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A Strategic Plan for Troy University

Introduction

Troy University (2007) reported that at the beginning, it established as a Teacher’s training school under the state legislation of Alabama and branded as Troy State Normal School in 1887, and after six years of operation, it was renamed as Troy State Normal College. In 1929, the SBE1 shifted its charter and renamed it as Troy State Teacher’s College and served the nation by educating the teachers. Like many American universities, The Troy State Teacher’s College got pleasure from the most affluent episode of growth after the World War- II by using the benefits of the GI Bill and enrollment of the College increased two times above than ever and it introduced degree programs for further fields rather than education only in 1957. Due to expanded role the word ‘Teacher ‘removed form its name and it has concentrated on the courses for business, military and naval forces and in 1965, it was recognized as a State University. In 1973, Troy State University lead an expansion drive outside Alabama and opened a campus in Florida Military base and in 1982, the word ‘State’ was expensed form it name and recently the University has more than sixty campuses covering seventeen US states as well as eleven nations all over the world.

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This paper has deliberated to address a Strategic Plan for the Troy University to increasing it enrollments and marketing in the Washington, DC Metro, Arlington, and Greater Baltimore Metro Area

Current Student Analysis for the Washington, DC Metro Area

Geographies of Washington DC Metro

SIPA (2009) reported that the historically important and worlds most elegant city Washington DC is situated at the meeting point of the rivers Potomac and Anacostia and in 1790, the place was identified from Virginia and Maryland state and turned in to district and capital city of USA. Frey & DeVol (2000) and SIPA (2010) mentioned that the Washington DC Metro has an area of 100 square miles of mainly vacant farmlands and reforest ranging 400 feet above the sea level and 31 square miles have taken from Virginia and the left 69 square miles fro, Maryland.

The Market dynamics of the Washington, DC Metro/Northern VA consists of two submarket areas such as US Army Military District of Washington DC involving military population and the Northern Virginia (NOVA), Washington DC including Maryland area those consist of civilian population with diverse ethnic groups and the country’s highest income constituency.

The Military District of Washington DC2 has involved in ceremonial tasks, plays a combat role in the defense of the country, upholds maximum deliberation to specializing military facilities in the United States, and is currently undergoing a massive reformation due to the Base Realignment and Consolidation3. The civilian market has driven with the reality that there are high concentration of the Department of Defense4 with public, private, and other nongovernmental agencies within the Washington, DC Metro/Northern VA area.

Demographic

U.S. Census Bureau (2010) mentioned that the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria Metro area has an estimated population of 6,664,195 in 2008 with per capita income of US$ 22,973 with the percentage of high school graduates are 87.1% within the age range 25 where 50.1% is female.

The Washington Post (2005) analyzed the census data of Washington-Arlington-Alexandria Metro and presented the growth in terms of 49 newcomers’ arrive in the city while 3500 student get admitted in the public schools students per year. In the same report, it has predicted that in 2000 – 2004 the population growth in this are is 12.7% while Maryland demonstrated 16% growth.

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The living cost of Washington-Arlington-Alexandria Metro Area is almost 32.81% privileged than the national average while it evidence US$ 6,633 per student spending while the average national spending for each student is US $6,058 and the each teacher has to educates at least 16 students in this region.

Program Distribution

Burge (2010, p.1) pointed out that Troy University is the Alabama’s second-largest university and it provides several provisions of in-class degree programs, which are available for both US civilian community and DoD personnel. Troy University mainly offers degree or MBA programs on Business administration, Computer Science, History, Law, Political Science, Human resource Management, Tourism, Military Science, Leadership, Healthcare and Hospitality management, National Security Affairs etc.

Market Analysis

Segments & Characteristics

The Troy University segregated its target market into two prime segments such as defense education segment and civil education segment while both the segment has smaller sub sectors where Troy University addressed its target audiences in terms of their identified needs, nature, behavior, and demand distinguished for marketing mixes. For the defense education, it has efficiently addressed the needs of Army, Navy, and Air Forces while the civilians have targeted for the Business nursing and so many disciplines. There are various ways of segmenting the intended students for enrolling such as geographic, demographic, psychographic, and behavioral segmentation among those the Troy University would select the first two segments in the security scheme market as well as civilian market. Geography will involve selection of Washington, DC Metro/Northern Virginia as a major dividing variable and demography will think about the use of age, gender, income, occupation, family size etc. variables.

Size & Growth

Diel (2010) pointed out a bad new for the students that the board of trustees of Troy University has decided to increase the tuition fees including all other compulsory fees for an average 19% of the existing charges that would be implemented from the fall semester of 2010 for the state students. The University has obliged to increase the student’s fees due to financial downturn and recessionary economies the state government has cut down 28% of the state grants and to make up the gap the Troy University has just increased 19% of the student’s fees but rest 9% gap has addressed with increasing size and growth of new students enrolment.

White, R. (2010) reported that DPPC 5 of Troy University has engaged its efforts to boost the university’s size and growth and to do so it has enlarged the targeted market and emphasized on the integrated marking plan to boost student’s enrolment. Washington, DC Metro/Northern Virginia has the populace of different ethic groups where blacks or the African-Americans are the majority. To attract the African-Americans including other minorities the University has proclaimed a five years long diversity plan where it kept the scope of employment opportunities for the prospective students from African-Americans.

Ellis (2008) argued that the Chancellor of the Troy University emphasized to keep confidence on the strength, value, and skill that would drive the university according the roadmap to achieve its vision that is aimed to four objects. These objectives are catching the attention of student and to retain the best and brightest talents, bringing outstanding performance in athletics, endow with communications to boosting growth; go in front the way to the global standard education and by this way the size and growth of the University would increase in a significant level.

Competitors

Education sector is highly competitive area and the competition depends on unique courses, program design, online educational facilities, tuition fees of the courses, reputation of the university, historical background, financial capabilities, location of the University, human resources, technological systems, accommodation facilities, and so on. However, Tory University has many competitors considering the above mentioned factors –

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  • University of Maryland University College: It was established in 1947, which offers under graduate and postgraduate certificate courses in Maryland. It has more than 90,000 students, 11 separate public universities, excellent facilities for the distance learner, online classes for the students of 22 countries;
  • Strayer University: It is a publicly traded corporation, which has more than 70 campuses in the US and it has about 54,000 students;
  • American Military University: this university is the major competitor of as the number of undergraduate students is increasing dramatically though it established in 1991;
  • In addition, University of Phoenix, Central Michigan University, and Webster University are also the key competitors of Troy University.

Success Drivers

  • Vibrant multicultural population and the financial position of them are two key factors to influence the business operation of Troy in the Washington, DC Metro/Northern Virginian sites;
  • Location of these cities in the heart of Atlantic Region, which attracts more students;
  • Troy University provides high-tech interactive lecture theatres, teaching rooms, and fully equipped with IT facilities, which would give idyllic learning atmosphere for the students of these regions;
  • The quality of courses, undergraduate and graduate programs and student services to enhance reputation are the key success factors;
  • The teachers, lectures, and all the faculty staffs play a vital role to provide potential and existing students with outstanding customer service;
  • Tory University maintains p3 strategy to improve the performance of the students, such as, it considers attendance rate, identifies what students do not understands and ask questions to develop understanding level of other students;
  • University ensured fully equipped libraries including print, multimedia (CD ROM, video, audio cassettes, microfilm, records and information resources worldwide etc;
  • Tory University (2010, p. 3) pointed out that this University does not discriminate in case of gender, age, color or ethnic groups, race, nationality, religion, personal disability, financial hardship, education, employment, or other related issues;
  • Mission, vision, and core values for the operation in this zone;
  • Moreover, it takes benefits from the locations of its campus, for example, its military and its Arlington place that resides in the heart of central Arlington;

Troy Positioning

According to the view of Kotler & Keller (2006, p.93), positioning is one of the most significant attributes to the marketers because it indicates the unique selling proposition. However, Troy University is using this positioning strategy in order to reach the target audiences to discuss about the quality of courses, tuition fees, educational atmosphere, and other facilities by comparing with other competitors.

Selecting a positioning strategy

According to the Figure no 2, the position of Troy University is not strong enough like other Universities. In this circumstance, Troy University should select an overall positioning strategy by considering competitive advantages and the financial position of other universities. This strategic plan mainly concentrates on the increasing number of students of Troy in the selected Washington DC/Northern VA area because it endeavors to widen its graduate onsite programs in MPA and MSIR by offering the courses. The administration of this area argued that it should require to being more attentive in transitioning bachelor level students from two-year institutions, and partner institutions, therefore, this paper will consider several options like “more for more”, “more for the same” or “more for less”. However, it would be better for Troy to select “more for less” option to create more value than competitive ones in association with performing more student satisfaction with less monetary effort as Troy must position itself in the Washington, DC/Northern VA area where the BRAC is scheduled to occur.

SWOT Analysis of Troy University

Strengths

  • All students are highly satisfied satisfaction with faculty and support services;
  • Troy offers a variety of programs of study;
  • Strong brand awareness of Troy University is one of the main threats for Troy;
  • Moreover, it offers excellent and safe environment for the student;
  • All the lecturer, and faculty staffs provide standard teaching service as they are dedicated, experienced, talented and highly qualified;
  • Tory maintains strong accreditation standards;
  • Historical background of the University (Troy University, 2007);
  • It has more than 29,580 students among them 627 external students come from 50 countries;
  • It has skilled human resources to expand its operation all over the world;
  • Troy offers competitive tuition fees to attract more students;
  • High student approval rating is one of the major strength of this university;
  • Troy University (2010, p.1) reported that it offers web-based courses for distance learners by Blackboard (a courseware management system);
  • Important information and latest news are available in university website and it gives the opportunity to read books online;
  • It has already integrated information technology to develop educational system.

Weaknesses

  • Troy University has tried to solve accommodation problem of the students as offered residential space is not adequate for existing students;
  • The university is not happy with the retention rate;
  • Introduction of a new program is difficult issue for Troy;
  • Lack of strong honors programs for external students;
  • Troy University (2006, p.7) stated that it offers salary relative to southeast average;
  • Sometimes marketing strategies do not work in new segments;
  • Troy has to incorporate repeated change of rules and regulations
  • It has not enough financial capability to become a market leader;
  • Total revenue and net assets has reduced from previous years for recession.

Opportunities

  • Troy University has the opportunity to offer doctoral program or research units by utilizing present strengths;
  • Recent integrated marketing campaign would help to generate large donation fund;
  • Its IT department has potential impact on the entire ecommerce system;
  • Available job opportunity for the students of Troy University positively influence them to enroll here;
  • New Post 911 GI Bill;
  • Troy has prospect to boost educational contract with rest of the world;
  • Create a future prospect for business by increasing awareness campaign;
  • Degree completion partnership with two-year schools;
  • It would be able to compete with large institute if It more concentrate on distance learner as international students eager to find out a place to enroll in the University;
  • High School market and Certification programs are the profit maximizing areas;
  • Finally, it has bright prospect in cultural program, for example, drama and success in sports sector (Troy University, 2010).

Threats

  • Due to global financial crisis the number of student enrolment has decreased all over the world and Troy University lost more than 6,100 external and internal students;
  • The major threat is cost of accrediting professional programs;
  • Failure to hire new faculty;
  • Increasing expenses of external programs
  • The political situation and terrorist attacks are threats for Troy;
  • Increase retirement rates;
  • It has to struggle for quality students;
  • Weak monitoring system to ensure equal opportunity;
  • It has to face high competition for fundraising funds.

Major challenge

This strategic plan has identified that the Troy University management and expects face a number of marketing challenges involving financial and technological and environmental hurdles including the increasing tuition fee and significant investment by the state government while Troy University is eager to meet the rising demands of university education in Washington, DC Metro/Northern Virginia locations. The significant challenges of Troy University stay alive in the field of student enrollment and their retention, marketing costs, teaching revenue growth, technological communications, progression, and co-location of Troy University stay operations within in Washington DC Metro/Northern Virginia locations are as follows –

Site-Specific Marketing Challenges

Troy University locations must reshape its strategy to address the locations of Washington, DC Metro/Northern Virginia including the quick boost of online programs, expansion of marketing strategies, effectively struggle in the market, involving further resources to deliver more extra online and hybrid programs with the objectives to ensure proper use of resources. Troy University must address to get better retention of over all students and boost the graduation rates and rates accurate time for completing the degree by increasing the opportunity of easy access to the under-graduation and graduation program for the prospective students and utilizing the teaching skills those interpret interested in professional success (Troy University, 2010).

The populace of the area of Washington, DC Metro/Northern Virginia locations be required to confirm that the programs carried out by the Troy University are highly resourceful to bring their complete professional success for which it is essential to conduct an integrated marketing campaign. Such campaign would share the objectives to the future, communicates with the local populace, carry out this message in an approach that the target audience would be interested, and extend their full support the programs. Within the campaign, the mission and vision of the Troy University would be more transparent to the Washington, DC Metro/Northern Virginia locations and the university would get more support from the local communities without bothering the race and ethic group.

Summary of Overall Marketing Strategy

Troy University wants to boost its visibility in the immediate commercial market place in the selected area and it desires to contact and make articulation agreements with targeted community colleges to share the facilities and raise the number of students in this area. One of the most significant strategy of Troy University is to engage, market and create a relationship with the National Guard units in the selected areas and take a more aggressive approach to draw attention of Department of Defense, private organizations, government employees (particularly BRAC locations of Ft. Myer, Ft. Belvoir, Anacostia, Ft. Meade, NNMC, Andrews AFB).

Global Studies, National Security Affairs, Regional Affair are the main area of International Relations degree and HRM, Leadership, International Management, Healthcare Management, IS, International Hospitality Management are the core subject of Master of Public Administration, whereas Adult Education, Foundations of Education, and Instructional Technology are the major subjects of Criminal Justice (Troy University, 2010).

Target Market Segments/Key Audiences

  1. Both military and civilian students are looking for post graduation degrees;
  2. Present students at local 2 year community colleges;
  3. Employees of government or corporate house are also are looking for suitable courses;

Site Business Goals

The Market dynamics of the Washington, DC Metro/ Northern VA has lead the Troy University to set up its site business goals such as to partnering with the Department of Defense as well as with the civilians. The environment of the Troy University has ensured its position completely student centered with aim to attract the military veterans and their spouses achieving the academic goals as:

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  • Goal 1: Financial Performance: The Troy University has setup its goal to increase the student’s tuition fees to convey the desired financial achievements in the course of alternative sources,
  • Goal 2: Program Delivery: it has pointed to communication agreement with the community colleges to delivering it services,
  • Goal 3: University Awareness: To develop the awareness The Troy University derived for marling campaign that would increase awareness The Market dynamics of the Washington, DC Metro/ Northern VA area.

Marketing Objectives, Strategies & Tactics

  • The main objective of this strategic plan is to boost income 10% from student who enroll for online programs;
  • In addition, it intended to raise the market share for MPA, MSM/MBA, and MSIR segments;
  • enlarge retention by 10%
  • It will develop relationship with community colleges and enhance marketing efforts;
  • It wants to introduce a new courses by applying innovative ideas;
  • Promotion and development of e-learning attributes.

Troy University will use following tactics and strategies to reach target audience, for example:

  • It has an excellent website to provide all necessary information and it will develop blogs for the target audience;
  • It will encourage senior and brilliant students to join its marketing team;
  • It will advertise its programs on daily newspaper, TV media, magazine and Tory spends $52,643,400 for advertisement to develop its position in Washington DC;
  • on the other hand, it spends $6,524,600 for SPOT TV advertisement, radio, $38,618,900 for Cable TV advertisement and $9,134,900 for magazine advertisement;
  • It will add link in Google, yahoo, MSN and other sites;
  • In order to communicate with more students, advertise in the online famous social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin etc.

References

  1. Burge, C. (2010). About Atlantic Region.
  2.  Ellis, A. (2008). Building beyond Boundaries: A road map for success.
  3. Frey, W. H. & DeVol, R. C. (2000). America’s Demography in the New Century: Aging Baby Boomers and New Immigrants as Major Players.
  4. Kotler, P., & Keller, K. L. (2006) Marketing Management. 11th ed. Prentice Hall.
  5. SIPA. (2009). Washington, DC– General Information.
  6. The Washington Post. (2005). D.C. Area Continues Strong Growth.
  7. Troy University. (2006). Troy University: VISION 2010, A Strategic Plan 2005-2010.
  8. Troy University. (2007). The History of Troy University.
  9. Troy University. (2010). Enrollment e-Marketing Strategy.
  10. Troy University. (2010), Quick Facts.
  11. Troy University. (2010). Troy University and the United States armed forces: Positioning Statement.
  12. Troy University. (2010). Troy University Undergraduate Catalog.
  13. U.S. Census Bureau. (2010). Washington.
  14. White, R. (2010). Memorandum.

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