It takes a village — from chieflearningofficer.com by Joe Mitchell
Colleges, companies and training providers have a unique opportunity to work together to address tech worker shortages and create more opportunities and upward mobility.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

But what higher education institutions and companies need isn’t a totally new approach that ignores the old systems — it’s someone to act as connective tissue between them. Fortunately, an emerging cadre of education providers are doing just that: developing the curriculum to help students earn industry-recognized credentials that can help them get good jobs right away in high-demand fields, and then working with universities to get that curriculum to their students.

The environment seems ripe for this type of collaboration.2020 survey of business leaders found that 70 percent think higher education institutions should be more involved in job training. Nearly 90 percent say colleges and universities could help their students learn industry-specific knowledge and advanced technical skills.

 

From DSC:
Below is another example of the need for Design Thinking as we rethink a cradle-to-grave learning ecosystem.


The United States Needs a Comprehensive Approach to Youth Policy — from cew.georgetown.edu

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

On the education front, federal legislation serves as an umbrella for many state and local policies and programs. Education policy is further fragmented into K–12 and postsecondary silos.

An all-one-system approach to youth policy would support young people along the entire continuum of their journey from school to work. It would help them attain both postsecondary education and quality work experience to support their transitions from education to good jobs. In this modernized approach, preschools, elementary and secondary schools, community colleges, four-year universities, employers, and governments would all follow an integrated playbook, helping to smooth out young people’s path from pre-K–12 to college and work. To transform youth policy, systemic reforms should incorporate the following:

 

From DSC:
Perhaps such a network type of setup could provide audio-visual-based links that people could provide to one another.

 

GPT Takes the Bar Exam — from papers.ssrn.com by Michael James Bommarito and Daniel Martin Katz; with thanks to Gabe Teninbaum for his tweet on this

Excerpt from the Abstract (emphasis DSC):

While our ability to interpret these results is limited by nascent scientific understanding of LLMs and the proprietary nature of GPT, we believe that these results strongly suggest that an LLM will pass the MBE component of the Bar Exam in the near future.

LLM — Large Language Model
MBE — Multistate Bar Examination

 

From DSC:
For me, I wish politicians and legislators would stay out of the way and let public and private educators make the decisions. But if any politician is about to vote on significant education-related policies, laws, etc. — I would like to suggest that society require them to either:

  • teach a K12-based class for at least one month
    or
  • be in the classroom for the entire day to observe — and do this for at least one month 

Perhaps we would have far less standardized testing. Perhaps we would have far more joy and wonder — for the teachers as well as for the students. Perhaps lifelong learning — and the love of learning — would get the wind in its sails that it so desperately needs.
.


From DSC:
Along these lines of enjoyment in everyday things, could this type of thing happen more within education?

 

Some Day In Higher Education: Predictions And Possibilities For A Jolly Academic New Year — from forbes.com by Ann Kirschner

Excerpt:

  • Partnering with the private sector. Some university will have a clear strategy and adequate staff to develop strategic partnerships with key regional economic players. These would include internship/apprenticeship student opportunities and curricular initiatives including part-time teaching roles for professors of practice in rapidly changing technologies.
  • Looking for presidential talent in new places. Some university will vet its new president for skills and experience as leaders of complex organizations in an era of disruption, with a Ph.D. as a optional nice-to-have. There just aren’t enough good ex-provosts and deans to go around.
  • An educated board of trustees. Some university will provide its trustees with a realistic understanding of the highly competitive and complex world of higher education today. Nostalgia for the good old days and a roomful of well-meaning financial experts can strangle innovation at a time when the university should be the leader in solving the world’s challenges, starting with the exploding need for advanced, scalable, affordable education.

Redefining the professoriate. Some university will reject the institutional shame of relying on overworked and underpaid adjunct faculty and on graduate students who are headed for those same dead-end adjunct positions. Some university will evolve the tenure process into one that celebrates and supports faculty as innovative teachers and rewards their critical role in student career development and service to the university.

 

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:


 

Local private colleges slash tuition prices as enrollment declines — from news.yahoo.com by Jason Law

Excerpts:

“By reducing the published price, we certainly would hope that more people would apply,” Alexander said. “If they see a sticker price of $60,000 or more, there’s research out there that says 60% of them don’t take the next step to apply or figure out if they can afford it.”

One of the most frustrating aspects for consumers, the Hechinger Report found, is the difference between a school’s sticker price—its published tuition cost–and the actual price a student will pay after scholarships and institutional aid are subtracted.

“Many families are not aware that some students do not pay the full sticker price for college. Only 18% of college-bound families agree that the amount families actually pay is lower than the price advertised by the school,” a 2022 Sallie Mae College Confidence report found.

Student Loan Debt: 2022 Statistics and Outlook — from investopedia.com by Daniel Kurt, Thomas Brock, and Amanda Jackson; with thanks to Ray Schroeder for posting this on LinkedIn
The numbers are staggering—and still on the rise

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • The total amount of outstanding student loan debt in the United States is $1.77 trillion.
  • Soaring college costs and pressure to compete in the job marketplace are big factors for student loan debt.
  • Student loans are the most common form of educational debt, followed by credit cards and other types of credit.
  • Delinquency statistics may be understated because of the relief provided to student loan borrowers by the White House.
  • Borrowers who don’t complete their degrees are more likely to default.

Congress to Boost Pell Grant by $500 — from insidehighered.com by Katherine Knott
While the draft spending plan for fiscal year 2023 provides more funding for several programs, higher education groups and advocates had hoped for higher increases.

 
 

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

 
  • From DSC:
    I continue to think about the idea of wiping the slate completely clean. If we were to design a lifelong learning ecosystem, what would it look like? How could we apply Design Thinking to this new slate/canvas?

Perhaps we could start by purposefully creating more pathways to weave in and out of the various siloes — and then come back into the “silos” with new ideas, knowledge, and experiences:

  • PreK-12
  • Higher education
  • Vocational programs
  • Business and the corporate world
  • Government
  • Communities of practice
  • Other

Integrate apprenticeships, jobs, sabbaticals, rest, purpose, passions, intrinsic motivations, other into this lifelong learning ecosystem. Take one’s new learning back to one’s former silo(s) and improve things therein. Such a design would help keep curricula and learning/training environments up-to-date and relevant.

It would also allow people more pathways through their careers — and to keep learning while doing real-world projects. It would help people — and institutions— grow in many ways.

 

Thriving education systems, thriving youth — from events.economist.com by Economist Impact

Some of the key topics to be discussed include:

  • What are the challenges in how we measure learning outcomes today, and how does this need to transform?
  •  What is a learning ecosystem? What does a successful learning ecosystem look like?  
  • What factors enable the development of thriving learning ecosystems?  
  • Who are the key stakeholders that make up the learning ecosystem? How do different stakeholders see their role in the learning ecosystem?
  • Which national policies need to be in place to support effective education ecosystems?
  • What information and data do we need to assess how well learning ecosystems are performing?
  • What data do we need to collect so that we don’t perpetuate traditional approaches to defining and measuring success? 

 

From DSC:
How to retain talented staff members should be high on every administrator’s 2023 agenda.” This highlight from a recent email from The Chronicle of Higher Education linked to:

Unfortunately, this important item wasn’t high on the agenda in the majority of the years that I was working in higher education. I often thought that folks in higher education could have learned from the corporate world in this regard. Although even the corporate world hasn’t been doing a good job these days about treating their people well. But that wasn’t the case in my experience at Baxter Healthcare, Kraft Foods, and Wells Fargo from years ago.

Perhaps we should have more people “crossing over” between the silos that we seem to have established. That is, a person could work within higher education for 2-3 years, move over to a corporate environment/government/vocational space/other, and then works a few years there before coming back to higher education in a different capacity. Perhaps more pathways and tighter collaboration could exist in this manner.

Hmmm…design thinking…there’s got to be something here…

 

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.

 

Udacity’s Train-to-Hire Program Now Available in AWS Marketplace — from prnewswire.com by Udacity; with thanks to GSV for this resource

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Nov. 29, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Udacity, the digital talent transformation platform, today announced the availability of its Train-to-Hire Program in AWS Marketplace, a digital catalog with thousands of software listings from independent software vendors that make it easy to find, test, buy, and deploy software that runs on Amazon Web Services (AWS). With the addition of this program, AWS customers can now address technical talent gaps in their organizations by working with Udacity to create customizable, hands-on learning programs that attract and upskill net-new sources of talent. Through these Train-to-Hire Programs, AWS customers can transform the breadth and depth of their talent pipelines, lowering recruiting costs for in-demand roles and improving the diversity of their workforce by offering new opportunities to candidates from underrepresented communities.

As enrollment falls and public skepticism grows, some colleges are cutting their prices — from hechingerreport.org by Jon Marcus
The cost of college has stopped rising faster than inflation for the first time since the 1980s

Excerpt:

Colby-Sawyer College, a nearly 200-year-old institution that inhabits a campus in the heart of this bucolic scene, has announced that it will lower its tuition next year for undergraduates by 62 percent, from $46,364 to $17,500.

The move is among the first of what experts are predicting could be many colleges’ so-called tuition resets. Other schools are adjusting what they charge in different ways.

Fewer than one in five families understand that the “sticker price” colleges put on their websites and in their catalogs is almost certainly more than they will have to pay, and six in 10 say it’s made them walk away without even bothering to apply.

From DSC:
That’s very understandable on that last item/quote.

Next Chapter Matters – Two More Universities Launch Midlife Programs For Every Budget — from forbes.com by Avivah Wittenberg-Cox; with thanks to Ray Schroeder out on LinkedIn for this resource

Excerpt:

Whether you are retiring with millions in the bank or stuck at midlife desperately dreaming of a career pivot, there may soon be a university program for you. The latest offerings coming to the market are a testament to the diversity that is likely to develop as educational institutions start to respond to ageing societies and the future of work.

The idea that you get all the education you need up front in a four-year bundle at 18, should fast fade as careers lengthen towards the six-decade mark and retirement ages drift ever upward. There are now 12 programs on offer, and the two latest launching this year in the US are the University of Chicago and the University of Colorado Denver. (I’ll be looking at programs launching in Europe next).

Report: Progress on College Completion Rates Stalls — from insidehighered.com by Safia Abdulahi; with thanks to GSV for this resource

Excerpt:

A new report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center shows that college completion rates have stagnated, with 62.3 percent of students who enrolled in 2016 completing a degree by June 2022—virtually unchanged from last year’s six-year completion rate of 62.2 percent.

Is This the Beginning of the End of the ‘U.S. News’ Rankings’ Dominance? — from chronicle.com by Francie Diep

Excerpt:

If the law deans’ criticism sounds familiar, it’s because it echoes the complaints that have been leveled for decades against an even bigger project: the magazine’s ranking of undergraduate colleges and universities. There, too, critics have said the magazine’s metrics are flawed, opaque, and harm equity efforts.

But seldom have institutions acted on their concerns, as Yale and its peers have recently. And if elite colleges are willing to withdraw their support from one U.S. News ranking in the name of equity, why not another? In other words, is the undergraduate ranking the next venue for this kind of protest?

Not yet.

LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky: Skills, Not Degrees, Matter Most in Hiring — from hbr.org

Summary:

Ryan Roslansky, the CEO of LinkedIn, thinks the site should be a place where its members’ billions of years of collective work experience should be freed to upskill anyone, anywhere, any time. Skills, more than degrees or pedigrees, are the true measure of what makes a great new hire, he argues, especially as the workforce evolves in fast and dramatic ways.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian