New course format gives universities revenue

New bite-sized courses cater to every student, helps universities make money

course-universities-newAs universities search for new ways to move online, attract students and prepare them for the working world, new bite-sized, short courses for those who don’t have time to earn a specialized degree represent the next step. They also are a way for institutions to make money with existing resources.

For example, a decade ago, subsea engineering was a relatively obscure field in the U.S. Now, as oil drillers move farther out to sea, it’s become a vital part of Gulf Coast production.

Such rapid changes in industry leave schools like the University of Houston’s College of Engineering scrambling to keep up. UH is among the institutions patching these gaps with bite-size courses that could benefit their own students while opening up a new higher education market.

“Part of the challenge is, the academic fields don’t catch up fast enough. We don’t want to be doing ‘flavor of the day’ education, we want to do something constructive over long periods of time,” said Ramanan Krishnamoorti, chief energy officer at the University of Houston.

UH, which now also has a full subsea engineering program, created a subsea certificate a few years ago as a supplement for engineering students, as well as for workers looking to keep up to date. “We listened to the industry and we sat down and created a program that would adequately respond to what the industry needed, in terms of training,” Krishnamoorti said.

(Next page: How to develop bite-sized courses)