This blog post is a summary of a recent project completed by Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS). 

Background: A community college in New York State partnered with Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS) to conduct a study regarding adult learner program interest and geographic preference for one of the institutions two locations. The client wanted to better understand which courses or programs are of interest to individuals in a particular geographic region, and which campus is preferred within a targeted geographic region. The market research objective was to gather the insights needed for the institution to develop a recruitment strategy for a satellite education facility in this location of interest.

Approach: The study consisted of an online survey administered to potential learners who reside or work in one of the pre-defined zip codes within a small geographic region. RMS recruited potential respondents from RMS ViewPoint, our internal research panel. Individuals were disqualified from the survey if they did not indicate any interest in taking classes for credit or leisure in the next five years, or if they are currently a student at the client institution. The survey took respondents approximately 10 minutes to complete, and RMS obtained a total of 341 surveys. The project was complete in approximately eight weeks.

Results: Here are some highlights of the study’s findings:

  • Respondents within the targeted geographic region prefer business courses and creative arts courses.
  • The target audience would prefer to attend the extension location over the main campus.
  • Part-time, hybrid instruction is optimal for most survey respondents, although course time preferences vary with age.
  • Respondents believe the institution is affordable, and campus locations are convenient to where they live or work.
  • The institution is well known among those between 18 and 24 years old, but respondents 25 and older much less aware of the brand. This signals a marketing opportunity which would allow the institution to capture an additional share of the adult learner and non-traditional student market.

RMS is a full-service market research firm located in Syracuse, NY. If you are interested in learning more about our research capabilities, please contact Sandy Baker, our Senior Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy at or by calling 1-866-567-5422. Visit our website at