Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is the value of working with Embanet rather than doing this on our own?
Embanet is the pioneer in the marketing, recruitment, and retention categories of online learning. We’ve spent nearly two decades building and perfecting these services and have developed an impressive infrastructure and staff. Most institutions do not have the expertise or resources needed to replicate the services Embanet provides. As competition continues to grow more intense, many organizations find that successfully addressing all the requirements needed to launch an online program to be an overwhelming task, which often distracts them from their core mission of delivering a quality academic experience.

What type of upfront investment is necessary and when will we become cash positive?
Embanet will work with you during the development of your program to determine the level of investment required for you to pay faculty and staff, develop courses, and upgrade your infrastructure to prepare to serve online students. Typically, the maximum investment for an institution that partners with Embanet is less than $100,000 with breakeven occurring in year two or before. We will work with you to develop a program pro forma that will anticipate all of your revenue and expenses, and project future net cash flow.

What is Embanet looking for in potential Academic Partners and/or new programs?
We partner with institutions that sincerely want to be in online education, but feel as if they are missing some critical element or elements to make that happen. Our ideal partners are committed to maintaining high academic standards, yet are entrepreneurial in terms of educational delivery. They recognize that success in the online learning arena means being flexible, market-driven, and performance-based. Before we start, we will conduct a thorough assessment process and share with you our best strategic recommendations for high-potential programs and institutional readiness. We will make our mutual decision to partner based on evidence-based research and experience.

Why must we sign a long-term contract with Embanet? If we sign a long-term contract with you, what recourse do we have if Embanet does not meet our recruitment and retention goals?
Embanet makes a sizeable up-front investment for each program; we only make money if we bring you qualified students who stay continuously enrolled. A long-term contract works in the best interest of both parties. It ensures that Embanet will invest enough to make the program successful for years to come with high enrollments of qualified students. Our agreement includes performance criteria that the university expects and that Embanet has determined are attainable within a specified time frame. If Embanet does not perform to that level, either side can exercise their right to terminate the partnership.

Do faculty members design their own courses, select their own textbooks and maintain academic freedom?
The institution and its duly appointed representatives are responsible for the academic integrity of the program. Their regional and professional accrediting bodies determine the academic standards of all programs, including online programs. Faculty are responsible for creating the course curriculum, selecting materials, designing learning activities, and assessing student learning. Embanet can support faculty in the instructional design of the course, selection of appropriate technologies and multimedia, and of course websites.

What is your academic model? Do we have to conform to that model?
Obviously, courses delivered completely online have certain requirements that are different from courses delivered on campus. The difference is not one of academics, but one of delivery format. Embanet’s e-learning experts work closely with your faculty to understand your program’s curricula and recommend a model that meets your academic requirements. Ultimately, academic decisions are always made by the institution and we will support the model you choose. Our partners typically appreciate the expertise and experience of our e-learning professionals.

Who builds and maintains the online classroom?
If the institution does not have dedicated instructional design and technology support for faculty, Embanet can provide this service. Embanet has a team of instructional designers and technologists who are well-versed in online pedagogies. They will work closely with faculty members to design, develop and deploy online courses. Embanet can provide on-demand design and technology consultation as well as personalized training in managing the virtual classroom.

Who hires and manages faculty?
In most situations, institutions hire and manage their own faculty. In instances where the program grows quickly and/or the institution does not have the administrative capacity to do handle this function on their own, Embanet will upon request, find, train, manage faculty, and act as your fiscal agent. We do so only in close collaboration with the institution, using the institution’s recommended qualifications and other standards they deem critical. Anyone hired to instruct or facilitate should hold at least an adjunct appointment to the institution.

How are faculty found and compensated?
The institution maintains full responsibility for selecting and managing qualified faculty. They will want to identify potential faculty and facilitators from within their own institution and professional networks. Embanet can also assist in the identification of qualified candidates and act as the Institution’s fiscal agent, if requested. The final hiring decision rests with the university’s Program Director. All faculty should hold at least an adjunct appointment to the institution as required by your regional accrediting agency.

Who maintains intellectual property rights to courses if Embanet helps with course development?
Embanet honors the intellectual property policy of each Academic Partner. The content of a particular course is owned by the faculty developer or institution, depending upon the institution’s intellectual property policy.

Do you provide any faculty support?
Yes, Embanet retention advisors support both faculty and students by providing training on course management system tools, responding to common technical issues posed by students, assisting students with textbook acquisition, posting announcements, monitoring student participation, and making student referrals. They provide a one-stop link to the critical services of the university so faculty can focus exclusively on teaching and learning, free from program and course logistics.

How do the people in my institution who are already working in functional areas such as marketing, admissions, and instructional design, interact with the Embanet staff?
Embanet works closely with individuals across your institution to seamlessly integrate our processes with yours. The last thing we want to do is reinvent the wheel or create duplicate processes. Embanet staff see themselves as an extension of your staff, and represent themselves that way to students. They immerse themselves in your institution’s processes, policies and culture. In fact, at launch we bring the entire program team to your campus to begin that immersion process and build long-lasting relationships.

Who determines where and to whom you market?
The Embanet Partnership Director and Marketing Manager create a marketing plan at launch. They then collaborate with the program administrators at the institution to finalize and implement the plan. All marketing initiatives and materials are approved by the Academic Partner before being launched to prospective students. Each week we update university program staff about our progress and enrollment prospects. Each term the Partnership Director and Marketing Manager create a new marketing plan based on performance data from the previous term and share this with the Academic Partner. It is an ongoing, collaborative process.

Where do you find students?
This answer is different for every program. The extensive research we perform prior to signing a partnership agreement includes information on how best to reach the target audience. These channels include professional organizations, web advertising, print ads, direct mail and a plethora of other areas and tactics. But one thing is for sure; we know going in how and where to find qualified students, and we test and re-test strategies to find the best and right media mix.

How do you advise in financial aid situations? Do you have your own financial aid?
Our Enrollment Advisors are trained in the details of the university’s financial aid programs, and they work closely with the institution’s financial aid personnel to help answer students’ questions. Embanet staff only discuss financial aid policies and procedures, never the particulars of a student’s file. Embanet is not an academic institution, so it does not have its own financial aid programs.

How are students oriented and supported?
Student support begins at the first contact with the prospective student and ends when he or she graduates from the program. Our recruitment and retention counselors are in regular telephone and email contact with individual students to answer questions, provide information and counsel them on what it takes to be successful as a distance learning student. They orient students to the program and assist them with the administrative details and paperwork that faculty do not want – or know how – to deal with.

Will we retain academic control? Are we locked into some sort of new online system or programs that you already have? Who determines academic policies?
The institution plans and administers the educational experience. Embanet faithfully represents and supports that educational experience. The same academic policies and controls that govern on-campus programs generally apply to online learning programs. Embanet personnel become well acquainted with the institution’s policies and work closely with the institution’s student services departments to be consistent in representing them to prospective and current students.