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


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

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

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

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

 

What Can We Learn from Barnes & Noble’s Surprising Turnaround? — from tedgioia.substack.com by Ted Gioia
Digital platforms are struggling, meanwhile a 136-year-old book retailer is growing again. But why?

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

Daunt refused to play this game. He wanted to put the best books in the window. He wanted to display the most exciting books by the front door. Even more amazing, he let the people working in the stores make these decisions.

This is James Daunt’s super power: He loves books.

But I almost hate to say it, because the lesson is so simple.

If you want to sell music, you must love those songs. If you want to succeed in journalism, you must love those newspapers. If you want to succeed in movies, you must love the cinema.

But this kind of love is rare nowadays. I often see record labels promote new artists for all sorts of gimmicky reasons—even labels I once trusted such as Deutsche Grammophon or Concord. I’ve come to doubt whether the people in charge really love the music.

 

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

Excerpts:

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

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

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

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

KEY TAKEAWAYS

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

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

 

How Skills Are Disrupting Work: The Transformational Power of Fast-Growing, In-Demand Skills — from burningglassinstitute.org by Nik Dawson, Alexandra Martin, Matt Sigelman, Gad Levanon, Stephanie Blochinger, Jennifer Thornton, and Janet Chen
A “State of Skills” Report from the Burning Glass Institute, the Business-Higher Education Forum, and Wiley

On average, 37% of the top 20 skills requested for the average U.S. job have changed since 2016.

Excerpt:
By analyzing hundreds of millions of recent U.S. job postings, the Burning Glass Institute and the Business–Higher Education Forum (BHEF) identified four of the fastest-growing, highest-demand emerging skill sets:

  • Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning
  • Cloud Computing
  • Product Management
  • Social Media

These four skill sets serve as a laboratory for understanding what business and education leaders can do to prepare workers and students for skills disruption. To illustrate how programs can help learners and workers acquire essential skills, this report includes profiles of recent innovations from the BHEF network.

The future belongs to those who seek to understand, anticipate, and harness the power of emerging skills, rather than maintain a posture of reaction/response.

The prospect of helping all those who are challenged by skill disruption hinges on the readiness of business and higher education to engage in understanding and planning for skill disruption over the long term.

From DSC:
“On average, 37% of the top 20 skills requested for the average U.S. job have changed since 2016.” That’s what I’m talking about when I talk about the exponential pace of change. It’s hard to deal with. Our institutions of education are not used to this pace of change. Our legal system isn’t used to this pace of change. And there are other industries struggling to keep up.

Should the pace of change be an element of our design when we think about using Design Thinking to create a new lifelong learning ecosystem?

 

Skills, Skills, Skills Now is the time. — from by Katelyn Donnelly and Eric Scott Lavin
Skills matter more than ever.

Excerpt:

For years, the importance of building demonstrable skills has been growing. The research is clear: skills acquired through work experience increase lifetime earnings. Yet, a massive shift in how learners, educators, and employers think about skills is just beginning.

Three subtrends set the stage for a massive inflection point in how we think about skills…

Learning will be the only constant throughout a career.  Success in the modern workforce is learning experiences to build skills, and the best way to build skills is to do real-world projects.

Below is a sampling of organizations and companies pushing the boundaries. Some of these are established players with mature businesses and tested business models.

Also relevant/see:

The Job Skills of 2023 — from Coursera

The job skills of 2023 -- from Coursera

Excerpt from the Executive Summary Section

  1. The fastest-growing skills are digital skills
    The top ten overall fastest-growing skills are digital skills. The ongoing evolution of technology means employers are regularly seeking new digital competencies from potential hires while also reskilling existing workers.
  2. The fastest-growing digital skills are changing more significantly than the fastest-growing human skills
    The top ten digital skills vary significantly from last year—only two have carried over year-on-year: data visualization and user experience. The human skills in demand remain steadier, suggesting an evergreen demand for skills like change management and communication.

The job skills of 2023 -- from Coursera

 

The incredible shrinking future of college — from vox.com by Kevin Carey

Excerpt:

The future looks very different in some parts of the country than in others, and will also vary among national four-year universities, regional universities like Ship, and community colleges. Grawe projects that, despite the overall demographic decline, demand for national four-year universities on the West Coast will increase by more than 7.5 percent between now and the mid-2030s. But in states like New York, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Louisiana, it will decline by 15 percent or more.

Higher ed’s eight-decade run of unbroken good fortune may be about to end.

Demand for regional four-year universities, per Grawe, will drop by at least 7.5 percent across New England, the mid-Atlantic, and Southern states other than Florida and Texas, with smaller declines in the Great Plains. Community colleges will be hit hard in most places other than Florida, which has a robust two-year system with a large Latino population.

The next generation of higher education leaders will take scarcity as a given and “return on investment” as both sales pitch and state of mind.

The decline of American higher education — from youtube.com by Bryan Alexander and Kevin Carey

 

Most Colleges Omit or Understate Net Costs in Financial-Aid Offers, Federal Watchdog Finds — from chronicle.com by Eric Hoover

Excerpt:

Nine out of 10 colleges either exclude or understate the net cost of attendance in their financial-aid offers to students, according to estimates published in a new report by the Government Accountability Office. The watchdog agency recommended that Congress consider legislation that would require institutions to provide “clear and standard information.”

The lack of clarity makes it hard for students to decide where to enroll and how much to borrow.

The report, published on Monday, paints a troubling picture of an industry that makes it difficult for consumers to understand the bottom line by presenting insufficient if not downright misleading information. Federal law does not require colleges to present financial-aid offers in a clear, consistent way to all students.

Higher ed faces ‘deteriorating’ outlook in 2023, Fitch says — from highereddive.com by Rick Seltzer

Dive Brief (excerpt):

  • U.S. higher education faces a stable but deteriorating credit outlook in 2023, Fitch Ratings said Thursday, taking a more pessimistic view of the sector’s future than it had at the same time last year.
  • Operating performance at colleges and universities will be pressured by enrollment, labor and wage challenges, according to the bond ratings agency. Colleges have been able to raise tuition slightly because of inflation, but additional revenue they generate generally isn’t expected to be enough to offset rising costs.

Merger Watch: Don’t wait too long to find a merger partner. Closure does not benefit anybody. — from highereddive.com by Ricardo Azziz
Leaders fail students, employees and communities when they embrace a strategy of hope in the face of overwhelming evidence.

Excerpt:

While not all institutions can (or should be) saved, most institutional closures reflect the failure of past governing boards to face the fiscal reality of their institution — and to plan accordingly and in a timely manner. Leaders should always consider and, if necessary, pursue potential partnerships, mergers, or consolidations before a school has exhausted its financial and political capital. The inability or unwillingness of many leaders to take such action is reflected in the fact that the number of institutional closures in higher education far outweighs the number of successful mergers.

In fact, the risk of closure can be predicted. In a prior analysis several coauthors and I reported on a number of risk factors predictive of closure, noting that most schools at risk for closure are small and financially fragile, with declining enrollment and limited resources to mount significant online programs. While there are many clear signs that a school is at risk for closure, the major challenge to mounting a response seems to be the unwillingness of institutional leaders to understand, face and act on these signs.

What can colleges learn from degrees awarded in the fast-shrinking journalism field? — from highereddive.com by Lilah Burke
Bachelor’s degrees offer solid payoffs, while grad programs post mixed returns, researchers find. But many students don’t go on to work in the field.

Excerpt:

Journalism jobs are hard to find. But it’s nice work when you can get it.

That’s the takeaway from a new report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce on the payoff of journalism programs. An analysis of federal education and labor data reveals that journalism and communication bachelor’s degrees offer moderate payoff to their graduates, but only 15% of majors end up working in the field early in their careers. Newsroom employment has declined 26% since 2008, and researchers predict it will fall 3% over the next nine years.


Addendum on 12/10/22:

A Sectorwide Approach to Higher Ed’s Future — from insidehighered.com by Sylvia M. Burwell
Institutions must seek ways to differentiate themselves even as they work together to address common challenges facing all of higher education, writes Sylvia M. Burwell.

We have to think differently about the future of higher education. And rather than limit our work to what one type of institution or program can achieve, we should look across the entire higher education sector.

A sectorwide [insert DSC: system-wide] approach is needed because the economics of higher education are not going to hold.

To evolve our thinking on these questions, we should focus on the value proposition of higher education and market differentiation.

 

2023 Higher Education Trend Watch — from educause.edu

2023 Higher Education Trend Watch

Also see:

2023 Strategic Trends Glossary — from educause.edu

Excerpts:

  • Closer alignment of higher education with workforce needs and skills-based learning
  • Continuation and normalization of hybrid and online learning
  • Continued adoption and normalization of hybrid and remote work arrangements
  • Continued resignation and migration of leaders and staff from higher education institutions
  • Declining public funding for higher education
  • …and more
 

When Colleges Close, Students Aren’t Likely to Re-Enroll — from insidehighered.com by Johanna Alonso
Data from the National Student Clearinghouse show that fewer than half of students attending an institution that closes transfer to another institution.

Excerpt:

The study, produced by the National Student Clearinghouse and the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, followed 143,215 students who were enrolled in 467 institutions that closed between July 1, 2004, and June 30, 2020. Those that closed generally enrolled larger populations of students of color than institutions that remained open—55 percent versus 46.4 percent—and more Pell Grant recipients as well.

Just under half the students whose institutions closed—47.1 percent—re-enrolled at another college or university. Of those who re-enrolled, only 36.8 percent went on to earn a credential; 52.9 percent dropped out, and 10.4 percent were still enrolled as of February 2022. Students of color, male students and non-traditional-aged students were the least likely to re-enroll and complete a credential.

“Once it becomes likely an institution will close, states need to ensure teach-out agreements are in place to provide all students with a pathway for completing their credentials,” the study reads. “Additionally, states need to thoroughly vet the teach-out institutions to ensure they are capable of completing the terms of the teach-out agreement and are financially viable.”

When Campuses Close, Most of Their Students Are Stuck Without the Credentials They Wanted — from chronicle.com by Katherine Mangan

Excerpt:

Nearly three-quarters of the students whose colleges closed between 2004 and 2020 were stranded without adequate warning or plans to help them finish their degrees, and fewer than half of those students ended up re-enrolling in any postsecondary programs, according to a report released Tuesday.

Hardest hit were Black and Hispanic students enrolled in for-profit institutions. “Their schools’ closing effectively closed the doors on the students’ educational dreams,” Doug Shapiro, executive director of the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, said in a briefing with reporters.

The research center worked with the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, also known as SHEEO, on a series of three reports that will examine the impact of college closures on students and how states can better protect those whose education plans are disrupted.

‘Universities must engage in lifelong learning’ – UNESCO — from thepienews.com by Helen Packer
The future of universities depends on their ability to provide ‘lifelong learning’ that equips non-traditional students with in-demand skills, UNESCO warned last week. 

Excerpt:

David Atchoarena, director of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, called on universities to engage with continuing and adult education at the first Global Lifelong Learning Summit held in Singapore in November.

“As we face salient changes in citizenship, climate change, health and wellbeing, among others, more countries are seeing the increasing importance of lifelong learning and are putting measures and strategies to make it a reality,” said Atchoarena, later adding that universities should “really define their mission so that they play their role”.

New Study Details Challenges Facing Native Students, and How to Address Them — from the74million.org by Angelique Albert
Albert: From funding for tuition to housing, food aid and financial literacy training, what schools can do to make education truly affordable

Excerpt:

A newly released National Study on College Affordability for Indigenous Students brings much-needed visibility to this disparity, which has long been ignored in the public dialogue about educational access. The report provides comprehensive data and a fresh set of powerful personal testimonies that illuminate how Native students experience the many facets of funding their college education. It offers recommendations for making higher education more financially accessible to Native students, such as providing aid for non-tuition expenses.

New Report on Re-Enrolling Adult Learners — from insidehighered.com by Sara Weissman

Excerpt:

A new report offers guidance to community college leaders seeking to re-enroll adult learners who earned academic credits but left college without a degree or credential.

The report, released today, was produced by InsideTrack, a nonprofit organization that helps institutions enroll students and improve academic outcomes through coaching. The report notes that community colleges lost almost 830,000 students nationally since spring 2020, according to National Student Clearinghouse Research Center data. Meanwhile, there are currently 39 million Americans who attended some college but never graduated.

 

Taking stock as the world population hits 8 billion — from mckinsey.com

Excerpt:

November 13, 2022 Projections show the global population will surpass 8 billion people on November 15, and in 2023, India is expected to surpass China to become the world’s most populous nation. It was only 11 years ago that the world reached the last billion; these milestones generate considerations of resource allocation, food security, climate change, and more. Already, one in nine people can’t get enough to eat every day, even while 33 to 40 percent of our food is lost or wasted each year, according to research from senior partners Clarisse Magnin and Björn Timelin. As we continue to grow, how can we support an unprecedented population while raising the quality of life for all? Explore our insights to learn more about how to avoid a food crisis, common misconceptions around global migration, the future of an aging population, and more.

Also see:

EIEIO’s e-newsletter of 11/13/22  where it says:

This week on Tuesday, it’s projected that a baby will be born somewhere on Planet Earth that brings the population to 8 billion people. Notably, the global population reached 7 billion people just eleven years ago. When I was born, in 1962, there was 3 billion people, and the United States had a population of 180 million versus roughly 335 million today.

.

What we know from Nobel Laureate Economist James Heckman out of the University of Chicago is that $1 invested in early childhood education produces a $7 return in economic gain. Moreover, while investment in education produces a compelling return at all stages, the earlier you invest in education, the higher the return.

 

The Shrinking of Higher Ed — A Special Report from The Chronicle of Higher Education
A special report on the implications of the enrollment contraction.

Excerpt:

Nearly 1.3 million students have disappeared from American colleges since the Covid-19 pandemic began. That enrollment contraction comes at a precarious moment for the sector. Inflation is driving up costs and straining budgets, stock-market volatility is putting downward pressure on endowment returns, and federal stimulus funds are running out. Why is the enrollment crunch happening now? How are colleges responding? What might turn things around? Those are the questions fueling this special report.

A Public Regional on the Edge — from chronicle.com by Eric Kelderman
New Jersey City University’s plan to grow its way out of financial trouble backfired. What went wrong?

Excerpts:

NJCU’s story is a cautionary tale for similar institutions — small public regional colleges with ambitions to expand in a crowded higher-education market. While its real-estate dealings have drawn unfavorable scrutiny, the university was responding to challenges that face its peers, in northern New Jersey and around the country: increased competition for a declining number of high-school graduates.

Public regional universities, like NJCU, enroll about 40 percent of all college students nationally, and a far larger percentage of minority, low-income, and first-generation students than better-known flagships and top research universities do.

But a lack of state support, limited ability to attract students from outside the region, and sparse fund raising have made the university vulnerable to economic downturns and demographic shifts that have led to fewer high-school graduates, especially in the Northeast and upper Midwest.

Linked to in the above article was this article:

Declining enrollment has Western Michigan University on budgetary tightrope — from mlive.com by Julie Mack

Excerpts:

KALAMAZOO, MI — Western Michigan University has 17,835 students this fall, its lowest enrollment since the 1960s.

The number is down 6% from last fall. Down 27% from a decade ago, when the fall headcount was 24,598. Down 41% from 20 years ago, when WMU’s fall count peaked at 29,732.

And thanks to a declining birthrate and a shrinking percentage of new high school graduates enrolling in college, that downward enrollment trend is likely to continue indefinitely.

Rather, “what COVID did was force our hand after years of pressure created by declining enrollment and demographic trends that suggest declines will continue for the next decade,” she said. “So while COVID brought our financial situation into sharp relief, the budget cut was a measure taken to relieve pressure created over many, many years.”


A relevant addendum here:

Avoiding the Trap of Too Little Too Late — from tytonpartners.com by Trace Urdan; with thanks to Ryan Craig for this resource

Excerpt:

The challenges facing higher education are well understood: a demographic cliff of traditional-aged applicants, a declining proportion of full-pay families, and a growing skepticism of the value of (ever-more) expensive post-secondary degrees with resulting student consumerism. Add to this rapidly rising technological complexity, deferred maintenance on deteriorating physical assets, escalating administrative costs associated with student services and supports, and a burgeoning array of college substitutes, and the challenges are clear. The combination of lower tuition revenue and higher costs points toward an inevitable sector consolidation. And while many college administrators will readily acknowledge this point in the abstract, few will consider that it might apply to them.

 

To future-proof a workforce, kill the perpetual hiring machine and embrace lifelong learning — from fortune.com by Clay Dillow

Excerpt:

A looming economic slowdown, the Great Resignation, a relentlessly expanding skills gap, and employees that would simply rather work from home. This week at Fortune’s CEO Initiative forum, a panel of company executives discussed the litany of challenges they face in developing and maintaining their workforces over the next several years.

 

What’s Stopping You from Reinventing Your Career? — from hbr.org by Heather Cairns-Lee and Bill Fischer; with thanks to Mr. Roberto Ferraro for this resource

Summary (emphasis DSC):

In the authors’ work teaching and coaching thousands of managers, they have identified four traps – self-sufficiency, overthinking, procrastination and searching for the answer – that prevent leaders from taking the first steps necessary for considering and exploring possible new versions of themselves for the future. The authors have found ways to help leaders recognize which traps they are falling into and start imagining a way out — largely inspired by design thinking principles such as rapid prototyping, making ideas visual, and getting quick feedback.

 

2023 Top 10 IT Issues: Foundation Models — from educause.edu

Excerpt:

Recent times have brought about a Great Rethink that is upending previous models of management and working. Higher education is no exception. In 2023, institutional and technology leaders are ready for a new approach.

The EDUCAUSE 2023 Top 10 IT Issues help describe the foundation models that colleges and universities will develop next year and beyond, acting on what was learned in the pandemic and framed by the three building blocks of leadership, data, and work and learning.

See where things are headed in 2023 and beyond.
.

The Educause 2023 Top 10 IT Issues

 

.

From DSC:
At this point in time, I’d find your visionary, innovative, tech-savvy leaders out there — and not just for IT-related positions but for Presidents, Provosts, CFO’s, Heads of HR, and similar levels of positions (and ideally on the Boards as well.) Such people need to be at the table when strategies are hammered out.

For example, if your institution didn’t get seriously into online learning long before Covid19 hit, I’d clear house and go back to the drawing board on your leadership.

Also, data won’t save higher ed. New directions/pathways might. But I’m doubtful that new sources of data will — no matter how they are sliced and diced. That sort of thing is too much at the fringe of things — and not at the heart of what’s being offered. The marketplace will eventually dictate to higher ed which directions institutions of traditional higher education need to go in. Or perhaps I should say that this is already starting to occur.

If alternatives to institutions of traditional higher education continue to grow in acceptance and usage — and don’t involve current institutions of higher ed — those sorts of institutions may already be too late. If more corporations fully develop their own training programs, pathways, and credentials, there may be even fewer students to go around.

A final thought: Cheaper forms of online-based learning for the liberal arts may be what actually saves the liberal arts in the long run.


Also relevant/see:


 

Attention higher-ed leaders: Faculty and staff have something to say — from ecampusnews.com by Jen Landon; with thanks to Ray Schroeder for this resource
Higher-ed leaders can apply the same listening skills and level of investment put forth for students toward their workers

Excerpts:

An organization’s greatest asset is its people. In no other industry is that more true than in higher education. The importance of faculty and staff can’t be overstated; they are, in every way, core to carrying out the mission of higher education.

Institutions should put employee satisfaction at the top of their list from day one: investing in the growth and success of faculty and staff with as much determination as they invest in student success. This mindset should extend to job candidates as well.

From DSC:
I appreciate some attention being paid here to the career/skill development of faculty and staff, as well as to the attempts to create caring cultures. Higher ed has a lot to learn from the corporate world in terms of training its managers, supervisors, and leadership. Provosts, for example, move out of the academic ranks and I’d bet that most of them have never had any training in being a leader — especially re: the business side of higher ed. 

Staff members are key to all institutions of higher education, yet many of them are second-class citizens on many (most?) campuses. They have limited say and even more limited budgets. Even though they have transformed institutions — such as the case with providing online/blended/hyflex-learning — they aren’t lifted up.

For myself, if I didn’t feel like I was growing and learning, I felt stagnant. That’s why blogging has been so wonderful and important to me through the years. The budgets for training one’s staff are very important — as staff members need to stay marketable and relevant. As with most others in the workplace, staff and faculty members may need to reinvent themselves from time to time. Hopefully, this type of growth/reinvention is being supported by the institutions of traditional higher education out there.


Speaking of the workplace and higher education, you might be interested in The Job newsletter. This week’s edition was interesting indeed! 


 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian