A decade ago, an analyst at an investment firm recommended Kevin Kinser, a Penn State University education professor, to explore the growing market for online degree programs. These programs are managed by companies known as online program managers (OPMs), which provide recruiting, marketing, and back-end support to universities as they launch online graduate degrees in various fields such as social work, nursing, and international relations.
The typical model for OPMs was to partner with prestigious universities to provide these services and help them expand their online offerings. However, Kevin Kinser’s research into these partnerships revealed that profit-driven motives were influencing educational programs and raising concerns about the integrity of higher education.
Kinser’s work has shed light on the complex relationships between educational institutions and OPMs in the digital age. His findings have challenged traditional models of online education and prompted a reassessment of the roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders in higher education.
As a result of his research, Kevin Kinser has become a leading expert on the subject and has helped many universities navigate the challenges of online education. His work has also raised important questions about the future of higher education and how technology will continue to shape it in years to come.