Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Miscellanea for Branch Campuses

Touching on several subjects, mostly personal:

A few days ago I passed 20,000 views on this blog.  Given how long I’ve been posting, 20,000 is anything but “viral,” but it pleases me that some people either subscribe/follow or simply stumble on the blog, and from the feedback I receive find it to be helpful.  Nice.

Originally I started this blog to provide a service to the National Association of Branch Campus Administrators (NABCA), as well as to help me organize my thoughts for a book I wanted to write.  That book, Out on a Limb:  A Branch Campus Life was published almost two years ago, and I’m pleased to see that it continues to sell, in both print and electronic versions on Amazon.

Speaking of NABCA, if you haven’t attended the conference, you should consider doing so (  Unfortunately, it often isn’t until a person attends that he or she realizes how valuable it can be to meet other people working in the branch world.  If you can make it, you won’t be disappointed.  I can almost guarantee that you’ll come away with some new friends and good ideas.

Aside from pitching my book, I’d also like to remind readers that I work as a consultant and coach.  I enjoy visiting campuses, because I meet interesting people and nearly always discover something that I haven’t encountered before.  Branches certainly share a number of qualities, but they also have their unique stories, bringing a variety of challenges and opportunities. 

Branch work can be isolating or even lonely, especially for new branch administrators.  I hope this blog and my book might help, and I’m sure that attending the NABCA conference is therapeutic.  Working with a coach provides a helpful and safe sounding board outside the organization, which also contributes to professional growth.  To be sure, I’d like to have a few more consulting or coaching clients, but more importantly, branch administrators need a source of support from someone who understands the unique challenges that branch campuses face.

Finally, from time to time I pass along resources that I think may be of value to people leading branch campuses.  I suggest you check out WCET Frontiers (, a blog dedicated to e-learning topics.  It behooves advocates for branch campuses to stay on top of e-learning developments, but I also find information of general value on this blog.  Check out this post:, which reports on enrollment trends, online as well as across other sectors.

If your campus is like many across the country, you may have experienced declining enrollments over the past few years.  In fact, most sectors of higher education have experienced declines, but online continues to grow, with one in seven students now enrolled exclusively online.  Online options are a serious competitor to other choices, especially for the audience served by branches, but my argument is that most institutions will find that their main campus, branches and fully online programs serve different audiences, inviting thoughtful strategies to exploit a range of opportunities to build enrollment and generate revenue.  Check out WCET.