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Curated content on higher education presented by the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP).
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Competency-based online program at Kentucky's community colleges | Inside Higher Ed

"Kentucky's two-year colleges have added competency and self-paced elements to online offerings for working adults, proving "disruptive" approaches can work for, rather than against, colleges."

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Leaner, Meaner State U—Kevin Kiley Reports on NACUBO 2012

Leaner, Meaner State U—Kevin Kiley Reports on NACUBO 2012 | SCUP Links |

Kevin Kiley’s must-read summary of NACUBO 2012 tells of other fast-moving change coming at us. This is a must-read!

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Learning, Freedom, and the Web | Anya Kamenetz | July 9, Chicago #SCUP47

Learning, Freedom, and the Web | Anya Kamenetz | July 9, Chicago #SCUP47 | SCUP Links |

The continuing transformation of higher education, with the twin pressures of economics and technological innovation, will challenge colleges and universities to find new efficiencies and specialization, embrace and incorporate a student's personal learning networks and paths, blend experiential and digital approaches, and adopt free and open-source educational resources. The dialogue is an evolving one, but Kamenetz will share her initial findings, and asks you to consider the impact of tuition and student loans, as well as technology and social media, on higher education.

Anya Kamenetz is bringing an entirely unexpected perspective on the future of knowledge, talent, and innovation. An educational futurist and the rare speaker on issues facing Millennials (while actually belonging to this generation), she delivers audiences core insights into change, technology, and talent.

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Debt: Not just for undergrads

Debt: Not just for undergrads | SCUP Links |

These days, a law degree comes with $150,000 of debt -- and no guarantee of a job after graduation...

Sometimes perception is reality, and this is a growing perception.

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Move Over Harvard and MIT, Stanford Has the Real “Revolution in Education”

Flipping the classroom is gaining greater recoginition and provides wonderful results through collaboration and shared experience instead of the usual lecture format.

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At UNT-Dallas, Consultants Propose a Reinvention - Administration - The Chronicle of Higher Education

And faculty are wary:

"Bain projects that the model would allow UNT-Dallas to offer an education for less than $6,000 a year well into the future­—a bit less than the $6,600 students pay now. (For students who qualify for Pell Grants, the out-of-pocket expense would be about $2,000 a year.) Bain says that by adopting the new model and increasing enrollment, the university could operate by 2022 at a cost of $30,000 per graduate. Without a change in course, Bain says, that cost would be about $100,000 per graduate."

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California Vocational Schools Operating Without Approval

California Vocational Schools Operating Without Approval | SCUP Links |
The job prospects of hundreds of thousands of California students are at risk as the regulatory board says it doesn’t have enough resources to enforce the rules.

Is this another sign of disruption?

"But lax state oversight also means that even state-approved schools can be risky investments for students. Oikos University of Oakland, where seven people were shot to death earlier this week by a former student, was approved by the Postsecondary Bureau even though state records show that only 16 of its 48 graduates in 2010 found jobs after graduation. Only 41 percent of Oikos’s vocational nursing graduates passed the national licensing exam in 2011, according to Russ Heimerich, a spokesman for the California Department of Consumer Services, which oversees the Postsecondary Bureau. That is among the state’s lowest rates."

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Essay on why some colleges can't change | Inside Higher Ed

"Ultimately, meaningful organizational change requires courage because there are almost always individuals and groups with vested interests that actively and often vocally oppose change. Members of various interest groups have worked, often for years, to maximize, to the extent possible, the fit of their interests to the way the organization functions; they may view any change as jeopardizing the fit or benefits they have worked so hard to attain. Moreover, other institutions may be doing what your institution has been doing and it is always easier to follow the crowd than to defy it. In the end, meaningful organizational change entails risk and requires leaders who are willing and able to persuade enough stakeholders that any threats to their interests are more than compensated for by the benefits to be obtained through meaningful and potentially beneficial change."

Robert J. Sternberg is provost, senior vice president, and Regents Professor of Psychology and Education at Oklahoma State University. He is a past president of the American Psychological Association, treasurer of the Association of American Colleges and Universities and president of the Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences.

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What's More Expensive Than College? Not Going to College

What's More Expensive Than College? Not Going to College | SCUP Links |
There is a cost to not educating young people. The evidence is literally all around us.

The International Youth Foundation's new Opportunity for Action (PDF) paper, according to The atlantic's Derek Thompson:

"Focusing on the United States and Europe, the IYF authors focus on the so-called "NEETs" of the developed world: those Not Engaged in Employment/education, or Training. A 2012 U.S. study put the social cost per NEET youth at $37,450, when you factored in lost earnings, public health spending, and other factors. That brings the total cost of 6.7 million NEET American youths to $4.75 trillion, equal to nearly a third of GDP, or half of U.S. public debt.

Statistics like this are a good reminder that, even though college tuition is famously outpacing median incomes, there is still something more expensive than going to school. Very often, that is not going to school."

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book: Reinventing Higher Education: The Promise of Innovation Reinventing Higher Education: The Promise of Innovation (9781934742877): Ben Wildavsky, Andrew Kelly, Kevin Carey: Books...

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MOOCs, Large Courses Open to All, Topple Campus Walls

MOOCs, Large Courses Open to All, Topple Campus Walls | SCUP Links |

"[T]his course, Building a Search Engine, is taught by two prominent computer scientists, Sebastian Thrun, a Stanford research professor and Google fellow, and David Evans, a professor on leave from the University of Virginia.

The big names have been a big draw. Since Udacity, the for-profit startup running the course, opened registration on Jan. 23, more than 90,000 students have enrolled in the search-engine course and another taught by Mr. Thrun, who led the development of Google’s self-driving car.

Welcome to the brave new world of Massive Open Online Courses — known as MOOCs — a tool for democratizing higher education. While the vast potential of free online courses has excited theoretical interest for decades, in the past few months hundreds of thousands of motivated students around the world who lack access to elite universities have been embracing them as a path toward sophisticated skills and high-paying jobs, without paying tuition or collecting a college degree. And in what some see as a threat to traditional institutions, several of these courses now come with an informal credential (though that, in most cases, will not be free)."

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Why MITx may herald the dawn of disruption for higher education

Macquarie University Vice-Chancellor Steven Schwartz Blog (Why MITx may herald the dawn of disruption for higher education #SCUP: disruption tsunami on its way...)...

It's pretty simple: "MIT plans to create a not-for-profit body that will offer certification for online learners of MIT coursework. In other words, with MITx there will be structured study leading to a credential." Not from MIT, but from MITx. Worthless, right? Hmm

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'No More Excuses': Michael M. Crow on Analytics

'No More Excuses': Michael M. Crow on Analytics | SCUP Links |

In an interview with EDUCAUSE's Diana Oblinger, ASU's president, Michael Crow, says that we’re about to disaggregate courses from semesters. That's a big deal. Lots of planning ahead.

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The Diane Rehm Show: Universities Shift to Online Learning

The Diane Rehm Show: Universities Shift to Online Learning | SCUP Links |

Media at PNR this week includes a Diane Rehm show about future consequences of mass online learning with guests Selingo, Koller, Cary, and Struck. Audio and text available.

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As Elite Colleges Invite the World Online, Questions Remain on Their Business Plans - Next - The Chronicle of Higher Education

They're exciting. Yes. But we, also, have wondered what the business plan is. The Chronicle editor Jeff Selingo muses:

"With some real dollars at stake, do these elite universities know something about the future of higher education that the rest of us don’t? Or with their billions in endowments, do they have the luxury of throwing money at ideas, to see which ones stick? Or are they simply altruistic, and want to provide free education to the world?

From where I sit, it doesn’t seem like any of these universities have a business plan for these massive open online courses or MOOC’s, as they are known. In recent weeks, at various gatherings, I’ve heard plenty of ideas for a business model, although I’m not sure all of them are viable. They could eventually follow the iTunes model and sell access to a course for $1.99. That starts adding up to real money if you get 100,000+ people to sign up. Depending on the course subject, they could sell access to corporate recruiters. That’s essentially what Sebastian Thrun did last fall, when he sent the résumés of his best students from his Stanford MOOC to Google and other Silicon Valley companies.

Perhaps the best idea I’ve heard so far is that the universities could use these courses as an alternative admissions system."

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The Fallacy of Information Overload - Brian Solis

The Fallacy of Information Overload - Brian Solis | SCUP Links |

Solis has a rewarding frame within which to look the pros and cons of "information overload"from both a personal and a planing professional view: "We are the engineers of the mdeia levees that presently overflow."

"Social media has gifted us a new democracy. And with it, the ability to connect to people around the world and create, share, and devour knowledge, entrainment, and irrelevant information at will. It’s as intimidating as it is beautiful. We have passed the Attention Rubicon and there is no turning back. The towers of social media will not come crumbling down upon the foundation of a former reality when we or the generations before us led a much simpler life. The key for us now is forged in self-control or some form of aspirational governance that focuses our connects and interactions.

Indeed, there is a very real human cost of social connectivity. But, the symptoms of information overload are only a reflection of our inability or lack of desire to bring order to our chaos. See, we are the engineers of the media levees that prevent overflow."

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20 Things Disrupting Education Right Now | Edudemic

20 Things Disrupting Education Right Now | Edudemic | SCUP Links |

We're not sure that we agree that all of these are either (a) disruptive or (b)n different from each other. What do you think of this (alphabetical) list?

  • Apple Textbook Initiative
  • Charter Schools
  • Common Core Adoption (i.e., one set of national standards)
  • Flipped Classroom
  • Gender-specific Classes
  • Growth of homeschooling
  • iPad Implementation
  • iTunes U
  • Khan Academy
  • MIT OpenCourseWare
  • MITx
  • New Learning Models
  • Personalized Learning
  • Professional Learning Communities
  • Project-Based Learning
  • Race to the Top
  • Service-based Learning
  • Smartphone Integration
  • Social Media Integration
  • Teach for America
  • Traditional Differentiation
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The Game Has Changed (EDUCAUSE Review) | Must-Read

A must-read by Charles Henry and Brad Wheeler in EDUCAUSE Review. The list of 8 things the academy can do to rethink and relabance sound like a list of integrated planning tenets.

  1. "Stop thinking about projects as isolated, local activities. Rather, every major project is an element of a much wider environment of activity that needs to be federated at some level as a functional facet of the whole."
  2. "Promote large-scale efforts that bring together multiple elements of higher education (libraries, IT departments, scholarly societies, administration, research centers, publishers) and eschew proposals that rely on a single community or profession to solve a major challenge."

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'Billions in the Current System = Much Resistance to Major Change?

“There are also billions of dollars resting in the current system, so there is much resistance to major change.”

Kathy Davidson interviewed in Learning, Freedom and the Web by Anya Kamenetz and others, a publication available at no cost in both PDF and HTML versions.

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$25 million investment backs startup aiming to create elite university | Inside Higher Ed

by Doug Lederman at Inside Higher Ed: (Here's a Chronicle report by Nick DeSantis.

"Whatever becomes of the Minerva Project, you have to give the big names behind it credit for aiming high (at least with its rhetoric, which is the only way to judge it thus far).

"This is not a technology play, it's not a disruption, and I'm not saying, 'Forget your degree, you don't need one,' " like Peter Thiel's experiment offering students $100,000 to forgo college, Nelson said. 'I'm not saying any of those things may be invalid; there are plenty of good reasons to have badges [as an alternative to college credentials], and to expand existing programs beyond their reach.'
What hasn't been done yet, though, is an effort to put a truly rigorous higher education in the hands of many more students at a lower price, he said."

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David Helfand’s New Quest

David Helfand’s New Quest | SCUP Links |

"No tenure. No departments. This university challenges typical teaching, and learning." This is Quest University, and its president, David Helfand, will join us to present the concurrent session, "Big Site, Small Classes, Smart Funding: Building Canada's Quest University," about the creation and success of Quest.

More about Quest University:

"You’ve eliminated departments. Why?

Departments are the source of much evil in universities. They waste enormous amounts of time and emotional energy by arguing about space and “faculty lines” and resources, while walling off disciplines from innovative approaches to knowledge and restricting students and faculty alike to narrow, often outmoded paths of inquiry.

What’s Quest’s biggest challenge?

We have to make sure people’s inherent conservatism isn’t allowed to come through. We have to institutionalize revolution, or we’ll end up with departments and semester-long courses."

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Fish? Check. Barrel? Check. | Inside Higher Ed

Dean Dad boils down the reasons behind the higher education cost spiral:

"The first, which is easy to explain, is cuts in public appropriations. My own college gets about five million per year less from the state than it got four years ago. (That’s over ten percent of its total budget.) That’s before adjusting for inflation. In many other states, it’s considerably worse. You simply cannot remove that much money that quickly without consequences.

The only problem with this theory is that while it’s unassailable in explaining the last few years, it isn’t as strong in explaining the preceding decades. Yes, the recent fiscal sinkhole matters, but tuition went up fast during better years, too.

The longer-term issue is productivity. And no, that’s not a euphemism for “you’re too lazy.” It’s simply to say that if you continue to measure learning in units of time, and those units don’t change, then your productivity increases will forever be zero, by definition. When the rest of the economy grows a few percent per year for decades, the gap compounds. It’s called “Baumol’s cost disease,” and it’s endemic to education and health care. And that’s true whether the professors or doctors are lazy, conscientious, or even heroic. It’s not about them."

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The Student Swirl - Next - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Jeff Selingo in The Chronicle:

"We’ve seen in the disruption of other information industries in recent years that change has resulted in the decline of the middleman—record companies, newspapers, and book publishers. The relationship is increasingly between the producer (in the case of higher ed, the professor) and the consumer (the student). It makes physical campuses and institutions less important, at least to those students who need to move around."

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For-profit group's new leader calls for self-regulation and collaboration | Inside Higher Ed

"Steve Gunderson is determined to stay positive as the leader of for-profit colleges’ primary trade group. It won’t be easy." The title link is to Inside Higher Ed. Here's a similar story in The Chronicle.

A tough job, at a tough time. We hope he'll share some of those challenges and opportunities with us at SCUP–47 in Chicago, in July.

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