Helping Prospective Students Explore Career Options
Q&A with Savitri Tu, Vice President Marketing, Kaplan North America
Over the past few years, fully online pre-college programs have become more prominent. Joshua Kim, the director of online programs and strategy at the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning, recently interviewed Savitri Tu,* the vice president of marketing for Kaplan’s university partnerships and innovation team, about the impact of these programs on students and universities alike. Tu came to Kaplan from Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies, where she was executive director of marketing and communications. Following is excerpted from her interview in Inside Higher Ed.
What are some of the similarities between working in higher ed and working for an online learning company?
What you’ll find across the education industry—whether at a university or in the private sector—is that it attracts people who are smart, talented and mission-focused. The desire to help learners advance is a common passion across all of education. What I appreciate about working for Kaplan is that because we work with a number of universities, delivering a variety of programs, the capabilities and potential to help students on a larger scale is much greater.
I’ve seen a growing trend of fully online precollege programs—can you share some more about Prelum? What makes it unique?
The current student journey is inefficient. Students take on debt before deciding on an institution and a major and rarely get a firsthand sense of the careers they’ll be pursuing until they’ve graduated college—at which time they are learning on the job while paying back loans. Prelum gives students first hand insight into jobs and careers before they make those costly decisions. For universities, Prelum allows them to build relationships with prospective students and expose them to their academic offerings, unique educational approach and culture as early as freshman or sophomore year in high school
How does Kaplan work with professors to ensure the content is engaging to students?
We prioritize making each course highly interactive. Each of our courses incorporates a combination of videos and interactive widgets, as well as text and open education resources. We also work closely with professors to ensure that their in-person teaching skills translate to engaging, digestible instruction in a remote environment in front of a younger audience.
*Excerpted from an Inside Higher Ed interview with Savitri Tu, April 28, 2022