More colleges are breaching their debt requirements: S&P — from highereddive.com by Ben Unglesbee
Amid operating pressures, some institutions are struggling to meet financial metrics stipulated in their bond and loan covenants.

Dive Brief:

  • A growing number of colleges are breaching bond and loan stipulations, known as covenants, that require them to stay within certain financial health parameters, according to a new report from S&P Global Ratings.
  • The agency cited 12 colleges it rates that have breached covenants since last June. In most cases, bondholders waived the violation. Some covenants could allow debtholders to accelerate repayment, which could add to an institution’s liquidity and ratings risks.
  • S&P downgraded ratings for about half the institutions with violations, typically because of underlying financial issues. “We see continued credit quality divergence in the U.S. higher education sector, with weaker-positioned institutions experiencing budgetary pressure and covenant violations,” the analysts said.

Student Loan Borrowers Owe $1.6 Trillion. Nearly Half Aren’t Paying. — from nytimes.com by Stacy Cowley (behind a paywall)
Millions of people are overdue on their federal loans or still have them paused — and court rulings keep upending collection efforts.

After an unprecedented three-year timeout on federal student loan payments because of the pandemic, millions of borrowers began repaying their debt when billing resumed late last year. But nearly as many have not.

That reality, along with court decisions that regularly upend the rules, has complicated the government’s efforts to restart its system for collecting the $1.6 trillion it is owed.


Universities Investing in Microcredential Leadership — from insidehighered.com by Lauren Coffey
As microcredential programs slowly gain traction, more universities are looking for leaders to coordinate the efforts.

Microcredentials—also known as digital badges, credentials, certificate, or alternative credentials—grew in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now they are attracting renewed interest as institutions look to widen their nets for nontraditional students as an enrollment cliff looms.

In addition to backing these programs, some universities are going further by hiring staff solely to oversee microcredential efforts.


A Plan to Save Small Colleges — from insidehighered.com by Michael Alexander
Small colleges could join forces through a supporting-organization model, Michael Alexander writes.

The challenges are significant. But there is a way to increase the probability of survival for many small colleges or spare them from a spartan existence. It involves groups of colleges affiliating under a particular structure that would facilitate both (1) a significant reduction in operating costs for each college and (2) a rationalization of each college’s academic offerings to concentrate on its strongest programs.

 

From DSC:
As I can’t embed his posting, I’m copying/pasting Jeff’s posting on LinkedIn:


According to Flighty, I logged more than 2,220 flight miles in the last 5 days traveling to three conferences to give keynotes and spend time with housing officers in Milwaukee, college presidents in Mackinac Island, MI, and enrollment and marketing leaders in Raleigh.

Before I rest, I wanted to post some quick thoughts about what I learned. Thank you to everyone who shared their wisdom these past few days:

  • We need to think about the “why” and “how” of AI in higher ed. The “why” shouldn’t be just because everyone else is doing it. Rather, the “why” is to reposition higher ed for a different future of competitors. The “how” shouldn’t be to just seek efficiency and cut jobs. Rather we should use AI to learn from its users to create a better experience going forward.
  • Residence halls are not just infrastructure. They are part and parcel of the student experience and critical to student success. Almost half of students living on campus say it increases their sense of belonging, according to research by the Association of College & University Housing Officers.
  • How do we extend the “residential experience”? More than half of traditional undergraduates who live on campus now take at least once course online. As students increasingly spend time off campus – or move off campus as early as their second year in college – we need to help continue to make the connections for them that they would in a dorm. Why? 47% of college students believe living in a college residence hall enhanced their ability to resolve conflicts.
  • Career must be at the core of the student experience for colleges to thrive in the future, says Andy Chan. Yes, some people might see that as too narrow of a view of higher ed or might not want to provide cogs for the wheel of the workforce, but without the job, none of the other benefits of college follow–citizenship, health, engagement.
  • A “triple threat grad”–someone who has an internship, a semester-long project, and an industry credential (think Salesforce or Adobe in addition to their degree–matters more in the job market than major or institution, says Brandon Busteed.
  • Every faculty member should think of themselves as an ambassador for the institution. Yes, care about their discipline/department, but that doesn’t survive if the rest of the institution falls down around them.
  • Presidents need to place bigger bets rather than spend pennies and dimes on a bunch of new strategies. That means to free up resources they need to stop doing things.
  • Higher ed needs a new business model. Institutions can’t make money just from tuition, and new products like certificates, are pennies on the dollars of degrees.
  • Boards aren’t ready for the future. They are over-indexed on philanthropy and alumni and not enough on the expertise needed for leading higher ed.

From DSC:
As I can’t embed his posting, I’m copying/pasting Jeff’s posting on LinkedIn:


It’s the stat that still gnaws at me: 62%.

That’s the percentage of high school graduates going right on to college. A decade ago it was around 70%. So for all the bellyaching about the demographic cliff in higher ed, just imagine if today we were close to that 70% number? We’d be talking a few hundred thousand more students in the system.

As I told a gathering of presidents of small colleges and universities last night on Mackinac Island — the first time I had to take [numerous modes of transportation] to get to a conference — being small isn’t distinctive anymore.

There are many reasons undergrad enrollment is down, but they all come down to two interrelated trends: jobs and affordability.

The job has become so central to what students want out of the experience. It’s almost as if colleges now need to guarantee a job.

These institutions will need to rethink the learner relationship with work. Instead of college with work on the side, we might need to move to more of a mindset of work with college on the side by:

  • Making campus jobs more meaningful. Why can’t we have accounting and finance majors work in the CFO office, liberal arts majors work in IT on platforms such as Salesforce and Workday, which are skills needed in the workplace, etc.?
  • Apprenticeships are not just for the trades anymore. Integrate work-based learning into the undergrad experience in a much bigger way than internships and even co-ops.
  • Credentials within the degree. Every graduate should leave college with more than just a BA but also a certified credential in things like data viz, project management, the Adobe suite, Alteryx, etc.
  • The curriculum needs to be more flexible for students to combine work and learning — not only for the experience but also money for college — so more availability of online courses, hybrid courses, and flexible semesters.

How else can we think about learning and earning?


 

2024 Global Skills Report -- from Coursera

  • AI literacy emerges as a global imperative
  • AI readiness initiatives drive emerging skill adoption across regions
  • The digital skills gap persists in a rapidly evolving job market
  • Cybersecurity skills remain crucial amid talent shortages and evolving threats
  • Micro-credentials are a rapid pathway for learners to prepare for in-demand jobs
  • The global gender gap in online learning continues to narrow, but regional disparities persist
  • Different regions prioritize different skills, but the majority focus on emerging or foundational capabilities

You can use the Global Skills Report 2024 to:

  • Identify critical skills for your students to strengthen employability
  • Align curriculum to drive institutional advantage nationally
  • Track emerging skill trends like GenAI and cybersecurity
  • Understand entry-level and digital role skill trends across six regions
 

OPINION: Americans need help paying for new, nondegree programs and college alternatives — from hechingerreport.org by Connor Diemand-Yauman and Rebecca Taber Staehelin
Updating the Pell Grant program would be an excellent way to support much-needed alternatives

Janelle’s story is all too familiar throughout the U.S. — stuck in a low-paying job, struggling to make ends meet after being failed by college. Roughly 40 million Americans have left college without completing a degree — historically seen as a golden ticket to the middle class.

Yet even with a degree, many fall short of economic prosperity.

 

The State of the American High School in 2024 — from gettingsmart.com by Tom Vander Ark

Over the past 120 days, we’ve conducted tours of over 50 high schools in more than 1,000 classrooms across various cities including Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles, Northern Colorado, Kansas City, Twin Cities, Pittsburgh, and San Diego. These schools were purposefully selected for their dedication to real world learning, positioning them at the forefront of innovative education. These visits showed schools leading the way into new pathways, active learning methods, and work-based learning initiatives. From our observations at these leading schools, we’ve identified 8 key insights about the state of American high schools.


We are on the brink of a significant transformation in how education qualifications are perceived and valued, thanks to a strategic move by ETS to make Mastery Transcript Consortium (MTC) a subsidiary. This pivotal development marks a shift from traditional metrics of educational success—courses and grades—to a more nuanced representation of student abilities through skills transcripts.

The partnership between ETS and MTC is not just a merger of organizations, but a fusion of visions that aim to recalibrate educational assessment. The collaboration is set to advance “Skills for the Future,” focusing on authentic, dynamic assessment methods that provide clear, actionable insights into student capabilities. This shift away from the century-old Carnegie Unit model, which measures educational attainment by time rather than skill mastery, aims to foster learning environments that prioritize personal growth over time spent in a classroom.

As we move forward, this approach could redefine success in education, making learning experiences more adaptive, equitable, and aligned with the demands of the modern world.

See:
Skills Transcripts at Scale: Why The ETS & MTC Partnership is a Big Deal — from gettingsmart.com by Tom Vander Ark

Key Points

  • One of the core problems is that education is based on time rather than learning.
  • We finally have a chance to move courses and grades into the background and foreground powerful personalized learning experiences and capture and communicate the resulting capabilities in much more descriptive ways—and do it at scale

How to Help Older Students Who Struggle to Read — from nataliewexler.substack.com by Natalie Wexler
Many students above third grade need help deciphering words with multiple syllables

Kockler hypothesizes that the reading struggles of many older students are due in large part to two issues. One has to do with “linguistic difference.” If a child’s family and community speak a variant of English that differs from the kind generally used in books and by teachers—for example, African-American English—it could be harder for them to decode words and connect those words to their meanings.

The Decoding Threshold
The other issue has to do with difficulties in decoding multisyllabic words. Kockler points to a couple of large-scale research studies that have identified a “decoding threshold.”

In theory, students’ reading comprehension ability should improve as they advance to higher grade levels—and it often does. But the researchers found that if students are above fourth grade—past the point where they’re likely to get decoding instruction—and their decoding ability is below a certain level, they’re “extremely unlikely [to] make significant progress in reading comprehension in the following years.” The studies, which were conducted in a high-poverty, largely African-American district, found that almost 40% of fifth-graders and 20% of tenth-graders included in the sample fell below the decoding threshold.


What Is Doxxing, and How Can Educators Protect Their Privacy Online? — from edweek.org by Sarah D. Sparks

The education profession relies on teachers being accessible to their students and families and open to sharing with colleagues. But a little information can be a dangerous thing.


 

 

Navigating the Changing Landscape of Lifelong Learning — from prsa.org by Susan B. Walton, Ph.D.

The first step to finding the right PR learning program is understanding what’s currently available to learners:

  • Undergraduate and graduate degree programs remain the pathway to earning a college degree in public relations, and now include more online options than ever before.
  • Certificate programs are shorter courses of study that often focus on strengthening specific skills, such as crisis communications or knowledge of a specific industry such as health care. They are offered through professional associations, employers, private entities or academic graduate programs, especially programs geared toward working professionals.
  • Microcertificate or microcredential programs may be even shorter and more focused than certificate programs. They can be a series of short courses and are usually focused on skills needed for a specific employer or job, such as analytical tools for a particular web platform. Successful completion of the microcertificate(s) may earn a microcredential, such as a badge, which can be displayed on the recipient’s social media sites.

If you’re a professional who’s considering jumping back into school, then certificate and microcertificate programs are excellent ways to dip a toe in the water.


On somewhat related notes:

Public Infrastructure on Skills — from the-job.beehiiv.com by Paul Fain
The search for population-level solutions to strengthen links between education and work.

The new Center for Skills by C-BEN seeks to bring clarity and coordination to the skills space. Launched this week with a $1.5M grant from Walmart, the center will attempt to create objective, reliable ways to assess and validate skills, to help bridge the gap between education and the workforce.

The center could help the millions of employers who are looking for skills-based solutions and aren’t going to build their own skills academies, says Clayton Lord, director of foundation programs at SHRM.

“It’s hard for small and mid-sized businesses to find their way into this conversation,” he says. “We can’t create something that is more arduous for employers.”


Closing The Skills Gap: An Inside Look At The Achievement Wallet — from forbes.com by Dr. Sarah DeMark

In the dynamic realm of today’s workforce, skills gaps are increasing. Highly skilled talent is out there, but information gaps and traditional hiring methods make it challenging for skilled talent and employers to find one another. While digital recruiting systems have made it more efficient to find prospective candidates, qualified candidates are often vetted out of the hiring process when they do not match the exact criteria, according to a study conducted by Harvard Business School.

With the rapid pace of change — think automation, new technology, and artificial intelligence — businesses must innovate and think about the best ways to create career mobility and career pathways for their workforces into the roles of tomorrow.

In Pursuit of Agency
Imagine a future where learners can instantly see where they stand in a crowded job market, assess their abilities and gaps, and identify opportunities for growth. Or where employers can identify candidates with specific, often hard-to-spot competencies and skills. Possible? Yes. Western Governors University (WGU), the country’s largest competency-based, workforce-relevant online university, is reimagining that future by deploying the Achievement Wallet for WGU students nationally and working students at educational institutions across the state of Indiana.

Also see:

 

Dr Abigail Rekas, Lawyer & Lecturer at the School of Law, University of Galway

Abigail is a lecturer on two of the Law micro-credentials at University of Galway – Lawyering Technology & Innovation and Law & Analytics. Micro-credentials are short, flexible courses designed to fit around your busy life! They are designed in collaboration with industry to meet specific skills needs and are accredited by leading Irish universities.

Visit: universityofgalway.ie/courses/micro-credentials/


The Implications of Generative AI: From the Delivery of Legal Services to the Delivery of Justice — from iaals.du.edu by

The potential for AI’s impact is broad, as it has the ability to impact every aspect of human life, from home to work. It will impact our relationships to everything and everyone in our world. The implications for generative AI on the legal system, from how we deliver legal services to how we deliver justice, will be just as far reaching.

[N]ow we face the latest technological frontier: artificial intelligence (AI).… Law professors report with both awe and angst that AI apparently can earn Bs on law school assignments and even pass the bar exam. Legal research may soon be unimaginable without it. AI obviously has great potential to dramatically increase access to key information for lawyers and non-lawyers alike. But just as obviously it risks invading privacy interests and dehumanizing the law.

When you can no longer sell the time it takes to achieve a client’s outcome, then you must sell the outcome itself and the client’s experience of getting there. That completely changes the dynamics of what law firms are all about.


Preparing the Next Generation of Tech-Ready Lawyers — from news.gsu.edu
Legal Analytics and Innovation Initiative Gives Students a Competitive Advantage

Georgia State University College of Law faculty understand this need and designed the Legal Analytics & Innovation Initiative (LAII) to equip students with the competitive skills desired by law firms and other companies that align with the emerging technological environment.

“As faculty, we realized we need to be forward-thinking about incorporating technology into our curriculum. Students must understand new areas of law that arise from or are significantly altered by technological advances, like cybersecurity, privacy and AI. They also must understand how these advances change the practice of law,” said Kris Niedringhaus, associate dean for Law Library, Information Services, Legal Technology & Innovation.


The Imperative Of Identifying Use Cases In Legal Tech: A Guiding Light For Innovation In The Age Of AI — from abovethelaw.com by Olga V. Mack
In the quest to integrate AI and legal technology into legal practice, use cases are not just important but indispensable.

As the legal profession continues to navigate the waters of digital transformation, the importance of use cases stands as a beacon guiding the journey. They are the litmus test for the practical value of technology, ensuring that innovations not only dazzle with potential but also deliver tangible benefits. In the quest to integrate AI and legal technology into legal practice, use cases are not just important but indispensable.

The future of legal tech is not about technology for technology’s sake. It’s about thoughtful, purpose-driven innovation that enhances the practice of law, improves client outcomes, and upholds the principles of justice. Use cases are the roadmap for this future, charting a course for technology that is meaningful, impactful, and aligned with the noble pursuit of law.

 

The New Academic Arms Race | Competition over amenities is over. The next battleground is technology. — from chronicle.com by Jeffrey J. Selingo

Now, after the pandemic, with the value of the bachelor’s degree foremost in the minds of students and families, a new academic arms race is emerging. This one is centered around academic innovation. The winners will be those institutions that in the decade ahead better apply technology in teaching and learning and develop different approaches to credentialing.

Sure, technology is often seen as plumbing on campuses — as long as it works, we don’t worry about it. And rarely do prospective students on a tour ever ask about academic innovations like extended reality or microcredentials. Campus tours prefer to show off the bells and whistles of residential life within dorms and dining halls.

That’s too bad.

The problem is not a lack of learners, but rather a lack of alignment in what colleges offer to a generation of learners surrounded by Amazon, Netflix, and Instagram, where they can stream entertainment and music anytime, anywhere.

From DSC:
When I worked for Calvin (then College, now University) from 2007-2017, that’s exactly how technologies and the entire IT Department were viewed — as infrastructure providers. We were not viewed as being able to enhance the core business/offerings of the institution. We weren’t relevant in that area. In fact, the IT Department was shoved down in the basement of the library. Our Teaching & Learning Digital Studio was sidelined in a part of the library where few students went to. The Digitial Studio’s marketing efforts didn’t help much, as faculty members didn’t offer assignments that called for multimedia-based deliverables. It was a very tough and steep hill to climb.

Also the Presidents and Provosts over the last couple of decades (not currently though) didn’t think much of online-based learning, and the top administrators dissed the Internet’s ability to provide 24/7 worldwide conversations and learning. They missed the biggest thing to come along in education in 500 years (since the invention of the printing press). Our Teaching & Learning Group provided leadership by starting a Calvin Online pilot. We had 13-14 courses built and inquiries from Christian-based high schools were coming in for dual enrollment scenarios, but when it came time for the College to make a decision, it never happened. The topic/vote never made it to the floor of the Faculty Senate. The faculty and administration missed an enormous opportunity.

When Calvin College became Calvin University in 2019, they were forced to offer online-based classes. Had they supported our T&L Group’s efforts back in the early to mid-2010’s, they would have dove-tailed very nicely into offering more courses to working adults. They would have built up the internal expertise to offer these courses/programs. But the culture of the college put a stop to online-based learning at that time. They now regret that decision I’m sure (as they’ve had to outsource many things and they now offer numerous online-based courses and even entire programs — at a high cost most likely).

My how times have changed.


For another item re: higher education at the 30,000-foot level, see:


Lifelong Learning Models for a Changing Higher Ed Marketplace — from changinghighered.com by Dr. Drumm McNaughton and Amrit Ahluwalia
Exploring the transformation of higher education into lifelong learning hubs for workforce development, with innovative models and continuing education’s role.

Higher education is undergoing transformational change to redefine its role as a facilitator of lifelong learning and workforce development. In this 200th episode of Changing Higher Ed, host Dr. Drumm McNaughton and guest Amrit Ahluwalia, incoming Executive Director for Continuing Studies at Western University, explore innovative models positioning universities as sustainable hubs for socioeconomic mobility.

The Consumer-Driven Educational Landscape
Over 60% of today’s jobs will be redefined by 2025, driving demand for continuous upskilling and reskilling to meet evolving workforce needs. However, higher education’s traditional model of imparting specific knowledge through multi-year degrees is hugely misaligned with this reality.

Soaring education costs have fueled a consumer mindset shift, with learners demanding a clear return on investment directly aligned with their career goals. The expectation is to see immediate skills application and professional impact from their educational investments, not just long-term outcomes years after completion.


 

Guiding Students in Special Education to Generate Ideas for Writing — from edutopia.org by Erin Houghton
When students are stuck, breaking the brainstorming stage down into separate steps can help them get started writing.

Students who first generate ideas about a topic—access what they know about it—more easily write their outlines and drafts for the bigger-picture assignment. For Sally, brainstorming was too overwhelming as an initial step, so we started off by naming examples. I gave Sally a topic—name ways characters in Charlotte’s Web helped one another—she named examples of things (characters), and we generated a list of ways those characters helped one another.

IMPLEMENTING BRAINSTORMING AS SKILL BUILDING
This “naming” strategy is easy to implement with individual students or in groups. These are steps to get you started.

Step 1. Introduce the student to the exercise.
Step 2. Select a topic for practice.


[Opinion] It’s okay to play: How ‘play theory’ can revitalize U.S. education — from hechingerreport.org by Tyler Samstag
City planners are recognizing that play and learning are intertwined and turning public spaces into opportunities for active learning

When we’re young, playing and learning are inseparable.

Simple games like peekaboo and hide-and-seek help us learn crucial lessons about time, anticipation and cause and effect. We discover words, numbers, colors and sounds through toys, puzzles, storybooks and cartoons. Everywhere we turn, there’s something fun to do and something new to learn.

Then, somewhere around early elementary school, learning and play officially become separated for life.

Suddenly, learning becomes a task that only takes place in proper classrooms with the help of textbooks, homework and tests. Meanwhile, play becomes a distraction that we’re only allowed to indulge in during our free time, often by earning it as a reward for studying. As a result, students tend to grow up feeling as if learning is a stressful chore while playing is a reward.

Similar interactive learning experiences are popping up in urban areas from California to the East Coast, with equally promising results: art, games and music are being incorporated into green spaces, public parks, transportation stations, laundromats and more.


And on a somewhat related note, also see:


Though meant for higher ed, this is also applicable to the area of pedagogy within K12:

Space to fail. And learn — from educationalist.substack.com by Alexandra Mihai
I want to use today’s newsletter to talk about how we can help students to own their mistakes and really learn from them, so I’m sharing some thoughts, some learning design ideas and some resources…

10 ideas to make failure a learning opportunity

  • Start with yourself:
  • Admit when you don’t know something
  • Try to come up with “goal free problems”
  • Always dig deeper:
  • Encourage practice:
 

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.

 

A Community Micro-Credentials Effort Connects Students to Local Employers — from gettingsmart.com by David McCool

Key Points

  • Partnering credentialing opportunities alongside pre-existing regional initiatives is a great way to get buy-in and create momentum.

***

When Polk County schools began focusing on career and technical education in the spring of 2023, one of their goals was to help students succeed in the workplace by offering the opportunity to develop soft skills and earn micro-credentials to communicate with potential employers. The district collaborated with Education Design Lab, Muzzy Lane, Polk Vision, the Central Florida Development Council, and Southern New Hampshire University to make this dream a reality.

In its first few years, this collaboration has not only taught students valuable skills but has also provided employers with new recruitment opportunities and a linkage to a talent pipeline that they otherwise wouldn’t have had.

 

Employers Partnering to Provide Microcredential and Training Programs on the Rise, New Study From Collegis Education and UPCEA Reveals — from prweb.com by Collegis Education
Opportunities are growing, but higher ed institutions are losing ground to private providers

OAKBROOK, Ill. Jan. 23, 2024 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Companies partnering externally to provide training or professional development to employees increased by 26 percent (nearly 15 percentage points) between 2022 and 2023, according to a new study released today by Collegis Education and UPCEA, the online and professional education association. In addition, the report, “Unveiling the Employer’s View: An Employer-Centric Approach to Higher Education Partnerships,” revealed that more than 61 percent of companies without external training partnerships are interested in developing them.

In the second year of an ongoing research series, Collegis partnered with UPCEA to survey more than 500 employers to better understand their perceptions of collaborating with higher ed on professional development programs and alternative credentials.



Instructure Completes Acquisition of Parchment, the World’s Largest Academic Credential Management Platform and Network — from prnewswire.com
Expands Instructure’s market-leading teaching and learning ecosystem by providing learners with a lifelong record of their journey

SALT LAKE CITY, Feb. 1, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Instructure Holdings, Inc. (Instructure) (NYSE: INST), the leading learning ecosystem and maker of Canvas, announced today it has completed the acquisition of Parchment, the world’s largest credential management platform and network. Parchment has over 13,000 customers and has exchanged more than 165 million credentials over two decades. This acquisition is expected to significantly expand Instructure’s existing customer base and unlock exciting new growth opportunities.

“The addition of Parchment to the Instructure ecosystem enables our customers to offer flexible lifelong learning experiences to meet the needs of the ever-growing sector of non-traditional learners,” said Steve Daly, CEO of Instructure. “By providing a verifiable and comprehensive digital passport of achievement records and outcomes for learners, we’ll be able to help our customers navigate skill mastery, transfer credits, provide proof of prior learning, and much more.”

From DSC:
Instructure’s purchase here represents an important piece of our future learning ecosystems— a way to document/prove the learning a person has done throughout their ***lifelong learning*** journey.


The Importance of Credit for Prior Learning — from evolllution.com by Alexa Dunne
Higher ed needs to focus on providing credit for prior learning that properly communicates what learners know to provide them with more opportunities in the workforce.

According to research from the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) and Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE)**, students complete their credentials at a substantially higher rate when they are awarded 15 or more credits for prior learning. For institutions, awarding CPL is an easy—and equitable—way of helping students succeed. Do we want a 22-point increase in credential completion? Yes, please!


Addendum on 2/9/24:

Lego my Metaphor — from onedtech.philhillaa.com by Glenda Morgan
The problem with how we think about stackability of microcredentials=

A key aspect of microcredentials promise is that they are small and have fewer barriers to entry in terms of time and cost than for degrees. But given that microcredentials are small, they can only take a learner so far. This is where stackability comes in. By stacking these microcredentials (i.e., adding multiple credentials, each building on the other) they can be combined to make a more meaningful overall set of qualifications or to create an entryway into a new career. Microcredential stackability is a key assumption underlying many higher education institutions microcredential efforts, as well as a central thread in how they are speaking about and marketing the microcredentials.

In the coming months I want to explore more about microcredentials, as I think they are going to be a key part of higher education in the future. Right now, in higher education I see a lot of talk about microcredentials but less execution and less success than most people would like. Microcredentials are difficult to get right, but we need to start by talking about them in the right way.

 

The future of learning — from moodle.com by Sonya Trivedi

Self-directed and continuous learning
The concept of self-directed and continuous learning is becoming increasingly popular, reshaping our approach to knowledge and skill acquisition in both formal education and workplace settings. This evolving landscape reflects a world where traditional career paths are being replaced by more dynamic and flexible models, compelling learners to adapt and grow continuously.

The Future of Learning Report 2022 highlights this shift, noting the diminishing concept of a ‘career for life.’ With regular job switching and the expansion of the gig economy, there is an increasing need for a workforce equipped with a broad range of skills and the ability to gain qualifications throughout their careers. This shift is underlined by learners increasingly seeking control over their educational journeys, understanding that the ongoing acquisition of knowledge and skills is essential for staying relevant in the rapidly changing world of work. Reflecting this trend, a significant portion of learners, 33%, are choosing online platforms for their flexibility and ability to cater to individual needs and schedules.

From DSC:
The next paragraph after the above excerpt says:

Much like how companies such as Uber and Airbnb have reshaped their respective industries without owning traditional assets, the future of education might see universities functioning as the ‘Netflix of learning.’ In this model, learners comfortably source their educational experiences from various platforms, assembling their qualifications to create a personalised and continuously evolving portfolio of skills??.

But I don’t think it will be universities that function as the “Netflix of learning” as I don’t think the cultures of most institutions of traditional higher education can deal with that kind of innovation. I hope I’m wrong.

I think it will be a new, global, lifelong learning platform that originates outside of higher education. It will be bigger than higher education, K12, corporate training, or vocational training — as such a 21st-century, AI-based platform will offer all of the above and more.

Learning from the living AI-based class room


Slow Shift to Skills — from the-job.beehiiv.com by Paul Fain

Real progress in efforts to increase mobility for nondegree workers is unlikely during the next couple years, Joseph Fuller, a professor at Harvard University’s business school who co-leads its Managing the Future of Work initiative, recently told me.

Yet Fuller is bullish on skills-based hiring becoming a real thing in five to 10 years. That’s because he predicts that AI will create the data to solve the skills taxonomy problem Kolko describes. And if skills-based hiring allows for serious movement for workers without bachelor’s degrees, Fuller says the future will look like where Texas is headed.


Report: Microcredentials Not a Strategic Priority for Many Colleges — from insidehighered.com by Kathryn Palmer
A new report finds that while most colleges surveyed embrace alternative credentials, many have a decentralized approach for creating and managing them.

While the majority of colleges focused on online, professional and continuing education have embraced alternative credentials, a significant number of those institutions haven’t made them a strategic priority.

That’s one of the key takeaways from a new study released Monday by UPCEA, the organization previously known as the University Professional and Continuing Education Association. University Professional and Continuing Education Association.

“While a lot of institutions want this, they don’t necessarily all know how” to deliver alternative credentials, said Bruce Etter, UPCEA’s senior director of research and consulting. “Embracing it is great, but now it needs to be part of the strategic plan.”


The Higher Learning Commission’s Credential Lab — from hlcommission.org

HLC’s Credential Lab


10 higher ed trends to watch in 2024 — from insidetrack.org by

Trend 1.
Linking education to career paths

Trend 2.
Making sense of the AI explosion

Trend 3.
Prioritizing mental health on campus

…plus 7 other trends


North Carolina’s Community Colleges Make a Big Bid to Stay Relevant — from workshift.opencampusmedia.org by Margaret Moffett
The system is poised to ask state legislators to overhaul its funding formula to focus on how well colleges prepare students for high-demand, well-paying jobs.

The new formula would pay a premium to each college based on labor-market outcomes: the more students enrolled in courses in high-demand, high-paying workforce sectors, the more money the college receives.

Importantly, the proposed formula makes no distinction between curricular courses that count toward degree programs and noncredit continuing education classes, which historically offer fewer slots for students because of their lower FTE reimbursement rates.



Supporting Career and Technical Education — from bloomberg.org via Paul Fain

The American job market is changing. A high school diploma is no longer a ticket to a good job now, an increasing number of employers are offering “middle-skill jobs” that require more than a high school diploma but less than a bachelor’s degree. Industries like health care, IT, advanced manufacturing, and financial services continue to see sustained growth at all levels, and they need workers with the experience and the credentials to fill new positions. Bloomberg Philanthropies is investing in programs that help young people get the specialized training they need through internships, apprenticeships, academics, and work-based learning.

 

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.


 

AI University for UK? — from donaldclarkplanb.blogspot.com by Donald Clark

Tertiary Education in the UK needs a fresh idea. What we need is an initiative on the same scale as The Open University, kicked off over 50 years ago.

It is clear that an educational vision is needed and I think the best starting point is that outlined and executed by Paul LeBlanc at SNHU. It is substantial, well articulated and has worked in what has become the largest University in the US.

It would be based on the competence model, with a focus on skills shortages. Here’s a starter with 25 ideas, a manifesto of sorts, based on lessons learnt from other successful models:

  1. Non-traditional students in terms of age and background
  2. Quick and easy application process
  3. Personalised learning using AI
  4. Multimodal from the start
  5. Full range of summarisation, create self-assessment, dialogue tools
  6. Focus on generative learning using AI
  7. …and Donald lists many more (ending at #25)
 
© 2024 | Daniel Christian