This article is part 2 of a 2 part series reviewing the results of Inside Higher Ed’s most recently-released surveys. The first survey took the pulse of higher education from the perspective of college and university presidents. The second survey asked largely similar questions of parents of students in grades 5 through 12. While both offer insightful glimpses into the ways in which each group views the current trends in online education, there are notable differences in how respondents of the two surveys view the higher educational situation in America today.
During the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, fewer articles about higher education are published, primarily because colleges and universities are closed and faculty, students, and administrators are not around. On December 28, 2012, however, The Wall Street Journal published an article entitled “Deans List: Hiring Spree Fattens College Bureaucracy- and Tuition.” The article doesn’t appear to have been picked up in too many other places.
Ithaka S+R recently published a report funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and titled, “Barriers to Adoption of Online Learning Systems in U.S. Higher Education.” I have written extensively on this blog about the economic constraints facing institutions of higher education, issues of student persistence and retention, and the litany of other issues daunting the American higher education system today.
I have read three articles in the last three days about alternatives to earning a college degree, primarily through certification of one kind or another.
The first article, from The Chronicle of Higher Education, discusses the concept of “badges” that are awarded by various websites, training companies, individuals, etc. The concept is that the badge is relatively easy to earn (to keep the learner motivated and engaged) and indicates that they have achieved a certain skill level or learning competency.
The October 2011 issue of American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research’s (AEI) Education Outlook included an interesting analysis of the total cost of a bachelor’s degree titled, “Cheap for Whom?: How Much Higher Education Costs Taxpayers.” The authors, Mark Schneider and Jorge Klor de Alva, go beyond a surface analysis of tuition rates, student fees, and books.