segment for public libraries too. Hmmm. With women more likely to go on to higher ed and more likely to graduate we’re seeing a new market split in our library audiences.
Either way, it’s an interesting discussion focus for libraries and our strategic thinking.
What does it mean to our programs to support continuous learning for adults? It’s got to be more than window dressing.

Posted on: September 11, 2007, 2:34 pm Category: Uncategorized