Affordability and Microcredentials — from the-job.beehiiv.com by Paul Fain
Cutting costs for short-term credentials with course sharing and, perhaps, federal money.

‘Bespoke, e-Commerce-Enabled Storefronts’
Demand for nondegree credentials has risen. But it can be expensive and tricky for colleges to create their own workforce-relevant courses and certifications. Homegrown microcredentials also may be more likely to fall flat with students and employers, particularly in competition with professional certificates from big brands like Salesforce or AWS.

Acadeum, an online course-sharing company, is betting that a networked marketplace will be a better option for its 460 college and university partners, which include a growing number of community colleges. Beginning last month, those colleges can tap into 380+ online certificates, certifications, and skills-training courses.

“Skills Marketplace lowers the barrier of entry for institutions to self-select only the certifications that align their program offerings to meet student and workforce demand,” says David Daniels, Acadeum’s president and CEO.

 

A Community Micro-Credentials Effort Connects Students to Local Employers — from gettingsmart.com by David McCool

Key Points

  • Partnering credentialing opportunities alongside pre-existing regional initiatives is a great way to get buy-in and create momentum.

***

When Polk County schools began focusing on career and technical education in the spring of 2023, one of their goals was to help students succeed in the workplace by offering the opportunity to develop soft skills and earn micro-credentials to communicate with potential employers. The district collaborated with Education Design Lab, Muzzy Lane, Polk Vision, the Central Florida Development Council, and Southern New Hampshire University to make this dream a reality.

In its first few years, this collaboration has not only taught students valuable skills but has also provided employers with new recruitment opportunities and a linkage to a talent pipeline that they otherwise wouldn’t have had.

 

Employers Partnering to Provide Microcredential and Training Programs on the Rise, New Study From Collegis Education and UPCEA Reveals — from prweb.com by Collegis Education
Opportunities are growing, but higher ed institutions are losing ground to private providers

OAKBROOK, Ill. Jan. 23, 2024 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Companies partnering externally to provide training or professional development to employees increased by 26 percent (nearly 15 percentage points) between 2022 and 2023, according to a new study released today by Collegis Education and UPCEA, the online and professional education association. In addition, the report, “Unveiling the Employer’s View: An Employer-Centric Approach to Higher Education Partnerships,” revealed that more than 61 percent of companies without external training partnerships are interested in developing them.

In the second year of an ongoing research series, Collegis partnered with UPCEA to survey more than 500 employers to better understand their perceptions of collaborating with higher ed on professional development programs and alternative credentials.



Instructure Completes Acquisition of Parchment, the World’s Largest Academic Credential Management Platform and Network — from prnewswire.com
Expands Instructure’s market-leading teaching and learning ecosystem by providing learners with a lifelong record of their journey

SALT LAKE CITY, Feb. 1, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Instructure Holdings, Inc. (Instructure) (NYSE: INST), the leading learning ecosystem and maker of Canvas, announced today it has completed the acquisition of Parchment, the world’s largest credential management platform and network. Parchment has over 13,000 customers and has exchanged more than 165 million credentials over two decades. This acquisition is expected to significantly expand Instructure’s existing customer base and unlock exciting new growth opportunities.

“The addition of Parchment to the Instructure ecosystem enables our customers to offer flexible lifelong learning experiences to meet the needs of the ever-growing sector of non-traditional learners,” said Steve Daly, CEO of Instructure. “By providing a verifiable and comprehensive digital passport of achievement records and outcomes for learners, we’ll be able to help our customers navigate skill mastery, transfer credits, provide proof of prior learning, and much more.”

From DSC:
Instructure’s purchase here represents an important piece of our future learning ecosystems— a way to document/prove the learning a person has done throughout their ***lifelong learning*** journey.


The Importance of Credit for Prior Learning — from evolllution.com by Alexa Dunne
Higher ed needs to focus on providing credit for prior learning that properly communicates what learners know to provide them with more opportunities in the workforce.

According to research from the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) and Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE)**, students complete their credentials at a substantially higher rate when they are awarded 15 or more credits for prior learning. For institutions, awarding CPL is an easy—and equitable—way of helping students succeed. Do we want a 22-point increase in credential completion? Yes, please!


Addendum on 2/9/24:

Lego my Metaphor — from onedtech.philhillaa.com by Glenda Morgan
The problem with how we think about stackability of microcredentials=

A key aspect of microcredentials promise is that they are small and have fewer barriers to entry in terms of time and cost than for degrees. But given that microcredentials are small, they can only take a learner so far. This is where stackability comes in. By stacking these microcredentials (i.e., adding multiple credentials, each building on the other) they can be combined to make a more meaningful overall set of qualifications or to create an entryway into a new career. Microcredential stackability is a key assumption underlying many higher education institutions microcredential efforts, as well as a central thread in how they are speaking about and marketing the microcredentials.

In the coming months I want to explore more about microcredentials, as I think they are going to be a key part of higher education in the future. Right now, in higher education I see a lot of talk about microcredentials but less execution and less success than most people would like. Microcredentials are difficult to get right, but we need to start by talking about them in the right way.

 

The future of learning — from moodle.com by Sonya Trivedi

Self-directed and continuous learning
The concept of self-directed and continuous learning is becoming increasingly popular, reshaping our approach to knowledge and skill acquisition in both formal education and workplace settings. This evolving landscape reflects a world where traditional career paths are being replaced by more dynamic and flexible models, compelling learners to adapt and grow continuously.

The Future of Learning Report 2022 highlights this shift, noting the diminishing concept of a ‘career for life.’ With regular job switching and the expansion of the gig economy, there is an increasing need for a workforce equipped with a broad range of skills and the ability to gain qualifications throughout their careers. This shift is underlined by learners increasingly seeking control over their educational journeys, understanding that the ongoing acquisition of knowledge and skills is essential for staying relevant in the rapidly changing world of work. Reflecting this trend, a significant portion of learners, 33%, are choosing online platforms for their flexibility and ability to cater to individual needs and schedules.

From DSC:
The next paragraph after the above excerpt says:

Much like how companies such as Uber and Airbnb have reshaped their respective industries without owning traditional assets, the future of education might see universities functioning as the ‘Netflix of learning.’ In this model, learners comfortably source their educational experiences from various platforms, assembling their qualifications to create a personalised and continuously evolving portfolio of skills??.

But I don’t think it will be universities that function as the “Netflix of learning” as I don’t think the cultures of most institutions of traditional higher education can deal with that kind of innovation. I hope I’m wrong.

I think it will be a new, global, lifelong learning platform that originates outside of higher education. It will be bigger than higher education, K12, corporate training, or vocational training — as such a 21st-century, AI-based platform will offer all of the above and more.

Learning from the living AI-based class room


Slow Shift to Skills — from the-job.beehiiv.com by Paul Fain

Real progress in efforts to increase mobility for nondegree workers is unlikely during the next couple years, Joseph Fuller, a professor at Harvard University’s business school who co-leads its Managing the Future of Work initiative, recently told me.

Yet Fuller is bullish on skills-based hiring becoming a real thing in five to 10 years. That’s because he predicts that AI will create the data to solve the skills taxonomy problem Kolko describes. And if skills-based hiring allows for serious movement for workers without bachelor’s degrees, Fuller says the future will look like where Texas is headed.


Report: Microcredentials Not a Strategic Priority for Many Colleges — from insidehighered.com by Kathryn Palmer
A new report finds that while most colleges surveyed embrace alternative credentials, many have a decentralized approach for creating and managing them.

While the majority of colleges focused on online, professional and continuing education have embraced alternative credentials, a significant number of those institutions haven’t made them a strategic priority.

That’s one of the key takeaways from a new study released Monday by UPCEA, the organization previously known as the University Professional and Continuing Education Association. University Professional and Continuing Education Association.

“While a lot of institutions want this, they don’t necessarily all know how” to deliver alternative credentials, said Bruce Etter, UPCEA’s senior director of research and consulting. “Embracing it is great, but now it needs to be part of the strategic plan.”


The Higher Learning Commission’s Credential Lab — from hlcommission.org

HLC’s Credential Lab


10 higher ed trends to watch in 2024 — from insidetrack.org by

Trend 1.
Linking education to career paths

Trend 2.
Making sense of the AI explosion

Trend 3.
Prioritizing mental health on campus

…plus 7 other trends


North Carolina’s Community Colleges Make a Big Bid to Stay Relevant — from workshift.opencampusmedia.org by Margaret Moffett
The system is poised to ask state legislators to overhaul its funding formula to focus on how well colleges prepare students for high-demand, well-paying jobs.

The new formula would pay a premium to each college based on labor-market outcomes: the more students enrolled in courses in high-demand, high-paying workforce sectors, the more money the college receives.

Importantly, the proposed formula makes no distinction between curricular courses that count toward degree programs and noncredit continuing education classes, which historically offer fewer slots for students because of their lower FTE reimbursement rates.



Supporting Career and Technical Education — from bloomberg.org via Paul Fain

The American job market is changing. A high school diploma is no longer a ticket to a good job now, an increasing number of employers are offering “middle-skill jobs” that require more than a high school diploma but less than a bachelor’s degree. Industries like health care, IT, advanced manufacturing, and financial services continue to see sustained growth at all levels, and they need workers with the experience and the credentials to fill new positions. Bloomberg Philanthropies is investing in programs that help young people get the specialized training they need through internships, apprenticeships, academics, and work-based learning.

 

Four Disruptive Trends For Higher Ed In 2024 — from michaelbhorn.substack.com by Michael B. Horn

  1. More colleges will close or merge.
  2. Online learning will continue to have its moment, but a shakeout is beginning.
  3. Big colleges and universities will get bigger.
  4. Apprenticeships will gain more traction outside of the trades.

Speaking of higher education and disruptions, also see the following item — via Ray Schroeder on LinkedIn:


Experts predicted dozens of colleges would close in 2023 – and they were right — from hechingerreport.org by Olivia Sanchez
Even more colleges will likely close in coming years as enrollment problems worsen

Though college enrollment seems to be stabilizing after the pandemic disruptions, predictions for the next 15 years are grim. Colleges will be hurt financially by fewer tuition-paying students, and many will have to merge with other institutions or make significant changes to the way they operate if they want to keep their doors open.

At least 30 colleges closed their only or final campus in the first 10 months of 2023, including 14 nonprofit colleges and 16 for-profit colleges, according to an analysis of federal data by the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, or SHEEO. Among nonprofits, this came on the heels of 2022, when 23 of them closed, along with 25 for-profit institutions. Before 2022, the greatest number of nonprofit colleges that closed in a single year was 13.


 

AI University for UK? — from donaldclarkplanb.blogspot.com by Donald Clark

Tertiary Education in the UK needs a fresh idea. What we need is an initiative on the same scale as The Open University, kicked off over 50 years ago.

It is clear that an educational vision is needed and I think the best starting point is that outlined and executed by Paul LeBlanc at SNHU. It is substantial, well articulated and has worked in what has become the largest University in the US.

It would be based on the competence model, with a focus on skills shortages. Here’s a starter with 25 ideas, a manifesto of sorts, based on lessons learnt from other successful models:

  1. Non-traditional students in terms of age and background
  2. Quick and easy application process
  3. Personalised learning using AI
  4. Multimodal from the start
  5. Full range of summarisation, create self-assessment, dialogue tools
  6. Focus on generative learning using AI
  7. …and Donald lists many more (ending at #25)
 

 

More Chief Online Learning Officers Step Up to Senior Leadership Roles 
In 2024, I think we will see more Chief Online Learning Officers (COLOs) take on more significant roles and projects at institutions.

In recent years, we have seen many COLOs accept provost positions. The typical provost career path that runs up through the faculty ranks does not adequately prepare leaders for the digital transformation occurring in postsecondary education.

As we’ve seen with the professionalization of the COLO role, in general, these same leaders proved to be incredibly valuable during the pandemic due to their unique skills: part academic, part entrepreneur, part technologist, COLOs are unique in higher education. They sit at the epicenter of teaching, learning, technology, and sustainability. As institutions are evolving, look for more online and professional continuing leaders to take on more senior roles on campuses.

Julie Uranis, Senior Vice President, Online and Strategic Initiatives, UPCEA

 

Exploring blockchain’s potential impact on the education sector — from e27.co by Moch Akbar Azzihad M
By the year 2024, the application of blockchain technology is anticipated to have a substantial influence on the education sector

Areas mentioned include:

  • Credentials that are both secure and able to be verified
  • Records of accomplishments that are not hidden
  • Enrollment process that is both streamlined and automated
  • Storage of information that is both secure and decentralised
  • Financing and decentralised operations
 

Growing Enrollment, Shrinking Future — from insidehighered.com by Liam Knox
Undergraduate enrollment rose for the first time since 2020, stoking hopes for a long-awaited recovery. But surprising areas of decline may dampen that optimism.

There is good news and bad news in the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center’s latest enrollment report.

First, the good news: undergraduate enrollment climbed by 2.1 percent this fall, its first total increase since 2020. Enrollment increases for Black, Latino and Asian students—by 2.2 percent, 4.4 percent and 4 percent, respectively—were especially notable after last year’s declines.

The bad news is that freshman enrollment declined by 3.6 percent, nearly undoing last year’s gain of 4.6 percent and leaving first-year enrollment less than a percentage point higher than it was in fall 2021, during the thick of the pandemic. Those declines were most pronounced for white students—and, perhaps most surprisingly, at four-year institutions with lower acceptance rates, reversing years of growth trends for the most selective colleges and universities.


An Army of Temps: AFT Contingent Faculty Quality of Work/Life Report 2022 — from aft.org (American Federation of Teachers) by Randi Weingarten, Fedrick C. Ingram, and Evelyn DeJesus

An Army of Temps: AFT Contingent Faculty Quality of Work/Life Report 2022 -- from aft.org

This recent survey adds to our understanding of how contingency plays out in the lives of millions of college and university faculty.

  • More than one-quarter of respondents earn less than $26,500 annually. The percentage of faculty respondents earning below the federal poverty line has remained unchanged through all three reports, which is not surprising with real wages falling behind inflation throughout the academy.2
  • Only 22.5 percent of respondents report having a contract that provides them with continuing employment, even assuming adequate enrollment and satisfactory job performance.
  • For 3 out of 4 respondents, employment is only guaranteed for a term or semester at a time.
  • Two-thirds of part-time respondents want to work full time but are offered only part-time work.
  • Twenty-two percent of those responding report having anxiety about accessing adequate food, with another 6 percent reporting reduced food intake due to lack of resources.
  • Only 45 percent of respondents have access to employer-provided health insurance, and nearly 19 percent rely on Medicare/Medicaid.
  • Nearly half of faculty members surveyed have put off getting needed healthcare, including mental health services, and 68 percent have forgone dental care.
  • Fewer than half of faculty surveyed have received the training they need to help students in crisis.
  • Only 45 percent of respondents believe that their college administration guarantees academic freedom in the classroom at a time when right-wing legislators are passing laws removing control of the curriculum from educators.

From DSC:
A college or university’s adjunct faculty members — if they are out there practicing what they are teaching about — are some of the most valuable people within higher education. They have real-life, current experience. They know which skills are necessary to thrive in their fields. They know their sections of the marketplace.


Some parts of rural America are changing fast. Can higher education keep up? — from usatoday.com by Nick Fouriezos (Open Campus)
More states have started directly tying academic programming to in-demand careers.

Across rural America, both income inequality and a lack of affordable housing are on the rise. Remote communities like the Tetons are facing not just an economic challenge, but also an educational one, as changing workforce needs meet a critical skills and training gap.

Earlier this month, Montana announced that 12 of its colleges would establish more than a dozen “micro-pathways” – stackable credential programs that can be completed in less than a year – to put people on a path to either earning an associate degree or immediately getting hired in industries such as health, construction, manufacturing and agriculture.

“Despite unemployment hitting record lows in Montana, rural communities continue to struggle economically, and many low-income families lack the time and resources to invest in full-time education and training,” the Montana University System announced in a statement with its partner on the project, the national nonprofit Education Design Lab.


Colleges Must Respond to America’s Skill-Based Economy — from edsurge.com by Mordecai I. Brownlee (Columnist)

To address our children’s hunger and our communities’ poverty, our educational system must be redesigned to remove the boundaries between high school, college and careers so that more Americans can train for and secure employment that will sustain them.

In 2021, Jobs for the Future outlined a pathway toward realizing such a revolution in The Big Blur report, which argues for a radical restructuring of education for grades 11 through 14 by erasing the arbitrary dividing line between high school and college. Ideas for accomplishing this include courses and work experiences for students designed for career preparation.


The New Arms Race in Higher Ed — from jeffselingo.com by Jeff Selingo

Bottom line: Given all the discussion about the value of a college education, if you’re looking for “amenities” on campuses these days be sure to find out how faculty are engaging students (both in person and with tools like AR/VR), whether they’re teaching students about using AI, and ways institutions are certifying learning with credentials that have currency in the job market.

In that same newsletter, also see Jeff’s section entitled, “Where Canada leads the U.S. in higher ed.”


College Uncovered — from hechingerreport.org

Thinking of going to college? Sending your kid? You may already be caught up in the needless complexity of the admissions process, with its never-ending stress and that “you’ll-be-lucky-to-get-in” attitude from colleges that nonetheless pretend to have your interests at heart.

What aren’t they telling you? A lot, as it turns out — beginning with how much they actually cost, how long it will take to finish, the likelihood that graduates get jobs and the myriad advantages that wealthy applicants enjoy. They don’t want you to know that transfer credits often aren’t accepted, or that they pay testing companies for the names of prospects to recruit and sketchy advice websites for the contact information of unwitting students. And they don’t reveal tricks such as how to get admitted even if you’re turned down as a freshman.

But we will. In College Uncovered, from The Hechinger Report and GBH News, two experienced higher education journalists pull back the ivy on how colleges and universities really work, providing information students and their parents need to have before they make one of the most expensive decisions in their lives: whether and where to go to college. We expose the problems, pitfalls and risks, with inside information you won’t hear on other podcasts, including disconcerting facts that they’ve sometimes pried from unwilling universities.
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Fall 2023 enrollment trends in 5 charts — from highereddive.com by Natalie Schwartz
We’re breaking down some of the biggest developments this term, based on preliminary figures from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.

Short-term credentials continued to prove popular among undergraduate and graduate students. In fall 2023, enrollment in undergraduate certificate programs shot up 9.9% compared to the year before, while graduate certificate enrollment rose 5.7%.

Degree programs didn’t fare as well. Master’s programs saw the smallest enrollment increase, of 0.2%, followed by bachelor’s degree programs, which saw headcounts rise 0.9%.


President Speaks: Colleges need an overhaul to meet the future head on — from highereddive.com by Beth Martin
Higher education faces an existential threat from forces like rapidly changing technology and generational shifts, one university leader argues.

Higher education must increasingly equip students with the skills and mindset to become lifelong learners — to learn how to learn, essentially — so that no matter what the future looks like, they will have the skills, mindset and wherewithal to learn whatever it is that they need and by whatever means. That spans from the commitment of a graduate program or something as quick as a microcredential.

Having survived the pandemic, university administrators, faculty, and staff no longer have their backs against the wall. Now is the time to take on these challenges and meet the future head on.

 

The Learning & Employment Records (LER) Ecosystem Map — with thanks to Melanie Booth on LinkedIn for this resource
Driving Opportunity and Equity Through Learning & Employment Records

The Learning & Employment Records (LER) Ecosystem Map

Imagine A World Where…

  • Everyone is empowered to access learning and earning opportunities based on what they know and can do, whether those skills and abilities are obtained through degrees, work experiences, or independent learning.
  • People can capture and communicate the skills and competencies they’ve acquired across their entire learning journey — from education, experience and service — with more ease, confidence, and clarity than a traditional resume.
  • Learners and earners control their information and can curate their skills to take advantage of every opportunity they are truly qualified to pursue, opening up pathways that help address systemic inequities.
  • Employers can tap into a wider talent pool and better match applicants to opportunities with verifiable credentials that represent skills, competencies, and achievements.

This is the world that we believe can be created by Learning and Employment Records (LERs), i.e. digital records of learning and work experiences that are linked to and controlled by learners and earners. An interoperable, well-governed LER ecosystem has the potential to transform the future of work so that it is more equitable, efficient, and effective for everyone involved— individuals, training and education providers, employers, and policymakers.


Also per Melanie Booth, see:

 

A three-headed monster — from rtalbert.org by Robert Talbert

The more I look around higher education, the more clearly it seems to me that there are three practices which we carry out every day – which seemed baked right into the very DNA of our current system of higher education – that are inimical to the actual purpose of higher education. Those practices are:

  • Lecturing,
  • Traditional grading, and
  • Student evaluations of teaching.

Before you get upset, let me say: I don’t think any of these practices is “evil”, and my understanding of the history of education says that all three were developed with good intentions, for legitimate reasons, to solve real problems. (With the possible exception of student evaluations of teaching – I’m working on trying to figure out where these came from and why they were invented.) But regardless of the background and intentions, they have taken over higher education like an invasive species.


Americans Value Good Teaching. Do Colleges? — from chronicle.com by Beth McMurtrie

“If you looked at the average person outside of higher education and said, you know, ‘We’ve created a culture in higher ed where our core thing we do isn’t valued,’ that makes absolutely no sense,” says Amy Hawkins, assistant provost for teaching and academic leadership at the University of Central Arkansas, which has been working to change that dynamic on campus. “It would be like saying in a company, ‘Well, customer service isn’t really a big deal to us. We’re about product development. We treat our customers like crap.’ I mean. That’s nonsensical.”

Does the public know this? And does it care?

Surveys show that what the public values most about higher education is good teaching and meaningful learning. 


What makes an effective microcredential programme? — from by Temesgen Kifle
Short, flexible and skills-focused, microcredentials must balance the needs of students and industry. Here are tips on how to develop courses that achieve this

Here are tips for higher education institutions (HEIs) to consider when creating and delivering microcredential programmes so they meet the needs of all stakeholders.

  1. Collaborate with accrediting bodies, employers and other HEIs
  2. Develop curricula with specific learning outcomes
  3. Review and update programmes regularly
  4. …and others mentioned here

An introduction to creating escape rooms — from timeshighereducation.com by Bernardo Pereira Nunes
Bernardo Pereira Nunes offers tips on how to get started on an escape room experience that will boost students’ teamwork, leadership, communication and problem-solving skills


Are you saving enough for college? Here’s what to know — from npr.org by Cory Turner

But I’ve also been hearing one intriguing question, over and over, that isn’t directly about loans or repayment, so much as it is about how to avoid them entirely. And it’s coming from parents of kids who’ve not yet traded in their sticker collections for student loans.

“I’ve got one little guy who’s about six years old,” Caleb Queern, of Austin, Texas, told me recently. “And my questions are, number one: How much should we be saving between now and the time my little guy is ready for college? And number two: What’s the best way to save for it?”


The Power of New Value Networks in Revolutionizing Education Systems — from michaelbhorn.substack.com by Michael B. Horn

Is school transformation possible without replacing the existing education system? In addition to Tom, Kelly Young of Education Reimagined joined me to argue that it’s not. In an educational landscape that constantly seeks marginal improvements, my guests spoke to the importance of embracing new value networks that support innovative approaches to learning. The conversation touched on the issue of programs that remain niche solutions, rather than robust, learner-centered alternatives. In exploring the concept of value networks, they both challenged the notion of transforming individual schools or districts alone. They argue for the creation of a new value network to truly revolutionize the education system. Of course, they admit that achieving this is no small feat, as it requires a paradigm shift in mindset and a careful balance between innovation and existing structures. In this conversation, we wrestle with the full implications of their findings and more.

 

From DSC:
Time will tell.

Per Jeff Maggioncalda, Coursera CEO: “This system-wide industry micro-credential program sets an innovative blueprint for the future of higher education.”

***

University Of Texas, Coursera Launch Historic Micro-credential Partnership — from forbes.com by Michael T. Nietzel

The University of Texas and Coursera, the online learning platform and a pioneer of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS), are launching a large-scale, industry-recognized micro-credential program. The collaboration was announced today in a blogpost by Coursera.

Through the new partnership, every student, faculty, and staff (and even alumni) across all nine universities in the University of Texas (UT) System will gain access to Courser’s Career Academy for no additional cost to them.

 

Private Student Loans Have Gotten 2x More Expensive Since 2021 — from forbes.com by Vinay Bhaskara; via GSV

Excerpts:

Higher ed may appear less impacted on the surface. But a small yet critical cohort of students and families has been heavily affected – students and parents who take out private student loans. Private student loans are a small piece of the overall student loan puzzle, representing roughly 8% of outstanding student debt (~$146.9 billion) according to a March 2023 analysis from Federal Student Aid.

Private student loans have gotten way more expensive
With that context in mind, it’s worth analyzing how the rise in interest rates has impacted borrowing costs for families. The numbers are staggering. As the Fed has hiked interest rates, private loan borrowing costs have more than doubled since November of 2021. The average interest rate on a 10-year private student loan has jumped from a low of 3.3% in November 2021 to 7% at the end of May 2023. Interest rates for 5-year private loans have skyrocketed even faster, jumping from a low of 2.4% all the way to 8.70% across the same period.
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Higher Ed 101: Accreditation Explained — a podcast from futureupodcast.com by Jeff Selingo and Michael Horn

Excerpt:

Tuesday, June 6, 2023 – Far too often, individuals in higher education don’t understand the nuances of how accreditors operate and the role they play in supporting—or constraining—institutions. Jeff and Michael welcome Barbara Brittingham, former president of the New England Commission on Higher Education, to give the history of accreditation, break down how accrediting agencies operate, show how they compare to one another, and delve into how they might evolve in the future with an eye toward how these organizations impact institutional transformation and support learners in achieving their education and career goals. This episode is made possible with support from Ascendium Education Group, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Course Hero.
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Building Apprenticeship Nation with Ryan Craig of Achieve Partners — a podcast from edtechinsiders.buzzsprout.com with Ryan Craig
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Rich Novak (Rutgers University) on Evaluating the Changes in Higher Ed — a podcast from Illumination by Modern Campus with Amrit Ahluwalia and Rich Novak. Thanks Amrit for all that you’ve done and are doing.

Excerpt:

On today’s episode of the Illumination by Modern Campus podcast, host Amrit Ahluwalia was joined by Rich Novak to evaluate the changes in higher education over the past decade, and the opportunities ahead for continuing education.
.


Council Post: Learning In The Digital Age: Reskilling And The Evolution Of Education — from forbes.com by Daphne Kis

Excerpt:

Partnering With Higher Education
I believe that companies can gain a competitive edge in hiring and retention by establishing long-term partnerships with educators, universities and other pedagogically-driven institutions. However, it is crucial to design these partnerships with scale and replication in mind in order to avoid high costs and low adoption rates that can result in failure.

Establishing a successful partnership will also require companies and universities to determine and agree on the skill-based outcomes they aim to achieve. They will have to find effective ways to share data, develop timelines and measure success for both parties.

This is a shift from traditional partnerships, which often focus on research and innovation initiatives. With this, intellectual property was the outcome of the collaboration. Instead, in a reskilling partnership, in-demand skills are the outcome.
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EDUCAUSE and WCET QuickPoll Results: Current Trends in Microcredential Design and Delivery — from er.educause.edu by Jenay Robert
Microcredentialing programs remain nascent at many institutions, but interest continues to grow. As the demand for flexible learning experiences increases, stakeholders might find renewed interest in and uses for microcredentials.

 

Law school students can take up to half of their credits online after ABA policy change — from highereddive.com by Jeremy Bauer-Wolf

Dive Brief:

  • Law school students can now take up to half of their classes online following a recent policy change by the American Bar Association.
  • ABA’s accrediting body voted last week to raise the ceiling on the number of credits students can earn online for their J.D., up from one-third.
  • It also struck down a prohibition on first-year law students taking no more than 10 credit hours remotely.

From DSC:
It’s almost June of 2023 and matters/impacts of Artificial Intelligence (AI) are increasingly popping up throughout our society. But WOW! Look at this recent piece of news from the American Bar Association: Law school students can now take up to 50% of their credits online! (It used to be just 30%.)

At a time when we need many more lawyers, judges, legislators, politicians, and others to be more informed about emerging technologies — as well as being more tech-savvy themselves — I don’t think the ABA should be patting themselves on the back for this policy change. It’s a step in the right direction, but why it’s not 100% is mind-boggling to me.

 

Trend No. 3: The business model faces a full-scale transformation — from www2.deloitte.com by Cole Clark, Megan Cluver, and Jeffrey J. Selingo
The traditional business model of higher education is broken as institutions can no longer rely on rising tuition among traditional students as the primary driver of revenue.

Excerpt:

Yet the opportunities for colleges and universities that shift their business model to a more student-centric one, serving the needs of a wider diversity of learners at different stages of their lives and careers, are immense. Politicians and policymakers are looking for solutions to the demographic cliff facing the workforce and the need to upskill and reskill generations of workers in an economy where the half-life of skills is shrinking. This intersection of needs—higher education needs students; the economy needs skilled workers—means that colleges and universities, if they execute on the right set of strategies, could play a critical role in developing the workforce of the future. For many colleges, this shift will require a significant rethinking of mission and structure as many institutions weren’t designed for workforce development and many faculty don’t believe it’s their job to get students a job. But if a set of institutions prove successful on this front, they could in the process improve the public perception of higher education, potentially leading to more political and financial support for growing this evolving business model in the future.

Also see:

Trend No. 2: The value of the degree undergoes further questioning — from www2.deloitte.com by Cole Clark, Megan Cluver, and Jeffrey J. Selingo
The perceived value of higher education has fallen as the skills needed to keep up in a job constantly change and learners have better consumer information on outcomes.

Excerpt:

Higher education has yet to come to grips with the trade-offs that students and their families are increasingly weighing with regard to obtaining a four-year degree.

But the problem facing the vast majority of colleges and universities is that they are no longer perceived to be the best source for the skills employers are seeking. This is especially the case as traditional degrees are increasingly competing with a rising tide of microcredentials, industry-based certificates, and well-paying jobs that don’t require a four-year degree.

Trend No. 1: College enrollment reaches its peak — from www2.deloitte.com by Cole Clark, Megan Cluver, and Jeffrey J. Selingo
Enrollment rates in higher education have been declining in the United States over the years as other countries catch up.

Excerpt:

Higher education in the United States has only known growth for generations. But enrollment of traditional students has been falling for more than a decade, especially among men, putting pressure both on the enrollment pipeline and on the work ecosystem it feeds. Now the sector faces increased headwinds as other countries catch up with the aggregate number of college-educated adults, with China and India expected to surpass the United States as the front runners in educated populations within the next decade or so.

Plus the other trends listed here >>


Also related to higher education, see the following items:


Number of Colleges in Distress Is Up 70% From 2012 — from bloomberg.com by Nic Querolo (behind firewall)
More schools see falling enrollement and tuition revenue | Small private, public colleges most at risk, report show

About 75% of students want to attend college — but far fewer expect to actually go — from highereddive.com by Jeremy Bauer-Wolf

There Is No Going Back: College Students Want a Live, Remote Option for In-Person Classes — from campustechnology.com by Eric Paljug

Excerpt:

Based on a survey of college students over the last three semesters, students understand that remotely attending a lecture via remote synchronous technology is less effective for them than attending in person, but they highly value the flexibility of this option of attending when they need it.

Future Prospects and Considerations for AR and VR in Higher Education Academic Technology — from er.educause.edu by Owen McGrath, Chris Hoffman and Shawna Dark
Imagining how the future might unfold, especially for emerging technologies like AR and VR, can help prepare for what does end up happening.

Black Community College Enrollment is Plummeting. How to Get Those Students Back — from the74million.org by Karen A. Stout & Francesca I. Carpenter
Stout & Carpenter: Schools need a new strategy to bolster access for learners of color who no longer see higher education as a viable pathway

As the Level Up coalition reports ,“the vast majority — 80% — of Black Americans believe that college is unaffordable.” This is not surprising given that Black families have fewer assets to pay for college and, as a result, incur significantly more student loan debt than their white or Latino peers. This is true even at the community college level. Only one-third of Black students are able to earn an associate degree without incurring debt. 

Repairing Gen Ed | Colleges struggle to help students answer the question, ‘Why am I taking this class?’ — from chronicle.com by Beth McMurtrie
Students Are Disoriented by Gen Ed. So Colleges Are Trying to Fix It.

Excerpts:

Less than 30 percent of college graduates are working in a career closely related to their major, and the average worker has 12 jobs in their lifetime. That means, he says, that undergraduates must learn to be nimble and must build transferable skills. Why can’t those skills and ways of thinking be built into general education?

“Anyone paying attention to the nonacademic job market,” he writes, “will know that skills, rather than specific majors, are the predominant currency.”

Micro-credentials Survey. 2023 Trends and Insights. — from holoniq.com
HolonIQ’s 2023 global survey on micro-credentials

3 Keys to Making Microcredentials Valid for Learners, Schools, and Employers — from campustechnology.com by Dave McCool
To give credentials value in the workplace, the learning behind them must be sticky, visible, and scalable.

Positive Partnership: Creating Equity in Gateway Course Success — from insidehighered.com by Ashley Mowreader
The Gardner Institute’s Courses and Curricula in Urban Ecosystems initiative works alongside institutions to improve success in general education courses.

American faith in higher education is declining: one poll — from bryanalexander.org by Bryan Alexander

Excerpt:

The main takeaway is that our view of higher education’s value is souring.  Fewer of us see post-secondary learning as worth the cost, and now a majority think college and university degrees are no longer worth it: “56% of Americans think earning a four-year degree is a bad bet compared with 42% who retain faith in the credential.”

Again, this is all about one question in one poll with a small n. But it points to directions higher ed and its national setting are headed in, and we should think hard about how to respond.


 
© 2024 | Daniel Christian