Publication | March 19, 2024

White-Labeling and Contract Considerations for Online Program Management

Online program management (OPM) services have become an important strategy for institutions of higher education to facilitate the delivery and expansion of distance education. OPM services span from program development and marketing to student advising and instruction. The prevalence of OPMs, however, has important implications for higher education program quality and transparency. 

In two new papers, higher education scholars examine both the phenomenon of white-labeling – OPMs providing the same curriculum under the brand names of multiple institutions – and the contracts between institutions and OPMs that can leave gaps in consumer protections for students.  

Both papers present policy recommendations to strengthen accountability for OPMs and institutions, and to enhance consumer transparency for students who may be enrolled in OPM-facilitated courses.