Let’s be candid: no one with any real familiarity with higher education would call universities agile.

Schools may be innovative, influential, and transformative; but agile they are not. The power to move quickly or nimbly – the classic definition – is not among their skill set. But universities need to become more agile. Some would say it is for self preservation; others, less dramatic, would use the term “more competitive.” We think it is partly for those reasons but more importantly, to better serve key constituencies.

Key among those people who would be better served by a more agile university are adult learners – one of the largest and fastest growing segments of “customers” in the higher ed landscape. Perhaps shocking for administrators not (yet) fully up to speed on the rapidly changing adult learner dynamic, fully 30% of conferred masters degrees are delivered via online programs. And the rate of growth in online masters/certificate programs is exceeding 10% a year.