As a writer, editor, and now Editor-at-Large for The Chronicle of Higher Education, Jeff Selingo has observed and written about higher education for more than 15 years. My assessment of his observations noted in his book, College (Un)Bound: The Future of Higher Education and What it Means for Students, is not unlike a statistician analyzing a very large dataset where every independent variable is technically significant.
You can’t read a recent issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education or Inside Higher Ed without seeing an article discussing the disruption that technology or MOOCs (Massively Open Online Course) are having or will have on the higher education sector. Because of the publicity, I receive questions from colleagues at conferences and other events asking me for my opinion about the potential for higher education disruption, the roadmap that it will take, and who will survive.
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.
Recently, I had the opportunity to present two papers at the Association for the Advancement of Technology in Education (AACE) EdMedia 2011 conference in Lisbon, Portugal. One of the keynote speakers was Alec Couros who is Professor of Educational Technology and Media at the University of Regina. Couros’ talk was fascinating for the insights into learning as it is evolving through the utilization of today’s rapidly changing technologies.
Beth Gray is an Executive Assistant in my office. I asked her to provide a guest article for my blog. Beth is also a regular contributor to the APUS Sustainability Blog.
A couple of weeks ago, I read an interesting article on The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Wired Campus blog. The Wired Campus blog frequently has interesting information on how technology is being used in classrooms.
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.
An August 11th article in The New York Times caught my attention. Written by Tamar Lewin, the article describes a policy brief released by the College Board which concludes that for the most part, recent graduates are carrying “manageable” debt loads. Using data published in the Department of Education’s National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, the policy brief notes that while the number of students using loans to pay for their post-secondary educations has increased in the last five years, the volume of students who carry overly burdensome levels of debt upon graduation remains small in comparison.
In last week’s The Chronicle of Higher Education, Scott Carlson reported on a speech given by George Pernsteiner, Chancellor of the Oregon University System. In addressing attendees at the annual meeting of the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP), Pernsteiner was quoted as saying “If [the crisis] is all we look at, we will have failed.
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.
Whenever I can find a good book or research paper on the topic of distance education, I will usually obtain a copy in order to see if there’s a trend or idea that is worth noting or pursuing. For a few weeks, I had noted the ad in The Chronicle of Higher Education touting their new report, “The College of 2020: Students.”