How To Start a College

If you feel strongly about sharing your educational philosophy with students, you may be motivated to start your own college.It’s difficult to get started, but it is even more difficult because you will need to meet many regulatory requirements to ensure that you are providing the appropriate educational experience for students attending.You have to decide if you want a physical location or a virtual one, both of which are cheaper and require good technical knowledge.You must consider funding from the beginning.Here is some guidance to help you decide if this is the right thing for you.This article applies to the United States.It is recommended that you do further research that matches your own jurisdiction’s requirements, because some of the generalizations apply elsewhere.

Step 1: A mission statement can be created if you determine your niche.

Discuss your reasons for starting the college.What is missing from the current educational institutions in your area that you feel you can improve upon?What are your teaching methodologies and educational philosophy?If you want to start a college, look at existing colleges.You also want to offer what they offer.What can you do to outsell existing colleges?Fee-paying students and their sponsors want to understand what sets your curriculum apart.If you want to undermine other colleges, be careful.It may seem like a reasonable idea until you realize how much it costs to provide education.Unless you have a lot of money, don’t say this is a reason to start a college.

Step 2: Make sure you have solid reasons for your college.

The educational approach and curriculum should be included in your mission statement.To gauge the thoughts and ideas of your friends and family, pass your mission statement reasons around.If you have made your mission clear, ask them.Ask them if it’s a good fit for them, or if they’d like to send their children to it.To promote the college to potential funders, use their feedback to ensure both clarity of mission and to put together your own verbal pitch.

Step 3: Determine if your college will be real or virtual.

If you want to combine the two options, you can offer virtual courses from real premises.When you’re starting up, real premises can be expensive.The premises need to be able to fit the amount of students you think will attend courses, and all safety, health, insurance and other regulatory issues must be fully covered off.Students prefer safe areas that they can walk and cycle to and from, which can often mean finding a location in a more expensive area.Before making a decision on a location, do a lot of research.When you’re just starting, virtual courses are a good option.You will need good technical expertise (or a good IT team), excellent security and privacy protocols, plenty of server space and contacts for the students to resolve access and similar problems.Design of courses will require knowledge of what works and what doesn’t work in an age where people expect technology to work well from the start.

Step 4: Professionals with experience in starting a college can give you advice.

Find experts that can help you.You should meet with the founders of other colleges to get specific guidance and suggestions on how to deal with obstacles.

Step 5: Determine if you can proceed with the process by looking at funding options.

If you are setting up a non-profit college, you should look for foundations or individuals that are interested in donating to the college.Presentations should encourage community support.If you want to start your college, research grant options.To try and capture as many options as possible, do a wide search in your region and jurisdiction.Look for people who are likely to agree with you on the purpose of education.Check with local and state governmental representatives to see if there is an interest in supporting a new college due to economic and cultural benefits to the region.If you will be operating as a for-profit institution, look into grants and loans.

Step 6: A business plan can be written.

Information about your philosophy, operational plans, budget, funding and educational plans should be included in your business plan.

Step 7: Determine your state’s educational institution requirements.

The Department of Education is where you should start.You will need to apply for a license to operate.If you are approved with a provisional license, you will need to submit additional information for a final or ongoing approval.You will be able to determine when you should submit the application for approval to operate a college once you have researched the license requirements for your state.

Step 8: You should form your founding committees.

The founding committee can be made up of fellow participants and supporters.The committee should have people with expertise in a variety of areas.If you want to operate as a non-profit organization, you will need a board of trustees.

Step 9: You can incorporate and file for non-profit status.

The Secretary of the State is usually where you will file your business entity status.You can make a non-profit 501(c)(3) status election through the IRS.

Step 10: Discuss your funding options.

Make sure your loans, grants or donations are secured.Hold events to raise money.

Step 11: You need to develop your infrastructure.

The formation of colleges and institutions of higher learning will be guided by the regulations of your state and the department that oversees them.The earlier research step was important because of this.Your infrastructure includes operational, educational, business, legal, hiring, training, admissions and enroll procedures.Determine your location.Will your college be a virtual one or a physical one?Determine the degrees and classes that will be offered.Some of this will be determined by your state requirements.Determine the requirements of your state for granting degrees to develop a curriculum for your college.Begin interviewing potential faculty and hiring key staff members.You will be able to hire faculty if you enroll, but you will need a pool of qualified teachers to draw from.

Step 12: Sell your college.

It’s important to market to your students.You should tell your friends to tell their friends because word-of-mouth is an important form of marketing.To spread the word quickly and easily, have excellent brochures and websites in place.To inform students about your programs, start a website.Make use of social network sites for broader reach.Financial assistance information can be offered.You could offer a scholarship to get people to apply.It’s important that the offer fits within your budget.Information sessions and events draw interest.Online and offline advertising can be done through newspapers, magazines, posts, and flyers.Depending on your budget, the scope of your advertising is dependent.

Step 13: You have to apply for accreditation.

College accreditation will set your institution apart from the so-called “diploma mills” that don’t have appropriate educational programs in place and do not meet educational requirements for issuing diplomas or degrees.Once you have students and have begun teaching, you can apply for accreditation.Your institution is reviewed by a peer review group to determine the quality of the program you offer.There is a list of accredited agencies for higher education online.