Developing a Premier Program for the Next Generation of Students

A local university wanted to expand their degree offerings and design a program in a new industry. Using insights from students and employers, Rêve built a winning strategy for the development of this new experience.

The Opportunity:

Facing the impending elimination of a top enrollment program, the University sought to develop an offering in an entirely new field of study. This field of study had incumbent competitors in the region, but the University was confident in their ability to differentiate.

A dean from the University engaged Rêve to understand what type of program students needed to be successful in this industry, and to develop a strategy for program development that leveraged their unique strengths.

Key Activities

Industry Workshop

  • Recruitment of 9 industry leaders
  • Development of 5 Key Personas
  • Creation of 2 Journey Maps
  • 10 Business Model Canvas

Student Workshop

  • 4 student interviews
  • 2 Journey Maps
  • Ideation of 100+ Solutions

Strategy Development 

  • Finalized Business Model
  • Process Map
  • Action Plan
  • Comprehensive Strategy

Approach and Results

The project team was comprised of faculty and staff from across the University. We kicked off the engagement by understanding each team member’s unique perspective and attraction to the project.

Our next steps focused on listening. We recruited and convened groups of leaders from employers in related fields, as well as current and future students with similarly focused aspirations.

Participants from local employers emphasized that specific industry acumen was less important than critical thinking, decision-making or communication abilities, and that starting with a small, but perfected program would be the ideal first step to build credibility in a new field.

The students helped us understand that highlighting the value of the degree was critical, as well as creating a clear sense of the path they would need to take in and out of class to achieve success.

When we re-grouped with our University team, we had a high degree of confidence in the demand for the program from both groups of stakeholders, and in the assets that they identified as unique to our client. Inspired, we began to synthesize their insights into a cohesive program strategy.

In addition to student and employer insights, we also completed a high-level competitive analysis, an assessment of program needs, and a roadmap for future development.


  • Together, these elements formed a strong and differentiating strategy that would help the team continue to build internal and external support, and to obtain the necessary funding for program development and execution.