This article is part 1 of a 2 part series reviewing the results of Inside Higher Ed’s most recently-released surveys. The first survey sought the perspective of college and university presidents regarding higher education. The second survey asked similar questions to 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.
This week, I had the opportunity to attend the American Council on Education’s (ACE) annual meeting in Washington, DC. The theme of this year’s conference was Reaching Higher, but the underlying theme seemed to be “the winds of change are upon us.”
Sunday’s session for presidents and chancellors had the following topics: Vision and Change at BYU-Idaho: A Model for America’s Colleges and Universities, Information Technology: Seize the Day, and a luncheon at which Terry Hartle, SVP of Government and Public Affairs of ACE spoke about the pending Department of Education regulations regarding Credit Hours, State Regulation, Gainful Employment, Accreditation, and Misrepresentation.
Last week President Obama announced the American Graduation Initiative, a 10-year, $12 billion plan focused on community colleges. Community colleges play an integral role in the American higher education system and will play an even bigger role as America works toward President Obama’s goals of regaining America’s place as the world’s leader in college completion rates and establishing an American workforce that is able to compete with that of other nations.
Some Colleges and Universities Considering Three-Year Degrees in Attempt to Increase Access while Reducing Costs
Questions of access and affordability have plagued higher education for many years. Coupled with the implications of the recent global economic downturn, these issues have received even greater consideration in the last several years. As college administrators attempt to tackle the problems associated with providing greater access and affordability, creative ideas are being formulated.
One such idea recently gaining attention is scaling back the length of time it takes to receive a bachelors degree from the traditional four years to three.
One of the more stimulating conversations occurred during the recent Chronicle’s Executive Leadership Forum. “Will Your College Close in 2012: Surviving the Demographic Shift” was the topic and it was moderated by Travis Reindl, Program Director of Jobs for the Future. In the future, “fewer applicants will be white and fewer will be from New England” were the lead issues for comment from the panelists who included Sarita Brown, President of Excelencia in Education, Roger Goodman, Vice President at Moody’s Investor Services, and Dawn Terkla, Associate Provost at Tufts University.