A new path to higher education that begins on YouTube! — from blog.youtube by Katie Kurtz, Managing Director, Global Head of Learning

Excerpt:

We’ve partnered with Arizona State University (ASU) and Crash Course to create Study Hall, a new approach that demystifies the college process while creating an affordable and accessible onramp to earning college credit.

Also relevant/see:

YouTube Launches Video Program Creating a Pathway to Real College Credits — from by Joan E. Solsman
Using YouTube videos as a launchpad to Arizona State University virtual courses, people can work toward first-year college credit with little upfront cost.

YouTube unveils new program that enables students to earn college credits — from techcrunch.com by Aisha Malik

The program is expected to expand to 12 available courses by January 2025 to give students a chance to receive credit for an entire first year of college. There is a $25 fee if a student elects to sign up and begin coursework, and a $400 fee to receive college credit for each course.



 

From DSC:
Our son recently took a 3-day intensive course on the Business of Acting. It was offered by the folks at “My College Audition” — and importantly, the course was not offered by the university where he is currently working on a BFA in Acting. By the way, aspiring performing arts students may find this site very beneficial/helpful as well. (Example blog posting here.)

mycollegeaudition.com/

The course was actually three hours of learning on a Sunday night, a Monday night, and a Tuesday night from 6-9pm.

The business of acting -- a 3-day virtual intensive course from mycollegeaudition.com

He learned things that he mentioned have not been taught in his undergrad program (at least not so far). When I asked him what he liked most about the course, he said:

  • These people are out there doing this (DSC insert: To me, this sounds like the use of adjunct faculty in higher ed)
  • There were 9 speakers in the 9 hours of classtime
  • They relayed plenty of resources that were very helpful and practical. He’s looking forward to pursuing these leads further.

He didn’t like that there were no discussion avenues/forums available. And as a paying parent, I didn’t like that we had to pay for yet another course and content that he wasn’t getting at his university. It may be that the university that he’s studying at will offer such a course later in the curriculum. But after two years of college experience, he hasn’t come across anything this practical and he is eagerly seeking out this type of practical/future-focused information. In fact, it’s critical to him staying with acting…or not. He needs this information sooner in his program.

It made me reflect on the place of adjunct faculty within higher education — folks who are out there “doing” what they are teaching about. They tend to be more up-to-date in their real-world knowledge. Sabbaticals are helpful in this regard for full-time faculty, but they don’t come around nearly enough to keep one’s practical, career-oriented knowledgebase up-to-date.

Again, this dilemma is to be expected, given our current higher education learning ecosystem. Faculties’ plates are full. They don’t have time to pursue this kind of endeavor in addition to their daily responsibilities. Staff aren’t able to be out there “doing” these things either.

This brings me back to design thinking. We’ve got to come up with better ways of offering student-centered education, programming, and content/resources.

My son walked away shaking his head a bit regarding his current university. At a time when students and families are questioning the return on their investments in traditional institutions of higher education, this issue needs to be taken very seriously. 


Also potentially relevant for some of the performing arts students out there:


 
Imagine my delight when co-founder of Coursera Daphne Koehler came into my office in 2012 to explain the radical concept behind her new business. What if you could Partner with the World’s best universities and professors to provide FREE online courses? Like other successful FREEMIUM models, you monetize the platform downstream by creating massive network effects and convert a small percentage to paying customers (we had invested in other successful FREEMIUM models such as Facebook, Twitter, Spotify and Snap, so why wouldn’t that work here?)

Today, over 113 million learners from around the world access the platform to gain knowledge, to earn certificates and get diplomas from the top universities.

The Coursera ride has been amazing for most of the past decade, with over 100 million students, 200 universities and 5000 courses on the platform. And while the vast majority of the students on Coursera don’t pay a dime, the company has built a business with over $500 million in revenue and nearly a $2 billion market cap today.

Estimates are for the company to do $520 million in revenue in 2022, up from $415 million in 2021 and estimated $623 million in 2023. Coursera is losing money currently but has $424 million in cash and could turn profitable if it prioritized that and sells at 1.3x 2023 sales.

 

Skills, Skills, Skills Now is the time. — from by Katelyn Donnelly and Eric Scott Lavin
Skills matter more than ever.

Excerpt:

For years, the importance of building demonstrable skills has been growing. The research is clear: skills acquired through work experience increase lifetime earnings. Yet, a massive shift in how learners, educators, and employers think about skills is just beginning.

Three subtrends set the stage for a massive inflection point in how we think about skills…

Learning will be the only constant throughout a career.  Success in the modern workforce is learning experiences to build skills, and the best way to build skills is to do real-world projects.

Below is a sampling of organizations and companies pushing the boundaries. Some of these are established players with mature businesses and tested business models.

Also relevant/see:

The Job Skills of 2023 — from Coursera

The job skills of 2023 -- from Coursera

Excerpt from the Executive Summary Section

  1. The fastest-growing skills are digital skills
    The top ten overall fastest-growing skills are digital skills. The ongoing evolution of technology means employers are regularly seeking new digital competencies from potential hires while also reskilling existing workers.
  2. The fastest-growing digital skills are changing more significantly than the fastest-growing human skills
    The top ten digital skills vary significantly from last year—only two have carried over year-on-year: data visualization and user experience. The human skills in demand remain steadier, suggesting an evergreen demand for skills like change management and communication.

The job skills of 2023 -- from Coursera

 

The Job: Online Certifications #85? DEC 1, 2022 — from getrevue.co by Paul Fain
Growing interest in online training for medical certifications and a private university that’s offering credit for MedCerts and other microcredentials.

Excerpt:

‘Train and Hire’ in Healthcare
The nation’s healthcare system continues to strain amid a severe staffing crisis. And the mounting desperation is prodding some employers to get more creative about how they hire, train, and retain healthcare workers.

MedCerts has seen growing demand for its online certification training, with strong interest in the 28-week medical assistant and 12-week phlebotomy technician programs.

The company has enrolled 55K students and roughly doubled its offerings during the last two years. Its fastest-growing segment is the train-and-hire model, where employers cover the full tuition and training costs for students.

“We are now helping several hundred people every month move from education to high-demand careers, and our pace and scale are still growing,” says Rafael Castaneda, MedCerts’ vice president of workforce development.

Stride Inc., a large online K-12 education provider, acquired MedCerts in 2020 for roughly $80M. The company’s 50+ self-paced career training programs in healthcare, IT, and professional development typically cost $4K in tuition and other fees. Most can be completed in six months, and the company offers on-demand support to all students for a year regardless of their program’s length.

 

Can a Group of MIT Professors Turn a White Paper Into a New Kind of College? — from edsurge.com by Jeffrey R. Young

Excerpt:

A group of professors at Massachusetts Institute of Technology dropped a provocative white paper in September that proposed a new kind of college that would address some of the growing public skepticism of higher education. This week, they took the next step toward bringing their vision from idea to reality.

That next step was holding a virtual forum that brought together a who’s who of college innovation leaders, including presidents of experimental colleges, professors known for novel teaching practices and critical observers of the higher education space.

The MIT professors who authored the white paper tried to make clear that even though they’re from an elite university, they do not have all the answers. Their white paper takes pains to describe itself as a draft framework and to invite input from players across the education ecosystem so they can revise and improve the plan.

IDEAS FOR DESIGNING An Affordable New Educational Institution

IDEAS FOR DESIGNING An Affordable New Educational Institution

The goal of this document is simply to propose some principles and ideas that we hope will lay the groundwork for the future, for an education that will be both more affordable and more effective.

Promotions and titles will be much more closely tied to educational performance—quality, commitment, outcomes, and innovation—than to research outcomes. 

 

A student debt study unravels the American Dream ideal that college will propel you to the middle class — from fortune.com by Bytrey Williams with thanks to Ray Schroeder for this resource out on LinkedIn


Excerpts:

Looking at a cohort of borrowers from 2009, the report highlights that 50% of undergraduate debtors hadn’t repaid their loans. Across different types of loans, borrowers owed between 50% to 110% of their original loan 10 years after repayment began.

A college degree is undoing the American Dream
Getting a college degree has long been heralded as a staple to the American Dream, viewed as the path to wealth that will eventually buy a house in suburbs with a white picket fence. But the Jain Institute report shows that’s no longer the case.

 

Coursera is Evolving into a Third-Wave EdTech Company — from eliterate.us by Michael Feldstein

Excerpts:

This is the vision of Coursera’s three-sided platform at scale, connecting learners, educators and institutions in a global learning ecosystem designed to keep pace with our rapidly changing world.

Coursera CEO Jeff Maggioncalda

Coursera's diversified model with 3 segments -- consumer, enterprise, and degrees

The point of this slide is to show the diversification of Coursera’s business. Degree programs may be down, but enterprise licenses and direct-to-consumer certificates are up. But it also indicates Coursera’s ability to diversify revenue streams for its university content providers. The enterprise business provides a distribution channel between universities and employers. From what I can tell, it’s a Guild competitor, even though the two companies look very different on the surface. The consumer segment started as the MOOC business and has expanded into the “tweener” space between courses and degrees: certificates, microdegrees, whatever.

 

2023 Top 10 IT Issues: Foundation Models — from educause.edu

Excerpt:

Recent times have brought about a Great Rethink that is upending previous models of management and working. Higher education is no exception. In 2023, institutional and technology leaders are ready for a new approach.

The EDUCAUSE 2023 Top 10 IT Issues help describe the foundation models that colleges and universities will develop next year and beyond, acting on what was learned in the pandemic and framed by the three building blocks of leadership, data, and work and learning.

See where things are headed in 2023 and beyond.
.

The Educause 2023 Top 10 IT Issues

 

.

From DSC:
At this point in time, I’d find your visionary, innovative, tech-savvy leaders out there — and not just for IT-related positions but for Presidents, Provosts, CFO’s, Heads of HR, and similar levels of positions (and ideally on the Boards as well.) Such people need to be at the table when strategies are hammered out.

For example, if your institution didn’t get seriously into online learning long before Covid19 hit, I’d clear house and go back to the drawing board on your leadership.

Also, data won’t save higher ed. New directions/pathways might. But I’m doubtful that new sources of data will — no matter how they are sliced and diced. That sort of thing is too much at the fringe of things — and not at the heart of what’s being offered. The marketplace will eventually dictate to higher ed which directions institutions of traditional higher education need to go in. Or perhaps I should say that this is already starting to occur.

If alternatives to institutions of traditional higher education continue to grow in acceptance and usage — and don’t involve current institutions of higher ed — those sorts of institutions may already be too late. If more corporations fully develop their own training programs, pathways, and credentials, there may be even fewer students to go around.

A final thought: Cheaper forms of online-based learning for the liberal arts may be what actually saves the liberal arts in the long run.


Also relevant/see:


 

Higher Education in Motion: The Digital and Cultural Transformations Ahead — from er.educause.edu by John O’Brien

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

In 2015 when Janet Napolitano, then president of the University of California, responded to what she saw as a steadily growing “chorus of doom” predicting the demise of higher education, she did so with a turn of phrase that captured my imagination and still does. She said that higher education is not in crisis. “Instead, it is in motion, and it always has been.”

A brief insert by DSC:
Yes. In other words, it’s a learning ecosystem — with constant morphing & changing going on.

“We insisted then, and we continue to insist now, that digital transformation amounts to deep and coordinated change that substantially reshapes the operations, strategic directions, and value propositions of colleges and universities and that this change is enabled by culture, workforce, and technology shifts.

The tidal movement to digital transformation is linked to a demonstrably broader recognition of the strategic role and value of technology professionals and leaders on campus, another area of long-standing EDUCAUSE advocacy. For longer than we have talked about digital transformation, we have insisted that technology must be understood as a strategic asset, not a utility, and that senior IT leaders must be part of the campus strategic decision-making. But the idea of a strategic role for technology had disappointing traction among senior campus leaders before 2020.

From DSC:
The Presidents, Provosts, CIO’s, board members, influential faculty members, and other members of institutions’ key leadership positions who didn’t move powerfully forward with online-based learning over the last two+ decades missed the biggest thing to hit societies’ ability to learn in 500+ years — the Internet. Not since the invention of the printing press has learning had such an incredible gust of wind put in its sails. The affordances have been staggering, with millions of people now being educated in much less expensive ways (MOOCs, YouTube, LinkedIn Learning, other). Those who didn’t move forward with online-based learning in the past are currently scrambling to even survive. We’ll see how many close their doors as the number of effective alternatives increases.

Instead of functioning as a one-time fix during the pandemic, technology has become ubiquitous and relied upon to an ever-increasing degree across campus and across the student experience.

Moving forward, best of luck to those organizations who don’t have their CIOs at the decision-making table and reporting directly to the Presidents — and hopefully those CIO’s are innovative and visionary to begin with. Best of luck to those institutions who refuse to look up and around to see that the world has significantly changed from the time they got their degrees.

The current mix of new realities creates an opportunity for an evolution and, ideally, a synchronized reimagination of higher education overall. This will be driven by technology innovation and technology professionals—and will be made even more enduring by a campus culture of care for students, faculty, and staff.

Time will tell if the current cultures within many traditional institutions of higher education will allow them to adapt/change…or not.


Along the lines of transformations in our learning ecosystems, also see:


OPINION: Let’s use the pandemic as a dress-rehearsal for much-needed digital transformation — from hechingerreport.org by Jean-Claude Brizard
Schools must get ready for the next disruption and make high-quality learning available to all

Excerpts:

We should use this moment to catalyze a digital transformation of education that will prepare schools for our uncertain future.

What should come next is an examination of how schools can more deeply and deliberately harness technology to make high-quality learning accessible to every learner, even in the wake of a crisis. That means a digital transformation, with three key levers for change: in the classroom, in schools and at the systems level.

Platforms like these help improve student outcomes by enhancing teachers’ ability to meet individual students’ needs. They also allow learners to master new skills at their own pace, in their own way.

As Digital Transformation in Schools Continues, the Need for Enterprising IT Leaders Grows — from edtechmagazine.com by Ryan Petersen

K-12 IT leaders move beyond silos to make a meaningful impact inside and outside their schools.According to Korn Ferry’s research on enterprise leadership, “Enterprise leaders envision and grow; scale and create. They go beyond by going across the enterprise, optimizing the whole organization and its entire ecosystem by leading outside what they can control. These are leaders who see their role as being a participant in diverse and dynamic communities.”

 

 

Amazon ups its cloud training investments — from workshift.opencampusmedia.org by Byelyse Ashburn
Amazon Web Services just launched a new skills center near D.C. and is expanding both its in-person and online training programs for cloud careers.

Excerpt:

The big idea: The skills center is just one part of AWS’ plan to spend hundreds of millions of dollars providing free training in cloud computing to 29 million people globally by 2025. In the past year, the company has dramatically increased its free cloud skills offerings, adding AWS Skill Builder, an online library of 500-plus self-paced courses. It’s also twice expanded re/Start, its cohort-based training program for workers who are unemployed or underemployed.

Thus far, the company has helped more than 13 million people gain cloud skills for free through its various offerings—seven million more than this time last year.

 

77% of adults think it would be hard to pay for college, according to survey — from highereddive.com by Rick Seltzer

Excerpt:

  • Women were more likely than men to call a college education unaffordable, 82% vs. 73%. The survey found 80% of Black respondents, 78% of Hispanic respondents, and 77% of White respondents said college would be difficult to afford.
  • Community colleges and two-year colleges were viewed as the most affordable option — 65% of respondents said they considered them affordable. That was ahead of vocational and professional certificate programs, which 57% of respondents viewed as affordable.
 

More Than 3 in 4 Americans Believe College Is Difficult to Afford — from morningconsult.com by Amanda Jacobson Snyder
And about half of U.S. adults say in-state public universities are “not affordable,” as shifting trends in enrollment may make flagship state schools seem financially out of reach

Excerpt:

  • A college education is widely perceived as unaffordable for most Americans, with 77% of U.S. adults saying a college degree would be difficult for someone like them to afford.
  • 82% of women said a college degree would be difficult to afford, compared with 73% of men.
  • Roughly 4 in 5 Black and Hispanic adults said college would be difficult to afford.
 

This Company Aims to Become the Amazon of Lifelong Learning — from edsurge.com by Daniel Mollenkamp

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The Singapore-based company Genius Group has turned some of its attention to the U.S. edtech market recently.

While some companies have seen layoffs, the Genius Group lifelong learning platform is growing among users at a rate of greater than 50 percent, they claim. Currently, it has 2.7 million students across 200 countries, according to its website.

But we decided that rather than looking to solve the problem for just some, if we could be one of the companies that was looking to solve it for all, that would be a great market opportunity for us. And at the same time, it would be something which would enable us to attract the best educators, and the best content creators from around the world as well.

[The intent was] to really tackle the full, lifelong learning journey that we’re on, and to put in place a pathway, and more importantly, a platform that would enable anyone to be able to come and take their curriculum, bring it on board, and in the same way that YouTube allows anyone to be a creator.


Also from Edsurge.com, see:


 

Returnships are the new internships for adults — from synchronybank.com by Adam Shell

Excerpt:

What Is a Returnship?
Returnships are essentially internships for adults looking to re-enter the workforce after being away from the typical 9-to-5 grind for a year or more. They are job-learning opportunities that can be hugely lucrative for women—such as moms who took a job hiatus—but can also be utilized by anyone returning to the workforce or looking for a career switch-up.

“Since I got the opportunity at Audible, everything has changed for me for the better,” Gutgutia says. “I really felt a spark in my life.” In February, Gutgutia landed a full-time job at Audible as a quality assurance engineer after completing the returnship program.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian