Lindsay McKenzie’s article in Tuesday’s Inside Higher Ed provided me with the news that the University of Missouri System had launched a new online arm called Missouri Online.
Trends in Higher Education
For the better part of the last decade, there have been proposals for free education at community colleges. As recently as December 23, President Biden pledged to provide tuition-free community college for all.
Perhaps it was Rebecca Natow’s article in The Chronicle of Higher Education Review titled “Why Haven’t More Colleges Closed?”. Maybe it was Allison Salisbury’s article in Forbes titled “Building Equitable Upskilling Programs: It’s Not Degree Vs. Short Credentials – It’s Both.” Also, it could be the hundreds — if not thousands — of articles and books about the pending changes in higher ed that have been written and published over the past two decades. Clearly, the most recent two articles cited triggered my motivation to pen this article.
In a recently published article in Forbes, Brandon Busteed makes the provocative statement that elite universities should enroll a million students. Busteed opens his article by writing that the Ivy Plus colleges (the Ivy League plus the University of Chicago, MIT, Stanford, and Duke) produce the highest social mobility success rate, with nearly 60 percent of their students from the bottom quintile of income distribution moving to the top quintile after graduating. (Note: Just 3.8 percent of students from the bottom quintile of income distribution are enrolled at these institutions.)
Credential Engine released its latest report, “Counting of U.S. Postsecondary and Secondary Credentials,” which is a summary of its attempt to list all postsecondary credentials in the United States. Thanks to funding from Ascendium Education Group, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, ECMC Foundation, Google, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Lumina Foundation, Microsoft, and Walmart, Credential Engine was able to hire the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC) to prepare the analyses for the report.
I follow Ryan Craig’s blog. I have autographed copies of two of his books, and I even have a nice University Ventures jacket, thanks to being a panelist at one of his annual meetings. Generally, I agree with his posts. “How Digital Credentials Will Diminish Degrees” is the title of this week’s Gap Letter (Volume III, #3) and the subject of a Forbes article by Craig.
In a newly issued report, the National Student Clearinghouse reported that the total of 3.7 million new undergraduate degree earners was flat in the 2019-2020 academic year for the first time in eight years. Even more alarming, while the total numbers remained the same, the number of first-time graduates decreased 1 percent (26,000), while non-first-time completers continued to increase by 2.7 percent.
Google the term “Higher Ed predictions 2021,” and Google’s search engine indicates that there are about 398,000,000 results. Fortunately, Google attempts to put the most relevant search results on the first page, and 10 appears to be the number that can fit in Google’s listing format. I decided to summarize a few.
Finding a website rich in data is a dream for a quantitative-oriented person. In my recent article about Texas 2036, I wrote that the organization’s mission is “to enable Texans to make policy decisions through accessible data, long-term planning and state-wide engagement.” I reviewed the Texas 2036 site further and found a number of interesting data reports.
Campus Technology magazine published an article last week entitled “25 Ed Tech Predictions for 2021.” In this article, Dian Schaffhauser solicited various opinions from education and industry leaders for trend opinions and comments.