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

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

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

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


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

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

Does the public know this? And does it care?

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

 

Higher Ed’s Ruinous Resistance to Change — from chronicle.com by Brian Rosenberg

I dwell on this story not merely because the irony of defending the role of research by ignoring the research on the topic is exquisite, but because it is emblematic of a widespread problem within higher education. The resistance to anything like serious change is profound. By “change” I don’t mean the addition of yet another program or the alteration of a graduation requirement, but something that is transformational and affects the way we do our work on a deep level.

If maintenance of the status quo is the goal, higher education has managed to create the ideal system.

Cut through all the graphs and economic data and the problem is straightforward: When the service you provide costs more than people are willing and able to pay for it, when you are unable to lower the cost of that service, and when the number of your potential customers is shrinking, you have what one might describe as an unsustainable financial model.

“College teaching has probably seen less change than almost any other American institutional practice since the days of Henry Adams.”

 

A First Look at Teaching Preferences since the Pandemic”— from library.educause.edu/ by Muscanell

2023 Faculty & Technology Report: A First Look at Teaching Preferences since the Pandemic

This is the first faculty research conducted by EDUCAUSE since 2019. Since then, the higher education landscape has been through a lot, including COVID-19, fluctuations in enrollment and public funding, and the rapid adoption of multiple instructional modalities and new technologies. In this report, we describe the findings of the research in four key areas:

  • Modality preferences and the impacts of teaching in non-preferred modes
  • Experiences teaching online and hybrid courses
  • Technology and digital availability of course components
  • Types of support needed and utilized for teaching

From DSC:
Polling the faculty members and getting their feedback is not as relevant and important to the future of higher education as better addressing the needs and wants of parents and students who are paying the bills. Asking faculty members what they want to post online is not as relevant as what students want and need to see online.


From DSC:
More fringe responses — versus overhauling pricing, updating curriculum, providing more opportunities to try out jobs before investing in a degree, and/or better rewarding those adjunct faculty members who are doing the majority of the teaching on many campuses.


Online college enrollment is on the rise: What brings students to virtual campuses? — from digitaljournal.com by Jill Jaracz and Emma Rubin; via GSV

Before the pandemic, online learning programs were typically for people going back to school to augment or change their career or pursuing a graduate degree to enhance their career while they work. That attitude is shifting as students juggle learning with jobs, family responsibilities, and commutes. In California, 4 in 5 community college classes were in person before the pandemic. By 2021, just 1 in 4 were in person, while 65% were online, according to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.

Younger students are also opting for online classes. EducationDynamics found in 2023 that the largest share of students pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees online is 35 or younger. That said, 35% of students pursuing online undergraduate degrees are between


 

Student loan debt: Averages and other statistics in 2023 — from usatoday.com by Rebecca Safier and Ashley Harrison; via GSV

Excerpt:

The cost of college has more than doubled over the past four decades — and student loan borrowing has risen along with it. The student loan debt balance in the U.S. has increased by 66% over the past decade, and it now totals more than $1.77 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve.

Here’s a closer look at student loan debt statistics in the U.S. today, broken down by age, race, gender and other demographics.

In the 2020-2021 academic year, 54% of bachelor’s degree students who attended public and private four-year schools graduated with student loans, according to the College Board. These students left school with an average balance of $29,100 in education debt.

From DSC:
With significant monthly payments, many graduates HAVE TO HAVE good jobs that pay decent salaries. This is an undercurrent flowing through the higher ed learning ecosystem — with ramifications for what students/families/guardians expect from their investments.


‘Pracademics,’ professors who work outside the academy, win new respect — from washingtonpost.com by Jon Marcus
What’s in a word? A way to help impatient college students better connect to jobs.

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

Among its approaches, the university focuses on having students learn from people like Taylor, who work or have worked in the fields about which they teach. Sheffield Hallam even has a catchy word to describe these practical academics: “pracademics.”

American universities have pracademics, too, of course. They’re among the more than 710,000 part-time and non-tenure-track faculty members who now make up some 61 percent of all faculty, according to the American Association of University Professors. Other adjectives for them include “adjunct,” “casual,” “contingent,” “external” and “occasional.”

From DSC:
For several years now I’ve thought that adjuncts are the best bet for our current traditional institutions of higher education to remain relevant and have healthier enrollments (i.e., sales) as well as offer better ROI’s that the students are looking for. Why? Because adjuncts bring current, real-world expertise to the classroom.

But the problem here is that many of these same institutions have treated adjunct faculty members poorly. Adjunct faculty members are often viewed as second-class citizens in many colleges and universities — even though they provide the lion’s share of the teaching, grading, and assessing of students’ work. They don’t get benefits, they are paid far less than tenured faculty members, and they often don’t know if they will actually be teaching a course or not. Chances are they don’t get to vote or have a say within faculty senates and such. They are often without power…without a voice.

I’m not sure many adjunct faculty members in the U.S. will stay with these institutions if something better comes around in the way of other alternatives.


Colgate Adds Trade School to Higher Education Employee Benefit — from colgate.edu by Daniel DeVries; via Brandon Busteed on LinkedIn

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

One of Colgate University’s most important employee benefits has been expanded to support employee children as they seek trade or vocational education. 

Colgate, like many leading universities, offers financial support for employee children who attend an accredited college or university in pursuit of an undergraduate degree. Now, at the University, this benefit has been expanded to include employee children who enroll in trade or vocational schools.


Coursera’s degree and certificate offerings help drive Q2 revenue growth — from highereddive.com by Natalie Schwartz
The MOOC platform’s CEO touted the company’s strategy of allowing students to stack short-term credentials into longer offerings.

Dive Brief:

  • Coursera’s revenue increased to $153.7 million in the second quarter of 2023, up 23% compared to the same period last year, according to the company’s latest financial results.
  • The increases were partly driven by strong demand for the MOOC platform’s entry-level professional certificates and rising enrollment in its degree programs.
  • During a call with analysts Thursday, Coursera CEO Jeff Maggioncalda attributed some of that enrollment growth to new offerings, which include a cybersecurity analyst certificate from Microsoft and artificial intelligence degree programs from universities in India and Colombia.

Are ‘quick wins’ possible in assessment and feedback? Yes, and here’s how — from timeshighereducation.com by Beverley Hawkins, Eleanor Hodgson, Oli Young
It takes coordination, communication, and credibility to implement quick improvements in assessment and feedback, as a team from the University of Exeter explain 

One way to establish this is to form an “assessment and feedback expert group”. Bringing together assessment expertise from educators and academic development specialists, and student participants across the institution establishes a community of practice beyond those in formal leadership roles, who can share their experience and bring opportunities for improvement back into their local networks.

Focusing the group on “quick wins” can encourage discussion to address specific tips and tricks that educators can use without changing their assessment briefs and without significant preparation.

Also re: providing feedback see:

Five common misconceptions on writing feedback — from timeshighereducation.com by Rolf Norgaard , Stephanie Foster
Misapprehensions about responding to and grading writing can prevent educators using writing as an effective pedagogical tool. Rolf Norgaard and Stephanie Foster set out to dispel them

Writing is essential for developing higher-order skills such as critical thinking, enquiry and metacognition. Common misconceptions about responding to and grading writing can get in the way of using writing as an effective pedagogical tool. Here, we attempt to dispel these myths and provide recommendations for effective teaching.


How generative AI like ChatGPT is pushing assessment reform — from timeshighereducation.com by Amir Ghapanchi
AI has brought assessment and academic integrity in higher education to the fore. Here, Amir Ghapanchi offers seven ways to evaluate student learning that mitigate the impact of AI writers

Recommended assessment types to mitigate AI use
These assessment types can help universities to minimise the adverse effects of GAI:

  • Staged assignments
  • In-class presentations followed by questions
  • Group projects
  • Personal reflection essays
  • Class discussion
  • In-class handwritten exams
  • Performance-based assessments

Instructors Rush to Do ‘Assignment Makeovers’ to Respond to ChatGPT — from edsurge.com by Jeffrey R. Young

(Referring to rubrics) But, Bruff says, “the more transparent I am in the assignment description, the easier it is to paste that description into ChatGPT to have it do the work for you. There’s a deep irony there.” 

Bruff, the teaching consultant, says his advice to any teacher is not to have an “us against them mentality” with students. Instead, he suggests, instructors should admit that they are still figuring out strategies and boundaries for new AI tools as well, and should work with students to develop ground rules for how much or how little tools like ChatGPT can be used to complete homework.


Nearly 90% of staff report major barriers between traditional and emerging academic programs — from universitybusiness.com by Alcino Donadel
Only 53% of respondents recognized an existing strategic initiative at their institution with regard to PCE units; 17% indicated none existed, and 30% were not sure.

In the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers’ (AACRAO) new survey on how institutions are mediating PCE units’ coexistence with the academic registrar, they found that once-siloed PCE units that are now converging with the academic registrar are causing internal tension and confusion.

“Because the two units have been organically grown for years to be separate institutions and to offer different things, it is difficult to grow together without knowing the goals of each or having a relationship,” one anonymized respondent said in the report.

 

The invisible cost of resisting AI in higher education — from blogs.lse.ac.uk by Dr. Philippa Hardman

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The implications of this development are perhaps more significant than we realise. There has been much discussion in recent months about the risks associated with the rise of generative AI for higher education, with most of the discussion centring around the challenge that ChatGPT poses to academic integrity.

However, much less work has been done on exploring the negative – even existential – consequences that might stem from not embracing AI in higher education. Are these new principles enough to reverse the risk of irrelevance?

What if we reimagine “learning” in higher education as something more than the recall and restructuring of existing information? What if instead of lectures, essays and exams we shifted to a model of problem sets, projects and portfolios?

I am often asked what this could look like in practice. If we turn to tried and tested instructional strategies which optimise for learner motivation and mastery, it would look something like this…

Also relevant/see:

Do or Die? — from drphilippahardman.substack.com by Dr. Philippa Hardman
The invisible cost of resisting AI in higher education

Excerpt:

  • Embracing AI in the higher education sector prepares students for the increasingly technology-driven job market and promotes more active, participatory learning experiences which we know lead to better outcomes for both students and employers.
  • With the rising popularity of alternative education routes such as bootcamps and apprenticeships, it’s crucial for traditional higher education to engage positively with AI in order to maintain its competitiveness and relevance.

For example, a teacher crafting a lesson plan no longer has to repeat that they’re teaching 3rd grade science. A developer preferring efficient code in a language that’s not Python – they can say it once, and it’s understood. Grocery shopping for a big family becomes easier, with the model accounting for 6 servings in the grocery list.


This is the worst AI will ever be, so focused are educators on the present they can’t see the future — from donaldclarkplanb.blogspot.com by Donald Clark

Teaching technology
There is also the misconception around the word ‘generative’, the assumption that all it does is create blocks of predictable text. Wrong. May of its best uses in learning are its ability to summarise, outline, provide guidance, support and many other pedagogic features that can be built into the software. This works and will mean tutors, teachers, teaching support, not taking support, coaches and many other services will emerge that aid both teaching and learning. They are being developed in their hundreds as we speak.

This simple fact, that this is the first technology to ‘learn’ and learn fast, on scale, continuously, across a range of media and tasks, it what makes it extraordinary.


On holding back the strange AI tide — from oneusefulthing.org by Ethan Mollick
There is no way to stop the disruption. We need to channel it instead

And empowering workers is not going to be possible with a top-down solution alone. Instead, consider:

  • Radical incentives to ensure that workers are willing to share what they learn. If they are worried about being punished, they won’t share. If they are worried they won’t be rewarded, they won’t share. If they are worried that the AI tools that they develop might replace them, or their coworkers, they won’t share. Corporate leaders need to figure out a way to reassure and reward workers, something they are not used to doing.
  • Empowering user-to-user innovation. Build prompt libraries that help workers develop and share prompts with other people inside the organization. Open up tools broadly to workers to use (while still setting policies around proprietary information), and see what they come up with. Create slack time for workers to develop, and discuss, AI approaches.
  • Don’t rely on outside providers or your existing R&D groups to tell you the answer. We are in the very early days of a new technology. Nobody really knows anything about the best ways to use AI, and they certainly don’t know the best ways to use it in your company. Only by diving in, responsibly, can you hope to figure out the best use cases.

Teaching: Preparing yourself for AI in the classroom — from chronicle.com by Beth McMurtrie

Auburn’s modules cover the following questions:

  • What do I need to know about AI?
  • What are the ethical considerations in a higher-ed context?
  • How will AI tools affect the courses I teach?
  • How are students using AI tools, and how can I partner with my students?
  • How do I need to rethink exams, papers, and projects I assign?
  • How do I redesign my courses in the wake of AI disruption?
  • What other AI tools or capabilities are coming, and how can I design for them?
  • What conversations need to happen in my department or discipline, and what is my role?

Transforming Higher Education: AI as an Assistive Technology for Inclusive Learning — from fenews.co.uk by Gain Hoole

In recent years, I have witnessed the transformative power of technology in higher education. One particular innovation that has captured my attention is Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI holds tremendous potential as an assistive technology for students with reasonable adjustments in further education (FE) and higher education (HE).

In this comprehensive blog post, I will delve into the multifaceted aspects of AI as an assistive technology, exploring its benefits, considerations, challenges, and the future it holds for transforming higher education.

The integration of AI as an assistive technology can create an inclusive educational environment where all students, regardless of disabilities or specific learning needs, have equal access to educational resources. Real-time transcription services, text-to-speech capabilities, and personalized learning experiences empower students like me to engage with course content in various formats and at our own pace (Fenews, 2023). This not only removes barriers but also fosters a more inclusive and diverse academic community.


5 Ways to Ease Students Off the Lecture and Into Active Learning — from chronicle.com by Jermey T. Murphy
Lecturing endures in college classrooms in part because students prefer that style of teaching. How can we shift that preference?

What can we do? Here are five considerations I’ll be following this coming fall in response to that nagging “less discussion, more instruction” evaluation.

  • Lecture … sparingly. 
  • Routinely ask how the course is going.
  • Be transparent.
  • …and more

A three-part series re: courseware out at The Chronicle of Higher Education:

  1. Millions of Students a Year Are Required to Buy Courseware. Often, It Replaces the Professor. — from chronicle.com by Taylor Swaak
    .
  2. Courseware Can Be Integral to a Course. Why, Then, Are Students Footing the Bill for It? — from chronicle.com by Taylor Swaak
    The Homework Tax | For students already struggling to afford college, courseware can add to the burden
    Their argument is multifold: For one, they say, products like these — which often deliver key elements of a course that an instructor would typically be responsible for, like homework, assessments, and grading — should not be the student’s burden. At least one student advocate said colleges, rather, should cover or subsidize the cost, as they do with software like learning-management systems, if they’re allowing faculty free rein to adopt the products.

    And the fact that students’ access to these products expires — sometimes after just a semester — rubs salt in the wound, and risks further disadvantaging students.
    .
  3. Bots Are Grabbing Students’ Personal Data When They Complete Assignments — from chronicle.com by Taylor Swaak
    When students use courseware, how much personal data is it collecting?

Institutions aren’t “letting the wolf into the henhouse”; instead, “we’re letting the hens out into a forest of wolves,” said Billy Meinke, an open educational resources technologist with the Outreach College at the University of Hawaii-Manoa who’s done research on publisher misuse of student data.
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Here are five reading challenges to learn about learning this summer — from retrievalpractice.org by Pooja K. Agarwal, Ph.D.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Here are five summer reading challenges to learn about the science of learning.

Important: make sure you remember what you learn! Engage yourself in retrieval practice and retrieve two things after each book, practice guide, and research article you read. Share your two things with our communities on Twitter and Facebook, make a list of what you’ve learned to boost your long-term learning,…


Assignment Makeovers in the AI Age: Essay Edition — from derekbruff.org Derek Bruff

Last week, I explored some ways an instructor might want to (or need to) redesign a reading response assignment for the fall, given the many AI text generation tools now available to students. This week, I want to continue that thread with another assignment makeover. Reading response assignments were just the warm up; now we’re tackling the essay assignment.


Here are ways professional education leaders can prepare students for the rise of AI — from highereddive.com by A. Benjamin Spencer
Institutions must adapt their curricula to incorporate artificial intelligence-related topics, the dean of William & Mary Law School argues.

First, they need to understand that the technological side of AI can no longer be simply left to the information technology experts. Regardless of the professional domain, understanding what AI is, how it works, how the underlying code and algorithms are designed, and what assumptions lie behind the computer code are important components to being able to use and consume the products of AI tools appropriately. 

 

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

Excerpts:

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

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


Higher Ed 101: Accreditation Explained — a podcast from futureupodcast.com by Jeff Selingo and Michael Horn

Excerpt:

Tuesday, June 6, 2023 – Far too often, individuals in higher education don’t understand the nuances of how accreditors operate and the role they play in supporting—or constraining—institutions. Jeff and Michael welcome Barbara Brittingham, former president of the New England Commission on Higher Education, to give the history of accreditation, break down how accrediting agencies operate, show how they compare to one another, and delve into how they might evolve in the future with an eye toward how these organizations impact institutional transformation and support learners in achieving their education and career goals. This episode is made possible with support from Ascendium Education Group, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Course Hero.
.


Building Apprenticeship Nation with Ryan Craig of Achieve Partners — a podcast from edtechinsiders.buzzsprout.com with Ryan Craig
.


Rich Novak (Rutgers University) on Evaluating the Changes in Higher Ed — a podcast from Illumination by Modern Campus with Amrit Ahluwalia and Rich Novak. Thanks Amrit for all that you’ve done and are doing.

Excerpt:

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


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

Excerpt:

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

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

This is a shift from traditional partnerships, which often focus on research and innovation initiatives. With this, intellectual property was the outcome of the collaboration. Instead, in a reskilling partnership, in-demand skills are the outcome.
.


EDUCAUSE and WCET QuickPoll Results: Current Trends in Microcredential Design and Delivery — from er.educause.edu by Jenay Robert
Microcredentialing programs remain nascent at many institutions, but interest continues to grow. As the demand for flexible learning experiences increases, stakeholders might find renewed interest in and uses for microcredentials.

 

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

Excerpt:

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

Also see:

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

Excerpt:

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

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

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

Excerpt:

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

Plus the other trends listed here >>


Also related to higher education, see the following items:


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

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

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

Excerpt:

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

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

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

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

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

Excerpts:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Excerpt:

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

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


 

Microcredentials Can Make a Huge Difference in Higher Education — from newthinking.com by Shannon Riggs
The Ecampus executive director of academic programs and learning innovation at Oregon State University believes that shorter form, low-cost courses can open up colleges to more people.

That so much student loan debt exists is a clear signal that higher education needs to innovate to reduce costs, increase access and improve students’ return on investment. Microcredentials are one way we can do this.


As the Supreme Court weighs Biden’s student loan forgiveness, education debt swells — from cnbc.com by Jessica Dickler

KEY POINTS

  • As the Supreme Court weighs President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan, college tuition keeps climbing.
  • This year’s incoming freshman class can expect to borrow as much as $37,000 to help cover the cost of a bachelor’s degree, according to a recent report.

College is only getting more expensive. Tuition and fees plus room and board at four-year, in-state public colleges rose more than 2% to $23,250, on average, in the 2022-23 academic year; at four-year private colleges, it increased by more than 3% to $53,430, according to the College Board, which tracks trends in college pricing and student aid.

Many students now borrow to cover the tab, which has already propelled collective student loan debt in the U.S. past $1.7 trillion.


Access, Outcomes, and Value: Envisioning the Future of Higher Education — from milkeninstitute.org with Jeff Selingo, Gene Block, Jim Gash, Eric Gertler, and Nicole Hurd

Leaders of colleges and universities face unprecedented challenges today. Tuition has more than doubled over the past two decades as state and federal funding has decreased. Renewed debates about affirmative action and legacy admissions are roiling many campuses and confusing students about what it takes to get accepted. Growing numbers of administrators are matched by declining student enrollment, placing new financial pressures on institutions of higher learning. And many prospective students and their parents are losing faith in the ROI of such an expensive investment and asking the simple question: Is it all worth it? Join distinguished leaders from public and private institutions for this panel discussion on how they are navigating these shifts and how they see the future of higher education.

 


What the New ‘U.S. News’ Law-School Rankings Reveal About the Rankings Enterprise — from chronicle.com by Francie Diep

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

This year’s lists also offer a hint of how widespread the rankings revolt was. Seventeen medical schools and 62 law schools — nearly a third of the law schools U.S. News ranks — didn’t turn in data to the magazine this year. (It’s not clear what nonparticipation rates have been in the past. Reached by email to request historical context, a spokesperson for U.S. News pointed to webpages that are no longer online. U.S. News ranked law and medical schools that didn’t cooperate this year by using publicly available and past survey data.)


Are today’s students getting ahead, getting by, or even falling behind when it comes to their post-college earnings? The Equitable Value Explorer, an innovative diagnostic tool that puts the commission’s work into action, is helping to answer that question.


Report: Many borrowers who could benefit from income-driven repayment don’t know about it — from highereddive.com by Laura Spitalniak

Dive Brief:

  • Student loan borrowers who would stand to benefit the most from income-driven repayment plans, or IDRs, are less likely to know about them, according to a new report from left-leaning think tank New America.
  • Around 2 in 5 student-debt holders earning less than $30,000 a year reported being unfamiliar with the repayment plans. Under a proposed plan from the U.S. Education Department, IDR minimum monthly loan payments for low-income earners, such as this group, could drop to $0.
  • Just under half of borrowers in default had not heard of IDRs, despite the plans offering a pathway to becoming current on their loans, the report said. Only one-third of currently defaulted borrowers had ever enrolled in IDR.

Addendum on 5/16/23:

 

2023 EDUCAUSE Horizon Report | Teaching and Learning Edition

2023 EDUCAUSE Horizon Report | Teaching and Learning Edition — from library.educause.edu

Excerpt:

The Future of Teaching and Learning
Artificial intelligence (AI) has taken the world by storm, with new AI-powered tools such as ChatGPT opening up new opportunities in higher education for content creation, communication, and learning, while also raising new concerns about the misuses and overreach of technology. Our shared humanity has also become a key focal point within higher education, as faculty and leaders continue to wrestle with understanding and meeting the diverse needs of students and to find ways of cultivating institutional communities that support student well-being and belonging.

For this year’s teaching and learning Horizon Report, then, our panelists’ discussions oscillated between these seemingly polar ideas: the supplanting of human activity with powerful new technological capabilities, and the need for more humanity at the center of everything we do. This report summarizes the results of those discussions and serves as one vantage point on where our future may be headed.

 

7 reasons to get rid of the law degree — from jordanfurlong.substack.com by Jordan Furlong
Requiring a law degree for bar admission imposes unfair burdens on new lawyers and blocks innovation in legal education. Here’s what we can do instead.

Excerpt:

Hey there, legal sector participant! Do you feel that law school is too expensive? That law students graduate too heavily in debt and deeply stressed? That legal education seems impossible to reform? That the whole lawyer development and bar admission system in general is an enormous hot mess?

If so, you’re like thousands of others who’ve grown massively frustrated with the profession’s broken-down approach to developing new lawyers. But I’m here with some good news! There’s a simple and straightforward path to resolving these and many other problems with legal education and bar admission.

We start by getting rid of the law degree.

Now, hold on, let me be clear — I don’t mean kill the law degree itself. That would be crazy.

No, I mean, let’s get rid of the law degree as a mandatory element of the lawyer licensing process. Law schools should continue to offer whatever sort of degree programs they like — but legal regulators and bar admission authorities should no longer require everybody who wants to be a lawyer to get one.

From DSC:
I need to think on this further, but Jordan could be onto something here…

A better pathway to lawyer licensing — from jordanfurlong.substack.com by Jordan Furlong
No law degree; a single knowledge exam; training in legal, business and professional skills; and a term of supervised practice. This is how we do it.

Excerpt:

Previously here at Substack, I provided a pretty comprehensive takedown of the law degree requirement for lawyer licensing. It generated a ton of fascinating and gratifying feedback, here and especially at LinkedIn, with a few objections but mostly a lot of support.

Of course, it’s easy to criticize legal education — fun, too — but look, most people in the legal profession already know all the problems with the law degree, and complaining about it is kind of a vacuous pastime. What I’m really interested in here is a bigger and more important question: How does — how should — someone become a lawyer?

 

Tuition Discount Rates Hit New High — from insidehighered.com by Josh Moody
According to a new NACUBO study, private college tuition discount rates hit a record 56.2 percent, continuing a pattern of annual increases.

According to a new NACUBO study, private college tuition discount rates hit a record 56.2 percent, continuing a pattern of annual increases.


College prices aren’t skyrocketing—but they’re still too high for some — from brookings.edu by Phillip Levine

If we do not find better ways to track college costs for students with different family financial circumstances, we will not easily know if that happened. Students and their families will continue to make one of the most important financial decisions of their lives half in the dark.


Addendum:

Private colleges’ tuition discount rates continue to hit record highs — from highereddive.com by Jeremy Bauer-Wolf

Dive Brief:

  • The average tuition discount rate for full-time first year students attending private nonprofit colleges reached a record high of 56.2% in the 2022-23 academic year, the National Association of College and University Business Officers said Monday.
  • This represents a more than 2 percentage point increase year over year. Average tuition discount rates for all private college undergraduate students also continued to rise, reaching another record high, 50.9%, that year, NACUBO said in its newly released annual report.
  • After adjusting for inflation, private colleges’ net tuition and fee revenue fell by 5.4% per first-time undergraduate and by 5.9% across all undergraduates, NACUBO found.
 

When It Comes to College Closures, the Sky Is Never Going to Fall — from chronicle.com by Lee Gardner
Are you tired of reading nearly annual predictions of a looming wave of colleges shutting down? Not nearly as tired as one Chronicle reporter.

Excerpts:

I’ve learned a lot of things about how colleges work in the last 10 years, including that they die hard. They make new appeals to students and alumni. They scrimp. They raise their tuition-discount rate yet again. They limp along with budget deficits, sometimes for years. They make withdrawals from their endowments. They sell off assets. They look for partnerships, mergers, and buyers, although sometimes when it’s far too late.

I could be wrong, of course, and there may be a giant wave of college closures rearing somewhere on the horizon. But I can guarantee you that there are dozens of institutions in danger of quietly slipping toward a gradual end as you read this.

Also highly relevant here/see:

Contingent faculty jobs are still the standard, AAUP report finds — from highereddive.com by Laura Spitalniak

Dive Brief:

  • Colleges are continuing to increase their reliance on faculty positions that lack pathways to tenure, according to a new report from the American Association of University Professors. Over two-thirds of faculty members, 68%, held contingent positions in fall 2021, compared to about 47% in fall 1987.
  • Part-time work is also becoming more common. Almost half of faculty, 48%, taught part time in fall 2021, up from 33% in fall 1987. Less than 1% of all part-time faculty positions are tenured or tenure-track, according to AAUP.
  • Both of these factors are cutting into the number of available tenured positions, the report said. Fewer than 1 in 4 faculty members, 24%, held tenured full-time positions in fall 2021. That number fell from 39% in fall 1987.

Americans Are Losing Faith in College Education, WSJ-NORC Poll Finds — from wsj.com by Douglas Belkin (behind a firewall)
Confidence in value of a degree plummeted among women and senior citizens during pandemic

Excerpt:

A majority of Americans don’t think a college degree is worth the cost, according to a new Wall Street Journal-NORC poll, a new low in confidence in what has long been a hallmark of the American dream.

The survey, conducted with NORC at the University of Chicago, a nonpartisan research organization, found that 56% of Americans think earning a four-year degree is a bad bet compared with 42% who retain faith in the credential.

Skepticism is strongest among people ages 18-34, and people with college degrees are among those whose opinions have soured the most, portending a profound shift for higher education in the years ahead.
 

Higher Learning Commission's 2023 Trends

 

Challenging ‘Bad’ Online Policies and Attitudes — from insidehighered.com by Susan D’Agostino
Academic and industry leaders spoke with conviction at the SXSW EDU conference this week about approaches that impede educational access to motivated, capable learners.

Excerpts:

“It’s driven by artificial intelligence,” Barnes said of IBM’s training and reskilling effort. “It’s a Netflix-like interface that pushes content. Or an employee can select content…

The leaders discussed the ways in which colleges, policymakers, and employers might work together to help more Americans find or advance in viable employment, while also addressing the workforce skills gap. But some “bad” policies and attitudes about online learning undermine their efforts to work together, expand access and deliver outcomes to motivated, capable learners.

“Employers were saying, ‘We have job openings we can’t fill, and we want to work with the education system, but it is so unbelievably frustrating because they’re very rigid, and they don’t want to customize to our needs,’” Hansen said. These employers sought workforce training that could produce a pipeline of learners-turned-employees, and Hansen said they told him, “If you can do that, I’ll pay you.”

 


Transfers From Community College Continue to Fall — from insidehighered.com by Sara Weissman
Despite the decline in transfers, a new report also says six-year college completion rates among transfer students improved.

Excerpt:

Transfers between community colleges and four-year institutions continued to drop last fall, an ongoing trend since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. But the report also contains some good news, including that six-year college completion rates among transfer students improved, despite the disruptive nature of the pandemic.

“Upward transfer has continued to decline pretty steadily at this point in every year since the pandemic,” Shapiro said during a media briefing Wednesday. “This suggests that baccalaureate attainment is beginning to appear increasingly out of reach for community college students,” particularly for students enrolled in urban and suburban community colleges, which saw steeper declines in transfers to universities than community colleges in towns or rural areas.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian