In recent years, online program managers (OPMs) have become an increasingly popular option for universities looking to expand their online degree programs. These companies provide a range of services, including recruiting, marketing, and back-end support, to help universities launch successful online graduate programs in fields such as social work, nursing, and international relations.
However, the recommendation of an investment firm analyst a decade ago to explore partnerships with OPMs has raised concerns about the influence of profit-driven motives on educational programs. Kevin Kinser, a Penn State University education professor who conducted further research into these partnerships after receiving this recommendation, discovered that while these partnerships had enabled universities to accelerate the expansion of their online programs, they had also raised questions about the role of profit in education.
Kinser’s work has shed light on the complex and evolving relationships between educational institutions and OPMs in the digital age. His research has challenged traditional models of online education and prompted a reassessment of the roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders in higher education. As universities continue to explore new ways to expand their online offerings, it is important to carefully consider the potential impact of these partnerships on students and society as a whole.