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Given the current fiscal context, this is the most critical component of the New Program proposal package. Generally, this component documents that the program responds to constituents' needs and is not just the result of an individual or department's desire to have such a program.
The CBHE defines a market study as "National, state, regional, or local assessment of labor need for citizens with these skills." Further, they clarify that the next category, Societal Needs, consists of needs that are "not directly related to employment."
Although not all programs are directly associated with careers, the CBHE requires institutions to demonstrate that there is a specific employment reason for students to enroll in the program. The market study, then, predicts how many students can be expected to enroll-based on potential students' perception of a job-related need to enter the new program.
The first stage is to identify the most likely future careers of potential students in the proposed program. Then you should be able to predict whether the target population has the background and ability to enter such a program at UMSL, given regional demographics.
- The major source of labor statistics is at the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. One of their pages focuses on employment trends that predict future jobs.
- The UMSL Public Policy Research Center maintains links to sites that may provide additional information.
- Our Small Business Administration Resource Center also has several.
- Some faculty have pages with useful links.
- Census data for Missouri are available through OSEDA.
The page also has links to other data sources.
- One of OSEDA's links is to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center. Data on the regional economy may bolster your market study.
After creating the context, the next stage is to provide specific local data. The CBHE looks for results of focus group studies, surveys from feeder programs, logs of calls from prospective students, summaries of meetings with employers, etc.
Although not required, attaching letters of support from community groups can strengthen your argument for the need for the program. They should be attached at the end of the Clarifying Comments and referred to in the Market Study.