Connect curriculum to jobs:

With the economy hovering near full employment, employers can't be as picky as they could during and after the recession about the skill levels of the workers they hire. That's left them desiring better training and working on their own and with higher ed to get it.

Expand online strategically:

Higher ed is getting more serious about serving adult learners, and one way is by adding online offerings. Doing so also creates a wider base over which an institution can spread costs for on-campus programs. That's an important consideration as the market becomes more sensitive to tuition increases.

Know your students' needs:

It can be easy to reduce the image of college students to 18-to-22-year-olds on leafy campuses, attending classes full-time with a work-study job that pays for nights out. But higher ed leaders know better, or at least they should. About one-fifth of today's full-time students also work full-time, according to a report from Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce.

Dig into data:

Another way to improve students' potential outcomes is to keep a closer eye on them by using data to predict whether they might need additional support.

Get buy-in on mission:

"You could've heard a pin drop," said Patrick Awuah Jr. (top image), president of Ashesi University about the moment he told faculty members he suspected students were frequently cheating. When Awuah, a SXSW EDU keynote speaker, opened Ashesi in Ghana in 2002, relatively few people there went to college, he said. That meant what was happening at those institutions was very important to the future of the country, which itself was experiencing a crisis of leadership.

Ashesi's mission "to educate a new generation of ethical, entrepreneurial leaders in Africa" ran counter to the notion of cheating.

Read the full article about ideas for higher education by Hallie Busta at Education Dive.