A hybrid campus is a university that provides student services most notably courses, but also career services, wellness, etc. using a blend of online and face-to-face delivery.
The most successful small private colleges intelligently integrate their physical campus and face-to-face instruction with online options. Small privates differentiate themselves by being student-centered, and that will increasingly mean providing students with the option to access courses and services in their preferred modality.
The challenge is that building a hybrid campus is easier said than done. A few weeks ago, a headline in the Chronicle read: “Some Colleges Are Ending Hybrid Learning. Students Are Pushing Back.”
As noted in the article, many traditional undergraduate students want the flexibility and convenience afforded by pandemic-induced hybrid options to persist into the future. While flexibility and convenience are often cited as “non-traditional” student needs, valuing flexibility and convenience doesn’t magically begin at the age of 24. If you look at almost any industry, technology has materially elevated the consumer’s expected level of service.
But, the article also highlights that actually delivering a meaningful number of hybrid options can be incredibly taxing on faculty and staff. Sometimes, it is outright impossible given technology constraints.
At Rize, our goal is to be a trusted partner that can help LCMC colleges move more confidently into a hybrid future. Emerging from the pandemic will require colleges to individually reassess what the “new normal” looks like given unique campus and student needs.
But we’d be surprised if the focus on delivering flexibility, convenience and, ultimately, quality via a hybrid campus fades.
If you are interested in reading more about the hybrid campus, The Innovative University by Clayton Christensen introduced us to the concept, but Jeff Selingo’s reporting across a variety of mediums has really been the most illuminating for us at Rize.