[iDC] Has anyone seen this

Saul Ostrow sostrow at cia.edu
Tue Oct 18 17:16:44 UTC 2011

The College of 2020 according to the Chronicle of Higher Education

Aaron Brower's scholarship and teaching focuses on the transition from high school to college, and on a variety of issues related to college student life and "integrative learning" innovations in college education. The basic idea is that academic and social outcomes are produced when college environments blend in- and out-of-class learning and experiences to create communities of students, faculty and staff who share common learning goals (i.e., learning communities).

The Chronicle of Higher Education has posted the first of three research reports on future trends in higher education.  This first one, The College of 2020:  Students, reports trends of students--demographic information, interests, use of technology, which sectors of higher education are growing at a faster pace, part-time vs. full-time status, etc. Click here for the free executive summary.

This is a well-done piece, and their primary questions, "What is college, and why should I go?" are exactly right.  One premise of this report is that two economic models of colleges will survive:  4-year residential and research institutions with already-recognized and respected brand names (privates like Harvard as well as public flagships like UW-Madison), and the for-profit institutions that rely heavily on on-line and flexible educational degrees.  Those that are somewhere in the middle are going to have a very rough time.  Here are some of the conclusions from the report:

   * Fewer and fewer students will seek full-time, four-year programs due to their expense, inconvenience, and inflexibility of programs.

   * Thus, an emphasis will be on providing cheap, convenient, flexible education that students can access anywhere.

   * Three-year degree programs will proliferate.

   * To attract more students, colleges may begin to offer one-year remedial programs to high school students who are not yet prepared for college work.  At the same time, adult education and college education will increasingly merge.

   * At some point just after 2020, minority students will outnumber whites on college campuses for the first time.

   * Even for universities that are largely residential, "hybrid" courses will increasingly become the norm:  classroom discussions, office hours, lectures, study groups, and assignments will move on line.

   * Here's a quote I particularly liked because of things I've already mentioned about web 2.0:  "The Internet has made most information available to everyone, and faculty members must take that into consideration when teaching. There is very little that students cannot find on their own if they are inspired to do so. And many of them will be surfing the Net in class. The faculty member, therefore, may become less an oracle and more an organizer and guide, someone who adds perspective and context, finds the best articles and research, and sweeps away misconceptions and bad information." (emphasis added).
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