Private colleges’ net tuition revenue from first-year students declined in 2021-22, study finds — from highereddive.com by Rick Seltzer
The revenue drop comes as tuition discount rates for first-year undergraduates rose to 54.5%, NACUBO found. Selective colleges discounted less than others.

Dive Brief (emphasis DSC):

  • Tuition discount rates for full-time first-year students attending private nonprofit colleges rose 2.1 percentage points to average 54.5% in 2021-22, a new record high, according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers.
  • Average tuition discount rates also climbed for all undergraduates attending private nonprofits, increasing by 1.4 percentage points to 49%, an annual NACUBO study released Thursday found. That measure hit its highest recorded mark as well.
  • Net tuition revenue from first-time undergraduates fell for just the second time in 10 years, with colleges that aren’t selective in admissions struggling most.

Also relevant/see:

Smaller and Restructured: How the Pandemic Is Changing the Higher Education IT Workforce — from educause.edu by Jenay Robert

 

‘Stackable credentials’ could be future of higher education in Colorado — from thedenverchannel.com by Nicole Brady; with thanks to Ray Schroeder for this resource out on LinkedIn

Stackable credentials could be future of higher education in Colorado

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

DENVER — Metropolitan State University of Denver is one of Colorado’s largest four-year institutions, but some students are spending just months there — not years — before joining the workforce.

They’re doing it by “stacking” credentials.

“Stackable credentials are really a convergence of individuals wanting to learn in smaller chunks and industries being willing to accept those chunks,” said Terry Bower, associate vice president of Innovative and Lifelong Learning at MSU Denver.

The career launchpad lays out exactly what steps are needed to work in those industries and how much money a person can earn with different credentials.

For students who decide they want to add more credentials or work toward a degree, they can return to MSU with no credits lost.

From DSC:
That part that says “The career launchpad lays out exactly what steps are needed to work in those industries and how much money a person can earn with different credentials” will likely be a part of a next-generation learning platform. Here are the skills in demand. Here are the folks offering you the ability to learn/develop those skills and here’s what you can expect to earn at different levels of this type of job. The platform will be able to offer this type of information and these types of opportunities throughout your lifetime.

Cloud-based learner profiles will be part of this new setup — along with recommendation engine-based results based upon one’s learning preferences (not learning styles — which don’t exist — but upon one’s learning preferences).

Learning from the living class room

 
 

The Exit Interview Nine departing presidents on how the job — and higher ed — is changing. — from chronicle.com by Eric Kelderman

“One of the things I’ve learned in this job is that it’s time for us to really think hard about the obligations the postsecondary educational sector has to the country,” Quillen said. “What is, as it were, the social contract between that sector and the society that supports us? And what do we need to do to fulfill our obligations there?”

Carol Quillen


Carol Quillen
 

The Future of Work Is Flexible. Will Higher Ed Stay Stuck in the Past? — from edsurge.com by Kevin R. McClure (Columnist)

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

We know that institutions are capable of making big changes. We pivoted in March 2020, then again in fall 2020, then again in fall 2021. Institutions have achieved things in the last two years that some considered unimaginable. Faculty and staff want to see that type of willpower and creativity directed at working conditions and cultures. They want the type of “reimagining” the Future of Work@Iowa report promised but didn’t deliver.

In a city full of adjunct faculty members, many struggle to get by — from washingtonpost.com by Lauren Lumpkin; with thanks to Ray Schroeder for this resource
Adjuncts across the region are protesting what they say are unfair working condition

7 Ways the Pandemic Changed Faculty Development — from er.educause.edu by Amy Kuntz, Sara Davis and Erica Fleming
Pandemic lessons about faculty development should be understood and factored into future offerings.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Regarding this perspective shift, conference session participant Lindsay Wood, manager of instructional design at Penn State Abington, stated, “When reflecting on the impact of pandemic teaching, those of us working in faculty development and learning design know that there has never been and likely will never be another opportunity to upskill faculty and improve teaching and learning so broadly. It’s important … to really take a deep dive into how we meet the moment and ensure the positive changes are lasting. It would be a shame to squander a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to adopt innovative practices because we didn’t adequately identify the lessons learned and apply them to the future.” This seemed to resonate with many participants; they want to see the positive changes from the past two years integrated at an institutional level.

Is Hybrid Learning Here to Stay in Higher Ed? — from edsurge.com by  Daniel Lempres

State of Continuing Education 2022 — from resources.moderncampus.com; with thanks to Amrit Ahluwalia for this resource

Universities Share Lessons Learned from Ransomware Attacks — from edtechmagazine.com by Chris Hayhurst
Universities that faced security breaches share advice from their experiences.

 

100 Universities established an OPM, Bootcamp or Pathways partnership in Q1 2022 — from holoniq.com
Bootcamps are directing more resources B2B and B2G, OPMs are growing existing partnerships further and evolving their technology and healthcare programs.

Excerpt:

Higher Education, like the broader economy, is awkwardly emerging from an almost exclusively digital, isolated and stimulus fuelled environment into… well it’s not clear yet. University Partnerships continued to be established at pace through Q1 2022, albeit at a much slower rate than through 2021.



Also relevant/see:

College contracts with OPMs need better oversight, watchdog says — from highereddive.com by Natalie Schwartz

Excerpt from Dive Brief:

  • The U.S. Department of Education should strengthen oversight of colleges’ relationships with companies that help them launch and build online programs, according to a new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, an auditing agency for Congress.

Addendum on 5/11/22:


 

Coursera launches skills training academy for colleges and companies — from highereddive.com by Natalie Schwartz
Experts say the move could help the company strengthen its focus on selling courses to colleges rather than consumers.

Excerpts:

Coursera, like other popular MOOC platforms, has made its name by bringing online classes to the masses. But lately, the company has been expanding efforts to provide these offerings to colleges and employers rather than solely to consumers.

The company doubled down on that strategy Wednesday, when it announced the launch of a career training academy that enables users to earn entry-level certificates from companies like Meta and IBM in fields such as data analytics, social media marketing and user experience design. Institutions — including colleges, businesses and government organizations — can sign up to make the platform available to their students or employees.

The move signals a shift in strategy for the company. While Coursera is still focused on delivering courses directly to consumers, it’s also been building out its offerings to colleges and employers. This business segment includes Coursera for Campus, which allows colleges to use the platform’s content in their classes. 


From DSC:
For those who think MOOCs have come and gone:

Coursera has been using academic content created by universities for years to build its audience, amassing some 97 million users by the end of last year, according to its latest earnings report. 


Addendum on 5/11/22:

 

From DSC:
After seeing the item below, I thought, “Hmmm…traditional institutions of higher education better look out if alternatives continue to gain momentum.” Perhaps it’s wise to double down on efforts to gather feedback from students, families, parents, businesses, and other stakeholders in the workplace regarding what they want and need — vs. what the faculty members of institution ABC want to teach.


A Third of U.S. College Students Consider Withdrawing — from news.gallup.com by Stephanie Marken

Excerpt:

Editor’s Note: The research below was conducted in partnership between the Lumina Foundation and Gallup.

About a third (32%) of currently enrolled students pursuing a bachelor’s degree report they have considered withdrawing from their program for a semester or more in the past six months. A slightly higher percentage of students pursuing their associate degree, 41%, report they have considered stopping out in the past six months. These are similar to 2020 levels when 33% of bachelor’s degree students reported they had considered stopping out and 38% of associate degree students said the same.

 

Higher ed faces shrinking workforce and pay increases outpaced by inflation — from highereddive.com by Laura Spitalniak

Dive Brief (emphasis DSC):

  • The median salary increase for all higher ed professionals was less than half of the inflation rate in 2021-2022, according to workforce survey data released Wednesday by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources, CUPA-HR.
  • Administrators saw the greatest average salary increase, at 3.4%. The salaries of professional staff rose 2.9%, while tenure-track and nontenure-track faculty got average increases of 1.6% and 1.5%, respectively. The consumer price index for 2021 was 6.8%, the largest increase in decades.
  • The size of full-time and part-time staff as well as tenure-track faculty declined. CUPA-HR said colleges are feeling the same nationwide hiring and retention challenges as other employers.

From DSC:
This is going to hurt higher ed — how much so remains to be seen. But losing real purchasing power and working harder than ever doesn’t make for an effective, appealing, winning, long-term career proposition.

On the parental side of things, I’m not at all excited to have to absorb even higher costs as our son continues to make his way through college.

 

How Much Does College Really Cost? — from chronicle.com by Phillip Levine
The opacity of pricing hurts students — and institutions.

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

Many institutions have reported average statistics on their own web pages for quite some time to no avail — students do not believe average statistics. What they want to know is how much is this college going to cost me?

Real affordability is sacrificed in the name of perceived affordability at these institutions.

A college education is an investment that generates substantial returns. It does not need to be free. It just needs to be affordable — and not just for the rich, but for everyone.

Also relevant/see:

My in Tuition dot com -- a quick college cost estimator

 

Why One University Is Moving Toward a Subscription Model — a podcast from edsurge.com by Jeffrey R. Young

Excerpts:

One big theme in education-innovation circles is that the professional world is changing faster than ever, and so schools and colleges must adjust how they teach to meet those needs.

One college in St. Louis, Maryville University, is embracing that argument in a big way by revamping its curriculum and even changing its business model to include options like a subscription model—with the goal of helping its students get good jobs after graduation.

“By the end of this decade or before, students should pay for higher ed the way they pay for Netflix or their cell phone bill,” Lombardi says.

From DSC:
I thought this was an interesting conversation and I agreed with much of what Mark Lombardi, President of Maryville University, had to say. 

I appreciated Jeff’s attempts at trying to get Mark to hear that “learning styles” aren’t supported by the research. I wish Mark would have used the word “preferences” instead…as I do think learners have preferences when it comes to them learning about new topics.

 

 

“Unpaid internships should be illegal:” Why colleges should reconsider unpaid internships. — from newamerica.org by Mauriell H. Amechi and Iris Palmer; with thanks to Goldie Blumenstyk for this resource

Excerpts:

College leaders must do more to facilitate access to paid work experience, especially for historically underserved, low-income, and racially minoritized student populations.

  • Require all internships offered through career services to be paid. The inequitable practice of not paying interns makes such opportunities impossible to access for many students. Colleges should require that internships they offer be paid for by the employer or through matching funds from the college. Paying interns for their time is the right thing to do and the best way to start creating access for all students.
  • Maintain some on-campus internship opportunities to ease transportation and care needs and offer on-campus care.
  • Provide shuttles, transit passes, or travel stipends to internship sites.
  • Consider working with employers to make internships renewable across semesters.
  • Consider student populations that are typically excluded from internships.
  • Document what works to create sustainable funding streams.
 

Inflation and labor shortages set to squeeze college budgets, Moody’s says — from highereddive.com by Rick Seltzer

Dive Brief:

  • Colleges face their highest expense growth in over a decade as rising costs combine with wage inflation, labor shortages and a push to hire, according to two new reports issued this week by Moody’s Investors Service.
  • At the same time, volatility has returned to the investment market, and recent public funding increases are waning, Moody’s said. Colleges also face mounting enrollment uncertainty that raises risks for tuition-dependent institutions that lack a national brand and deep pockets.
  • Most of the U.S. higher education sector will remain financially stable in the near term thanks to strong endowment values and liquidity levels that grew recently, the reports said. But Moody’s analysts expect the converging pressures to squeeze many colleges’ budgets in fiscal 2023 and beyond.
 

The Future Trends Forum Topics page — from forum.futureofeducation.us by Bryan Alexander

Excerpt:

The Future Trends Forum has explored higher education in depth and breadth. Over six years of regular live conversations we have addressed many aspects of academia.

On this page you’ll find a list of our topics.  Consider it a kind of table of contents, or, better yet, an index to the Forum’s themes.

Also see:

Since we launched in early February, 2016, the Forum has successfully published three hundred videos to YouTube.  Week after week, month by month, over more than six years we’ve held great conversations, then shared them with the world, free of charge.

 

Per Johann Neem, the innovations that promise to save higher ed are a farce.

The University in Ruins — from chronicle.com by Johann N. Neem
The “innovations” that promise to save higher ed are a farce.

From DSC:
First of all,
I appreciated Johann Neem mentioning and/or discussing several books in one posting:

  • Ronald G. Musto’s The Attack on Higher Education (2021)
  • Arthur Levine’s and Scott J. Van Pelt’s The Great Upheaval (2021)
  • Bill Readings’ The University in Ruins (1996)
  • Ronald J. Daniels’ What Universities Owe Democracy (2021)

And as a disclosure here, I have not read those books. 

Below are excerpts with some of my comments:

It’s already happening. Today, we walk among the ruins of an institution that once had a larger purpose. It’s not clear what role universities should play in society, and to what or to whom they are accountable, other than their corporate interests.

To some, that’s not a problem, at least according to Arthur Levine and Scott J. Van Pelt in The Great Upheaval (2021). They see higher education undergoing the same transformation that reshaped the music, film, and newspaper industries. Rather than place-based education overseen by tenured professors, they anticipate “the rise of anytime, anyplace, consumer-driven content and source agnostic, unbundled, personalized education paid for by subscription.”

Between Musto’s existential fears of disruption and Levine and Van Pelt’s embrace of it lies a third path. It takes the form of a wager — outlined by Ronald J. Daniels in What Universities Owe Democracy (2021) — that universities can and should continue to matter because of their importance in civic democratic life.

The article covers how the learning ecosystems within higher education have morphed from their religious roots to being an apparatus of the nation-state to then becoming a relatively independent bureaucratic system to other things and to where we are today.

Along the journey discussing these things, one of the things that caught my eye was this statement:

Hopkins, in this sense, lived up to its founding president Daniel Coit Gilman’s 19th-century aspiration that universities be places that acquire, conserve, refine, and distribute knowledge.

From DSC:
While I completely agree with that aspiration, I think more institutions of higher education could follow what John Hopkins University did with their efforts concerning the Covid-19 situation, as Neem mentioned. Generally speaking, institutions of higher education are not distributing knowledge to the levels that Gilman envisioned years ago.

In fact, these days those working within K12 are doing a whole lot better at sharing information with society than those who work within higher education are. For example, when I search Twitter for K12 educators who share content on Twitter, they are out there all over the place — and many with tens of thousands of followers. They share information with parents, families, fellow educators, students, school boards, and others. Yet this is not the case for those working in higher education. Faculty members normally:

  • aren’t out on Twitter
  • don’t blog
  • don’t have a podcast
  • don’t write for society at large. Instead, their expertise is often locked up — existing behind paywalls in academic journals. In other words, they talk to each other.

Later on…

As Daniels intuits, without a larger purpose to hold them fast, there is nothing to prevent universities from being buffeted by winds until they have lost direction. That is what Readings foresaw: Globalization liberates universities from national fetters, but at the risk of ruin.

From DSC:
While globalization may have something to do with universities becoming unanchored from their original purposes, globalization isn’t at the top of my mind when I reflect upon what’s been happening with colleges and universities these last few decades.

To see but one area of massive change, let’s take a brief look at college sports. There are now multimillion-dollar stadium projects, enormous coaches’ salaries, and numerous situations where tax-paying citizens can’t even watch sporting events without tons of advertisements being thrown into their faces every few seconds. Personally speaking, on numerous occasions, I couldn’t even access the games at all — as I wasn’t paying for the subscriptions to the appropriate providers.

Also, as another example of becoming anchored — and going back to the 1980’s — I attended Northwestern University for my undergraduate degree in Economics. While I have several wonderful lifelong friends from that experience for whom I’m deeply grateful, even back then NU had already moved far away from its motto which is based on Philippians 4:8.

Instead, please allow me to tell you what that learning community taught me and strongly encouraged me to think about:

  • You are only successful if you have the corner office, drive the higher numbered BMW’s, and have many people reporting to you.
  • If you make a lot of money.
  • You are supposed to compete against others vs. being in relationships with others. As but one example here, our test scores were published — by our Social Security numbers — outside our professors’ offices for all to see how we measured up to our classmates.

In fact, I’m not even sure that I would use the word “community” at all when I reflect upon my years at Northwestern. Instead, a WIIFM approach was encouraged (i.e., What’s In It For Me? where you are supposed to look out for #1). It took me years to unlearn some of those “lessons” and “learnings.”

But I realize that that’s not the case with all learning communities.

As Neem alluded to, I love the idea that an institution of higher education can — and often does — impact students’ hearts as well as minds. That was the focus at Calvin College (now Calvin University). Our oldest daughter went there and she was profoundly and positively influenced by her experiences there. In that context, students were encouraged to be in relationships with one another. There was plenty of hugging, praying for one another, etc. going on in that setting. There truly was community there.

***

Neem doesn’t think much of Levine’s and Van Pelt’s perspectives. He claims there’s nothing new in their book. He seems to discard the arguments being made about the cost of higher ed and, like many others, clings to the intellectual roots/purpose of higher ed.

While I’m not against intellect or pursuing knowledge — in fact, I’m all for it — I just have a problem when the price of doing so continues to become out of reach for soooooo many people.

Personally, I’ve tried to lower the cost of obtaining a degree within higher education for many years…but I was/we were only successful in doing so for a few years (and that was during a pilot of online-based learning). Yohan Na and I created the graphic below in 2008 for example — as I was trying to raise awareness of the dangers of the status quo:
.

.

So from a cost/access perspective, Levine’s and Van Pelt’s perspectives here sound pretty good to me. It appears to be much more affordable and realistic for the masses. Otherwise, the image/reality of the ivory tower is maintained…allowing “intellectuals” to continue to live and operate within their own sphere/hive/tribe.

Also, we need an AI-backed system of presenting which skills are needed and then how to get them. The ways things are set up today, institutions of traditional higher education have not been able to deal with the current pace of change out there.

As a final comment here…
The changing directions/purposes of institutions of higher education present a good example of why I entitled this blog Learning Ecosystems — as the systems that we use to learn and grow in are constantly morphing:

  • People come and go
  • Tools and vendors come and go
  • Purposes, focuses, and/or mission statements change
  • Our sources of information (i.e., our streams of content) come and go
  • Etc.
 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian