2021 represents a turning point in GME for many reasons: a return to campus for the fall, the return of international students to campus, the transition from online to blended instruction for some programs, and a big uptick in applications for many schools. Against this backdrop of turning points and transition, the BusinessCAS Community held its first BusinessCAS Member Summit to discuss what’s happening in the field and how best to prepare for it. In case you didn’t have the chance to attend, here are some of the highlights you may have missed.
Students at the Center
Program leaders are thinking deeply about the student experience right now, with emphasis on the changing motivations of GME students, preliminary planning to determine how the persistent mix of online and face-to-face instruction disrupts traditional portfolio planning, and many conversations on how to bring initiatives around diversity, equity and inclusion to their practical application.
With many schools sporting exceptionally healthy enrollment pipelines at this point in the cycle, conversations about data and its use were among the most popular. Understanding how reliable that enrollment data is will play an outsized factor in this year’s efforts to yield a class over the final period of the summer break. Determining how best to leverage available sources, especially in light of data integrity concerns spurred by the wide variety of sources, was an active conversation with discussions around source identification, standardizing metadata elements for enrollment reporting, and best practices for including key data in strategic planning.
It’s not just the BusinessCAS Community that’s growing and changing, but the many parts of the traditional landscape. Several schools indicated that they have eliminated the application requirement for not only entrance exams, but also letters of recommendation. It’s too early to tell what the impact will be from these changes, but we’ll be hosting a meeting with representatives from GMAC and ETS to share their view of the future role of testing in GME program admission.