Jenzabar launches course marketplace designed to ‘unbundle’ higher education

Jenzabar, a maker of administrative software used by universities, said Wednesday it had a new goal to “unbundle” education through a new online marketplace open to enrolled and unenrolled students.

The Campus Marketplace tool is designed so that schools can offer registration for individual non-credit courses that students can choose from without formally registering. The software is designed to feed data into other Jenzabar products, such as student information or an institution’s marketing systems, to make it easier for universities to track uncredited students.

More and more schools are creating short-term degrees to both build local talent for employers and meet student demands. Separating from the traditional degree allows learners to take classes incrementally, Jenzabar founder and CEO Ling Chai Maginn told EdScoop.

“We want to bring the two experiences together — we integrate the non-traditional part into the traditional learning — and we are able to [bring] the e-commerce experience to publish courses, course catalogs and to allow learners to easily access and search according to their needs,” she said.

Maginn compared the unbundling of degree courses in the education industry to the way Apple’s iPod and iTunes products unbundled individual songs from albums almost 20 years ago – instead of needing to buying an entire disc, a listener could choose the individual tracks they liked. By allowing students to choose courses in the same way, without enrolling in a traditional curriculum, institutions can provide greater flexibility, she said.

“Previously, one day before graduation, the student had no value, the day after graduation, suddenly, he had much more value,” said Omer Riaz, vice president from Jenzabar. “Where education is heading today, students want value that can be demonstrated in the marketplace along the way, rather than just on graduation day. As schools adapt to this model, they will need to create smaller packaging for their diplomas that students can walk in and take and that is what our tool will allow them to do.

Jenzabar works with more than 1,300 campuses and the company claims its student information system software options are the “best selling solutions on the market.”

Maginn said the new software is tied to a philosophy Jenzabar calls the “campus movement,” an idea that by promoting accessibility and equity through technology, students can “find, learn, and experience their true vocation.

“The Campus movement is our commitment to move forward in this important change [in] how learners consume higher education,” said Maginn. “We believe that with bold actions, progress is possible to make education affordable, accessible and accessible to all.”

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