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Good to Great – Enhancing Services to Professional Working Adult Learners through a Campus-Wide Benchmarking Study

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Continuing Professional Development Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

Continuing Professional Development

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.648.1 - 24.648.9



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Paper Authors


Mitchell L Springer PMP, SPHR, SHRM-SCP Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Dr. Springer currently serves as the Executive Director for Purdue University’s College of Technology located in West Lafayette, Indiana. He possesses over 30 years of theoretical and industry-based practical experience from four disciplines: Software Engineering, Systems Engineering, Program Management and Human Resources. Dr. Springer possesses a significant strength in pattern recognition, analyzing and improving organizational systems. He is internationally recognized, has contributed to the literature more than 100 articles, presentations, books and reviews on software development methodologies, management, organizational change, and program management. Dr. Springer sits on many university and community boards and advisory committees. Dr. Springer received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Purdue University, his MBA and Doctorate in Adult and Community Education with a Cognate in Executive Development from Ball State University. He is certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP), Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and in Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) and mediation.

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Mark T Schuver Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Mark Schuver is the Director for the Center for Professional Studies in Technology and Applied Research (ProSTAR) in the College of Technology at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. He is responsible for the administration/operations of the Center with Program Management oversight of the Weekend Master’s Degree, the Rolls-Royce Master’s Degree and the Building Construction Management Master’s Degree for working professionals in the College of Technology. Prior to joining Purdue in 2002, Mark was employed by Caterpillar, Inc for 35 years with assignments in Product Design, Research and Development, Supplier Management, Quality Management, Logistics Management and various leadership positions. He holds an Associate Degree in Drafting Technology from North Iowa Area Community College (1967), a BS in Business Administration (1990) and MS in Management (1992) from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Mark is a member of the American Society for Engineering Education and serves on the Executive Board of the Continuing Professional Development Division. He is also a member of College/Industry Partnerships, Engineering Technology and Graduate Studies Divisions of ASEE. Mark is a Lifetime Certified Purchasing Manager with the Institute of Supply Management (formerly NAPM).

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Good to Great – Enhancing Services to Professional Working Adult Learners through a Campus-Wide Benchmarking StudyIn 2009, AA University’s College of BB centralized professional studies into a single fullysupported Center for Professional Education (BB’sEd). BB’sEd (as it became approved in2009), on October 13, 2000, was approved by the full committee of the Indiana Commission onHigher Education (ICHE) to provide a fee-based distance learning Master of Science degree inTechnology, versus, the traditional tuition-based on-campus residential program.As a fee-based organization, BB’sEd receives no state funds. It is entirely funded through fee-based revenue. To this end, organizational success in delivering quality programs to professionalworking adult learners is paramount.Over the five years since its inception, BB’sEd has demonstrated significant success byincreasing enrollments over 204%, graduate students 135% (representing 41% of the totalcollege) and gross revenue 237%; this while dropping overhead from 56% to near 28%.With a new University President and renewed focus on efficiencies and cost savings, BB’sEdwas invited to participate in a benchmarking of its operations against other internal universitysimilar fee-based program organizations.This paper will focus on the results of this five month campus-wide benchmarking study;including the recommendations for improvement to serve professional working adult learners inthe areas of:  Reduction of administrative overhead  Creation of an expense and residual financial model  Unbundling of services – a la carte service provider  Increasing Program specific expense transparency  Enhancing marketing expertise  Standardization of a faculty compensation model  Administrative department teaching to reduce overheadAdditional discussion will focus on the emotional and psychological implications on theadministering organization’s personnel during the above referenced organizational success.

Springer, M. L., & Schuver, M. T. (2014, June), Good to Great – Enhancing Services to Professional Working Adult Learners through a Campus-Wide Benchmarking Study Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20539

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