Innovative Strategies for Developing New Academic Programs

Denver, CO | June 10, 2024 8:00 am MT - June 12, 2024 2:30 pm MT

Registrant Access Only

This training will not be available asynchronously.

Innovative Strategies for Developing New Academic Programs

Denver, CO | June 10, 2024 8:00 am MT - June 12, 2024 2:30 pm MT

Master the art and science of program development and ensure that your institution's growth is both purposeful and sustainable.


It is essential for leaders to understand the impact of creating new academic programs as important parts of growing enrollment, maintaining relevance in the curriculum, and differentiating institutions. Too often, proposals lack rigor, are too ambitious or expensive, and lean too far into traditions as an approach for new program development.  

Learn the art and science of growing academic programs in a way that maximizes your institution’s chance for success. You will walk through a set of criteria to consider when deciding whether to move forward with a new academic program or initiative. With the help of our expert speakers, you will consider ways to start small, think creatively, and build programs organically. We will dive deep into how you can assess a potential program and its: 

  • Fit with your institutional mission and goals. 
  • Operational feasibility given your capacity and resources. 
  • Prospective student enrollment. 
  • Internal support for getting it up and running. 
  • Profitability and impact resulting from failure. 

Who should attend?

Developing a new degree program or curricula involves many stakeholders. Because of this, we encourage you to bring your program planning team that may consist of provosts, deans, department chairs, operational or resource management administrators, registrars, and institutional researchers. Whether you are planning to develop a new online, blended/hybrid, or face-to-face program, this conference will help you to effectively plan a program.


Your registration fee includes full access to all conference sessions and materials, breakfast, lunch, and access to the networking reception on Monday, breakfast and lunch on Tuesday, breakfast and lunch on Wednesday, as well as refreshments and snacks throughout the conference.


Day One – Monday, June 10, 2024
8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. MT (Local time in Denver, CO)


8:00 – 8:30 a.m.



Continental Breakfast (included in registration fee)
8:30 – 9:00 a.m.



Welcome and Introductions
9:00 – 9:15 a.m.



Setting the Stage for Change in New Academic Program Development
9:15 – 10:15 a.m.
This hour will consider such questions as:

  • What are the current trends and disruptive forces that are impacting higher education today?
  • What forces are particularly impactful for your campus?
  • How might your current context and challenges inform your academic program mix and the decisions you make about new programs?



Morning Break
10:15 – 10:30 a.m.



Building Connections with Lego Serious Play: An Experiential Process for Reflective Dialogue
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Lego Serious Play is an experiential process designed for use with adults to prompt dialogue and encourage reflection. To help you to get creative and expand your mindset using the approachable medium of play, our facilitator will lead you through a series of structured exercises.



Lunch (included in registration)
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.



Creating an Appetite for Innovation on Your Campus
1:00 – 2:45 p.m.
Innovation is not easy within any context. Traditional modes of operation and decision making create real barriers. In this session, you will learn some effective strategies for creating an innovative and supportive campus environment. Specifically, our expert presenter will address:

  • Creating urgency for innovation and change.
  • Overcoming barriers that often get in the way of effective change efforts.
  • Looking outward for innovative inspiration and best practices.



Working Session – Identifying Your Key Barriers to Change
2:45 – 3:15 p.m.
You will have an opportunity to apply what you have learned as you work with others to identify your key barriers to change on your campus. You will begin to identify what factors will get in the way or impede your ability to bring new academic programs forward.



3:15 – 3:30 p.m.



Identifying Opportunities for New Academic Programs Through Market Research
3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Inspiration for new academic programs is readily available—if you know where to look. We will address:

  • Utilizing primary and secondary market research to identify potential program demand.
  • Obtaining market research resources that every provost and academic administrator should have at their fingertips.
  • Assessing the need—and existing competition—for new academic program possibilities.



Networking Reception (included in registration fee)
5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
This informal reception is your chance to decompress, have some refreshments on us, and expand your network of connections. Our programs are intentionally designed for smaller groups, so this is a great time to catch up with attendees and speakers whom you may not have connected with yet.



Day Two – Tuesday, June 11, 2024
8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. MT (Local time in Denver, CO)


Continental Breakfast (included in registration fee)
8:00 – 8:30 a.m.



Understanding Key Workforce Trends and Implications for Academic Program Planning
8:30 – 10:45 a.m. (includes break)
Your presenter will review the most critical national and international workforce trends and the potential impact for higher education. These trends will be looked at both to surface programs that are immediately viable, and to identify those that are emerging and represent areas of future potential. Specific questions to be addressed include:

  • What are the demographics of today’s college student?
  • What will the world of work look like in 2025?
  • What are the fastest-growing occupations, and what educational demand does this create?
  • Which occupations are in decline?
  • What are new educational delivery models that might be considered in response to these trends?
  • What does all this mean for higher education?



10:45 – 11:00 a.m.



Working Session: Assessing Your Current Academic Program Portfolio
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
You will have the opportunity to work together to brainstorm a list of external threats and opportunities. This process should later be integrated on campus by completing a formal environmental scan and then integrating these findings with the preliminary list of external threats and opportunities.



Lunch (included in registration)
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.



Mastering the Art and Science of New Academic Program Development
1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
Following on this presenter’s previous sessions, you will be introduced to a process for developing, vetting, and operationalizing new academic programs. Time for Q&A will be included. Specific topics to be addressed include:

  • Essential elements and considerations for developing new academic programs.
  • Important factors to consider in assessing risk and opportunity with new program possibilities.
  • Principles for operationalizing new programs.
  • Considerations for scaling and managing capacity.



2:30 – 2:45 p.m.



Infrastructure and Resource Planning to Support New Academic Programs
2:45 – 4:00 p.m.
In this session, you’ll think through a suitable approach to addressing the following considerations: Where will the resources come from to fund these changes? How will your new programs affect space utilization and technological requirements? Did market research indicate a sufficient market to produce the needed revenue? Can the staffing changes be phased in, or are they necessary up front to operate the proposed new academic program? Further, make sure you have taken the following into consideration:

  • The faculty needed to support a new academic program.
  • Faculty reductions for program cuts or elimination.
  • The staff needed to move into a new strategic direction.
  • Budgeting for human capital to accomplish strategic change.
  • Classrooms and technology capacity.
  • Adequate parking.
  • A need for a current facilities utilization analysis.
  • A determination of the need for new facilities.



Working Session: Developing a Feasibility Plan
4:00 – 4:30 p.m.
You will continue the work you started in the previous working session and begin to develop a feasibility plan for one program idea for your campus. You will have the opportunity to discover potential issues that may impact your program’s potential for success.



Day Three – Wednesday, June 12, 2024
8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. MT (Local time in Denver, CO)


Continental Breakfast (included in registration)
8:30 – 9:00 a.m.



Understanding the Impact of Accreditation/Re-Accreditation and State Authorization
9:00 – 10:15 a.m.
Accreditation can be both an enabler and a hindrance to creative approaches, so it’s important to think through these implications as early as possible. In this session, you’ll develop a working list of issues that need to be addressed regarding accreditation, state authorization, and changes to your campus mission, including:

  • What are the accreditation implications of new programs?
  • How and when do you bring accreditors into your process when thinking about something creative or non-traditional?
  • How can past issues/concerns with your accreditor impact the process of developing new programs?
  • How can the format of the program impact accreditation considerations?
  • How do you determine the value of specialized accreditation?



10:15 – 10:30 a.m.



Creating a Marketing Plan for your New Program
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Unfortunately, “if you build it, they will come” isn’t a bankable strategy. Even the best-designed new program can fail if a viable marketing plan isn’t well crafted and effectively executed. Our expert will discuss what it takes to successfully market a new program and sustain one’s market position over time. The speaker will address:

  • Building a comprehensive new program marketing plan.
  • Budgeting for marketing and recruitment efforts.
  • Staff options for program recruitment and marketing.
  • Assessing the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
  • Using market research to determine program viability.
  • Measuring demand for your new academic program.



Lunch (included in registration)
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.



Financial Budgeting and Modeling
1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
New programs that are not integrated into the campus’s five-year budgeting process and properly resourced will likely flounder or never get off the ground. Tough decisions are often required to trim the funding of less profitable academic programs, to expand programs that will improve the institution’s bottom line. This final hour will focus on:

  • Tying your strategic planning and new program development to a five-year budget.
  • Directly linking the planning process to the budget.
  • Identifying program reductions and program growth opportunities to keep the budget in balance.



Wrap-Up, Q&A, and Evaluation
2:00 – 2:30 p.m.

Save on In-Person Conference Registrations

Attend any three in-person conferences for $5,000 for Members ($5,500 for Non-Members) – or $1,667 dollars per registration for Members ($1,833 for Non-Members) – with a Conference 3-Pack. There’s no one way to use your 3-Pack!

  • Send 3 people to the same conference
  • Send 3 individuals to different conferences
  • Experience 3 different conferences yourself

Learn More


The training will be conducted in person at Academic Impressions’ Denver-based office at: 5299 DTC Blvd, Suite 1400, Greenwood Village, CO 80111

Nearby hotel suggestions:

Hyatt Place Denver Tech Center – 3-star hotel

8300 E Crescent Pkwy, Greenwood Village, CO 80111


Distance from office: 0.5 miles if driving, 0.3 miles if walking

A room rate of $154/night is available if you book your room using this link.

This reduced rate and room availability are subject to general hotel availability and not guaranteed. So, we recommend booking as soon as possible!

Denver Marriott Tech Center – 4-star hotel

4900 S Syracuse St, Denver, CO 80237


Distance from office: 0.9-1.2 miles, depending on route

A 10% discount is available if you book your room using this link.

This discount is subject to general hotel availability and not guaranteed. So, we recommend booking as soon as possible!

Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center – 4-star hotel

7800 E Tufts Ave, Denver, CO 80237


Distance from office: 1.1 miles


“Attending this well-organized conference transformed my perspective on the art of developing new academic offerings and on the different contributors to establish and develop new academic programs.”
– Jose Torres-Ruiz, PhD, Chancellor, Ponce Health Sciences University


“A very insightful, comprehensive coverage of the strategies for developing new academic programs. Innovation was the driver for discussions.”
– Natalia Buta, Associate Professor and Department Chair, Frostburg State University