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Modern day seismographs measure the timing, location, and power of how the earth bends and sometimes breaks. Although these are highly precise instruments, they can’t always predict when and where the next major earthquake will occur.
We’re intrigued to learn of the acquisition of Kaplan University by Purdue University. Managed by Purdue, this entirely new institution will serve “non-traditional adult learners,” according to yesterday’s SEC filing. In a single day, Purdue has become one of the largest public institutions serving adult online students.
The daily drumbeat of cyber crime appears to have no boundaries. Recent testimony to the Senate Finance Committee revealed that hackers compromised up to 100,000 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) applicants, leading to the suspension of the online tool last month. A February 2017 attack on more than 60 universities by a Russian hacker known as Rasputin came on the heels of assaults on a wide range of institutions from the United States Postal Regulatory Commission to the Rhode Island Department of Education.
Of course, these examples don’t even include the events of the 2016 political season.
Here’s an unavoidable truth: the vast majority of students expecting a degree in 2017 remain prisoners of a 1940s technology—their college transcripts. For these students, a truly comprehensive record of their college experience, including extra-curricular activities or examples of job-specific competencies, skills, and workplace experiences, remains hidden within a set of static and truncated course titles.
While online learning experienced significant innovation and growth over the past two decades, it’s most heady days of expansion may be behind us. Online enrollment continues to outpace overall higher education growth, but there is evidence that the supply of online programming is growing faster than demand.
Here’s the recipe for this season’s hottest cocktail: The Department of Education’s (ED) Educational Quality Through Innovative Partnerships (EQUIP):
As ED’s latest experiment in higher education innovation, this recipe has tremendous potential to foster advances in both program design and QA practices. While EQUIP may lead to some valuable insights in these areas, several questions remain.
While we’ve seen dashboards measuring everything from student completion rates to library circulation patterns, we’ve yet to come across a tool designed to monitor the organizations empowered to watch over the entire higher education system: institutional accreditors. That has changed.
There is little doubt about higher education’s increased interest in competency-based education (CBE): 97% of schools recently surveyed by Eduventures say they are at least interested in CBE. Despite this chorus of interest, and outside of a handful of established providers, CBE implementation is diverse and generally limited to programs and courses.
This gap has left critically important questions unanswered: What are the prospects for broader impact and scale of CBE? Can institutions customize CBE, combining some program components and ignoring others? Can CBE, as its proponents claim, enable more institutions to attract and retain non-traditional learners and enhance prospects for long-term employability? Is the sector on the brink of a CBE revolution or might it quietly return to the margins of higher education?
Behold your school of continuing education, also known as the extension school, school of professional studies, or center for lifelong learning. It’s perhaps the least understood component of higher education’s confusing taxonomy of how teaching and learning is organized, delivered, and assessed.
It may go by many names, but one thing is certain: the growing population of adult learners is flocking to continuing education (CE) programs. As providers reinvent the model through non-credit and bootcamp-style formats, it is increasingly attracting adult learners who seeking improve their career readiness and prospects for future employment. In turn, colleges and universities are tapping this interest to drive innovation and income more broadly.
For some for-profit institutions, 2016 has gotten off to a rocky start. Twelve states have called for a ban on the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, the largest accreditor of for-profit universities. Earlier, headlines maligned Trump University and the infamous University of Northern New Jersey.
Depsite this noise, more significant trends are shaping the future of for-profits. Compared to their non-profit and public counterparts, for-profit schools remain highly susceptible to cycles of growth, contraction, and competition. While we expect that some for-profit higher education institutions are anxious about where 2016 will fit into these cycles, our analysis suggests that two other forces may shape the next chapter for these schools.