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.

 

The Transformative Trends Reshaping Higher Education in 2024 — from evolllution.com by Janet Spriggs; via Amrit Ahluwalia on LinkedIn

  • Artificial Intelligence: Embrace It or Fall Behind
  • Reassessing Value: Tackling Confidence and ROI in Higher Education
  • Innovating for the Future: Adapting to Changing Needs
  • Fostering Strategic Partnerships: Collaboration for Progress
  • Leadership Matters: Driving Innovation and Inclusivity
 

How This College Dropout Raised $29 Million for His Online Education Platform and Landed the Biggest Investor of All — Shaq — from entrepreneur.com by Dan Bova; via GSV
Campus founder Tade Oyerinde and investor Shaquille O’Neal discuss the debt-free mission of the online community college.

Key Takeaways

  • Campus offers two-year associate degrees with tuition costs that allow many students to go for free.
  • The online community college has garnered $29 million in investment.
  • Shaq says the company met his criteria for investment: a passionate founder, a mission to change lives and a solid exit strategy.

Colleges Were Already Bracing for an ‘Enrollment Cliff.’ Now There Might Be a Second One. — from chronicle.com by Dan Bauman; via GSV

[In addition to the decline of high school graduates starting in 2025] In recent months, however, the Census has updated its forecasts — instead of rebounding at some point in the mid-2030s, the number of 18-year-olds is now projected to contract after cresting at around 4.2 million people in 2033, shrinking to around 3.8 million by 2039. After that, the Bureau doesn’t anticipate the population of 18-year-olds will exceed 4 million people in any year this century.


How this Vietnam vet started a college program at a desert prison — from opencampusmedia.org; an essay by James “Sneaky” White as told to Charlotte West.

James “Sneaky” White, 80, spent nearly four decades incarcerated in California. His nickname “Sneaky” comes from his days as a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War. While he was incarcerated, he helped create a college program that has since graduated more than 1,500 men. In this “as told to” story, he shares how he started a college program for veterans at a desert prison.


Virtual Forum – On Demand
Starting a Program for Incarcerated Students — from chronicle.com by Charles B. Adams, Ruth Delaney, and Laura Massa; via Goldie Blumenstyk

Does your institution have programming in place for incarcerated students? Thanks to new federal assistance, students in many prisons can now take college courses for credit. While colleges are interested in starting or expanding programs to serve those students, they often have no idea how to do so.


 

The Teaching and Learning Workforce in Higher Education, 2024 — from library.educause.edu by Nicole Muscanell


Opinion: Higher-Ed Trends to Watch in 2024 — from govtech.com by Jim A. Jorstad
If the recent past is any indication, higher education this year is likely to see financial stress, online learning, a crisis of faith in leadership, emerging tech such as AI and VR, cybersecurity threats, and a desperate need for skilled IT staff.

 “We’re in the early stages of creating a new paradigm for personalized assessment and learning; it’s critical for moving the field forward … It’s supporting teachers in the classroom to personalize their teaching by using AI to provide feedback for individual learners and pointing in the direction where students can go.”


PROOF POINTS: Most college kids are taking at least one class online, even long after campuses reopened — from hechingerreport.org by Jill Barshay
Shift to online classes and degrees is a response to declining enrollment

The pandemic not only disrupted education temporarily; it also triggered permanent changes. One that is quietly taking place at colleges and universities is a major, expedited shift to online learning. Even after campuses reopened and the health threat diminished, colleges and universities continued to offer more online courses and added more online degrees and programs. Some brick-and-mortar schools even switched to online only.


College Affordability Helped Drive Rise in State Support for Higher Ed — from chronicle.com by Sonel Cutler

State support for higher education saw a significant jump this year, rising more than 10 percent from 2023 — even though the share of that money provided by the federal government dropped 50 percent.

That’s according to the annual Grapevine report released Thursday by the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, or SHEEO. The data reflect a continued upward trajectory for state investment in higher education, with a 36.5-percent increase in support nationally over the last five years, not adjusted for inflation.


 

 

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.


 

Nearly half of companies say they plan to eliminate bachelor’s degree requirements in 2024 — from highereddive.com by Carolyn Crist
Many employers are dropping degree requirements to create a more diverse workforce and increase job candidate numbers, survey results show.

In 2023, 55% of companies removed degree requirements, particularly for entry-level and mid-level roles, the survey shows. Employers said they dropped these requirements to create a more diverse workforce, increase the number of applicants for open positions and because there are other ways to gain skills.

“Due to the expense of attending college, earning a bachelor’s degree is generally more difficult for people from traditionally marginalized groups and those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds,” Diane Gayeski, higher education advisor for Intelligent.com and professor of strategic communication at Ithaca College, said in a statement.

 

Nearly half of companies say they plan to eliminate bachelor’s degree requirements in 2024 — from highereddive.com by Carolyn Crist
Many employers are dropping degree requirements to create a more diverse workforce and increase job candidate numbers, survey results show.

Forty-five percent of companies plan to eliminate bachelor’s degree requirements for some positions in 2024, according to a Nov. 29 report from Intelligent.com.

In 2023, 55% of companies removed degree requirements, particularly for entry-level and mid-level roles, the survey shows. Employers said they dropped these requirements to create a more diverse workforce, increase the number of applicants for open positions and because there are other ways to gain skills.


Fitch Ratings issues deteriorating outlook for higher ed in 2024 — from highereddive.com by Natalie Schwartz
The credit ratings agency cited high labor and wage costs, elevated interest rates and uneven enrollment gains across the sector.

Dive Brief:

  • Fitch Ratings issued a deteriorating outlook Monday for U.S. colleges and universities in 2024, citing high labor and wage costs, elevated interest rates and uneven enrollment gains across the sector.
  • These challenges will limit colleges’ financial flexibility next year, according to the credit ratings agency. Moreover, Fitch analysts expect only a 2% to 4% uptick in colleges’ net tuition revenue and said tuition increases likely cannot counter rising operating expenses.
  • The outlook expects the divide to grow between large selective colleges and their smaller, less selective counterparts. “Flagship schools and selective private institutions are expected to experience relatively steady to favorable enrollment, while some regional public institutions and less-selective private schools in competitive markets have experienced declines,” according to the analysis.

Credit rating agencies split on higher ed outlook in 2024 — from highereddive.com by Jeremy Bauer-Wolf
S&P argues economic conditions will stress regional institutions, though Moody’s says the sector is stable overall.

Dive Brief:

  • Two credit rating agencies are somewhat divided in their outlooks for U.S. higher education in 2024, with one arguing the sector has stabilized, while the other forecasts tough economic conditions for less selective, regional colleges.
  • Revenue growth from sources like tuition and state funding looks promising, Moody’s Investors Service argued in an analysis Thursday. S&P Global Ratings, however, said Thursday that only highly selective institutions will enjoy student demand and healthy balance sheets. Their less selective counterparts face enrollment declines and credit pressures in turn, S&P said.
  • Both organizations agreed that labor shortages and similar challenges will squeeze colleges next year. Higher ed is contending with a boom in union activity, while widespread faculty tenure “remains a unique sector risk, limiting budget and operating flexibility,” Moody’s said.

 

 

 

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

 

From DSC:
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to gift someone an article or access to a particular learning module? This would be the case whether you are a subscriber to that vendor/service or not. I thought about this after seeing the following email from MLive.com.
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MLive.com's gift an article promotion from December 2023; one must be a subscriber though to gift an article

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Not only is this a brilliant marketing move — as recipients can get an idea of the services/value offered — but it can provide concrete information to someone.

Perhaps colleges and universities should take this idea and run with it. They could gift courses and/or individual lectures! Doing so could open up some new revenue streams, aid adult learners in their lifelong learning pathways, and help people build new skills — all while helping market the colleges and universities. Involved faculty/staff members could get a percentage of the sales. Sounds like a WIN-WIN to me.

 

3 Questions for Deborah Dougherty on Higher Ed’s Past and Future — from insidehighered.com by Joshua Kim
A conversation with the director of the Andison Center for Teaching Excellence at Alma College about higher ed in 2060.

From DSC:
I was hoping to see a bit more from Deborah’s answer to where she sees higher education (including Alma College) might end up 35 years from now. Her answer seemed like business as usual —  the status quo. Nothing will change (hopefully, in her perspective). If that’s the case, many will be shut out of higher education. We can do better. I don’t mean to bash a residential, liberal arts, collegiate experience. I worked for such an institution for 10 years! But it needs to be augmented. New business models. More access. 


Butler University launches two-year college with degrees free to most students — from chalkbeat.org by MJ Slaby

Students can earn an associate degree from Butler University at no cost to them, and continue on to earn a bachelor’s degree for $10,000, thanks to a new program.

On Friday, Butler announced it is opening a new two-year college on campus that will offer  associate degrees in business and allied health. The program will start enrolling students in fall 2025.

The program is focused on Indianapolis-area students from low-income backgrounds, including students who are undocumented. The university said in its Friday announcement that it wants to make college more accessible and affordable for previously underserved students, and help them navigate the college-going process.

 

 

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.

 


Teaching writing in the age of AI — from the Future of Learning (a Hechinger Report newsletter) by Javeria Salman

ChatGPT can produce a perfectly serviceable writing “product,” she said. But writing isn’t a product per se — it’s a tool for thinking, for organizing ideas, she said.

“ChatGPT and other text-based tools can’t think for us,” she said. “There’s still things to learn when it comes to writing because writing is a form of figuring out what you think.”

When students could contrast their own writing to ChatGPT’s more generic version, Levine said, they were able to “understand what their own voice is and what it does.”




Grammarly’s new generative AI feature learns your style — and applies it to any text — from techcrunch.com by Kyle Wiggers; via Tom Barrett

But what about text? Should — and if so, how should — writers be recognized and remunerated for AI-generated works that mimic their voices?

Those are questions that are likely to be raised by a feature in Grammarly, the cloud-based typing assistant, that’s scheduled to launch by the end of the year for subscribers to Grammarly’s business tier. Called “Personalized voice detection and application,” the feature automatically detects a person’s unique writing style and creates a “voice profile” that can rewrite any text in the person’s style.


Is AI Quietly Weaving the Fabric of a Global Classroom Renaissance? — from medium.com by Robert the Robot
In a world constantly buzzing with innovation, a silent revolution is unfolding within the sanctuaries of learning—our classrooms.

From bustling metropolises to serene hamlets, schools across the globe are greeting a new companion—Artificial Intelligence (AI). This companion promises to redefine the essence of education, making learning a journey tailored to each child’s unique abilities.

The advent of AI in education is akin to a gentle breeze, subtly transforming the academic landscape. Picture a classroom where each child, with their distinct capabilities and pace, embarks on a personalized learning path. AI morphs this vision into reality, crafting a personalized educational landscape that celebrates the unique potential harbored within every learner.


AI Books for Educators — from aiadvisoryboards.wordpress.com by Barbara Anna Zielonka

Books have always held a special place in my heart. As an avid reader and AI enthusiast, I have curated a list of books on artificial intelligence specifically tailored for educators. These books delve into the realms of AI, exploring its applications, ethical considerations, and its impact on education. Share your suggestions and let me know which books you would like to see included on this list.


SAIL: ELAI recordings, AI Safety, Near term AI/learning — by George Siemens

We held our fourth online Empowering Learners for the Age of AI conference last week. We sold out at 1500 people (a Whova and budget limit). The recordings/playlist from the conference can now be accessed here.

 

More colleges are resetting tuition. Does the strategy work? — from highereddive.com by Danielle McLean
Some institutions have seen short-term enrollment gains from slashing their sticker prices, but the strategy doesn’t guarantee a turnaround.

But as more colleges take the tuition reset plunge, questions around the effectiveness of strategy remain. Some colleges have seen immediate and long-term benefits from the practice, with surging enrollments and applications. However, for many colleges, that growth tapered off over the next few years. And the resets were not enough to turn around the financial fortunes of every college.

“For some schools, they did it and maybe they were too far gone,” said Lucie Lapovsky, an economist and higher education consultant who’s worked with colleges on tuition resets. “Most of our private colleges in this country are challenged right now. It’s not easy.”


Student loan repayments have resumed. Here’s 4 charts that break down American educational debt — from cnn.com by Alex Leeds

As student loan payments resume this month, more than 43 million Americans carrying that debt saw the end of more than three years of relief from monthly payments. But the financial landscape in which they resume payments has shifted.

Researchers are still working to understand the impact that the pause had on borrowers’ finances, said Jonathan Glater, a professor at Berkeley Law and co-founder of the Student Loan Law Initiative.

“People who are precarious at the outset…will also be financially more precarious when the payment obligations resume,” Glater said.

Since 2003, student debt has been the fastest-growing form of household debt, increasing more than 500% over the two decades, far more than increases in mortgage and auto debt that occurred over the same period, according to data from the New York Federal Reserve Bank.

 
 
© 2024 | Daniel Christian