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Trends in Higher Education

More Research About Why Fewer Community College Students Are Enrolling

In March, I wrote two articles about a research paper written by Kelli Bird, Benjamin Castleman, Brett Fisher, and Benjamin Skinner titled Unfinished Business: Academic Market and Labor Market Profiles of Adults with Substantial College Credits But No Degree. Their report looked at students who attended the 23 Virginia Community College System colleges during the 2009-2010 through 2013-2014 academic years who earned some college credits and dropped out for at least a three-year period after completing their last course.

Building a Talent Strong Texas

I have written a few articles about the state of Texas’ ambitious 60x30TX strategic plan for providing a postsecondary education to at least 60 percent of its residents by the year 2030. The most recent one was about their revised debt metrics.

Last week, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) announced and released an update to the 60x30TX plan.

Improving Outcomes Data for Online Programs

In an opinion piece in this week’s Inside Higher Education, Professor Robert Kelchen writes that it’s almost impossible to tell how graduates of online programs fare compared to graduates of face-to-face programs at the same institution.

Dr. Kelchen raises a good point, that with the increased enrollment in online courses due to COVID, we should be able to determine whether students enrolled in online programs do better than those enrolled in face-to-face programs.

Shifting Paradigms – Microcredential Perspectives from the Entrenched Degree Issuers

I am never surprised about the naivete of many in higher education about the changing perspectives regarding degrees and microcredentials. Earlier this week, I read an article in The evolllution entitled Enrollment Management and The 60-year Curriculum: An Organization Development Imperative.

Quite frankly, I thought the article missed the point. It was far too theoretical.

Is there an upside to the downward trend in higher education enrollment?

In a recently published article, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute president Michael Petrilli writes that the “sky is falling” arguments lamenting the decline in college enrollments are “entirely too pessimistic.”

Furthermore, Mr. Petrilli writes that the current enrollment declines are encouraging for three reasons. First, there’s a good chance that students who are deferring college are making a decision that is in their own best interest.

SUNY System and University of Texas System Announce Microcredentials Initiatives

Shortly after I posted my blog article about the Rory McGreal and Don Olcott paper, A Strategic Reset: Micro-credentials for Higher Education Leaders, I read that the SUNY System and UT System had announced microcredential initiatives for their institutions.

SUNY’s announcement was made by New York’s governor, Kathy Hochul. The governor’s press release states that the SUNY System will add more than 400 microcredentials that will be offered at 31 campuses of the SUNY System and online.

Micro-credentials for Higher Education Leaders

There are no shortages of articles and books about the shift in higher education from a focus on degrees to a focus on short-term certificates and other credentials that provide students with a career boost as well as applicable credits towards a degree. Recently, I wrote about a Burning Glass Institute paper that reported a decline in the number of jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree.

The Signs Are All Around Us

In a recent blog post, I wrote about Professor Steven Mintz’s article titled The Revolution in Higher Education is Already Underway.

Another recent post reviewed Bob Zemsky’s and Lori Carrell’s recent book, Communicate for a Change. The nine conversations that they chose to write about are relevant to the “revolution already underway.” The first conversation, Why Can’t We Talk About the Mess We’re In?