The Future of Higher Education
The ongoing increase in tuition prices compared to stagnating wages for college graduates poses challenges for the prospective collegiate, particularly one requiring student loans. The added cost of room and board, transportation and other incidentals are an added burden to the gross price of higher education. For students and families on a budget, finding ways to cut costs is an important consideration. The obvious alternative to a four-year degree without paying a premium is online higher education. But is online education really the same?
High-Cost Higher Ed: College in the 21st Century
Parents and students beware: tuition has increased yet again! In what has become a rather predictable pattern since the 1980s, the sticker price for average tuition in the United States has increased faster than the rate of inflation. Weighing in at an average of $19,189 for public, four-year universities and $39,529 for private universities (including fees and board) (1), the annual cost of attending a four-year university has reached new heights – and with it, student loan debt. As a result, many students and families are having to decide between getting a degree and facing decades of debt payments after they graduate.
What Could Another Recession Mean for Public Education? A Look Back at 2008
Following a three-week government shutdown, recent sluggishness in the markets and the longest economic expansion since the Great Depression, one cannot help but wonder whether an official downturn is on the horizon. Many economists are forecasting slower growth in 2019, but the question remains, will it morph into a full-blown recession? When it comes to recessions, we see business activity slow down, profits shrink and layoffs occur. What about the effects on public education, where the entire system is financed through public funds? Let’s take a look at the impact of the most recent Great Recession.
The Four-Day School Week: Shaving Costs with a Shorter Schedule
Did someone say, “three-day weekend?” Recent years have seen an increasing number of U.S. school districts electing to truncate the traditional five-day school week by one day in the wake of tightened budgets and decreased funding. While considered one of the more creative solutions available to alleviate cost constraints within the education system, educators are left wondering how a shorter week may impact student outcomes.
How the Internet of Things (IoT) Will Revolutionize Education
There is no doubt that the internet has revolutionized the way that educational content is delivered. From online courses to virtual reality, the internet gives students and educators the ability to connect with other people and access more content than ever before. Moreover, with the advent of the Internet of Things, the ability to customize and enhance learning content and processes is set to improve even further.
How Core is Core Curriculum in Higher Education?
Once upon a time, every college in the U.S. had a core curriculum that every student was required to complete. Today, most universities still implement a core curriculum for all students irrespective of major, but it tends to include courses offered across a broad set of topics. Comprised of the first 30 to 45 undergraduate hours, subject areas typically include history, humanities, mathematics, physical sciences, creative arts and politics.
Embracing Open Educational Resources ("OER"): The Benefits of an Open Learning Culture
The Current State of Educational Basal Content
It’s no secret that college textbooks are becoming increasingly expensive. While the discount textbook market has seen significant growth over the past decade, the average cost of a traditional college textbook has grown at a whopping three times the rate of inflation since 1978. That means that students are paying upwards of $1,200 for textbooks and supplies each year. Combined with burdensome increases in higher education tuition costs, 65% of students decide against purchasing any course materials at all.
How Does Online Learning Stack Up Against the Traditional Classroom?
Online Learning Programs
The prevalence of distance or online learning programs has grown consistently for more than a decade, driven by more and more people seeking flexible and affordable options to further their education and open the door to new career opportunities. Notably, the 2017 Distance Education Enrollment Report prepared by the Digital Learning Compass organization indicates the number of enrollments for online programs has grown for 14 straight years with more than 6 million students enrolled in online courses in the U.S. during 2015.
Out with the Old, In with the New
Vocational training is out, and Career and Technical Education (“CTE”) is in. They sound similar, but is there a difference? Last century’s vocational programs included training for various jobs such as a trade worker or technician. The primary objective was to prepare high school students not seeking higher education for the work force after graduation. In recent years this has changed. CTE offers a more extensive pathway to success, one that prepares students of all ages for higher education as well as meaningful jobs in high demand 21st century trades and professions. The objective of CTE is to align high school education with postsecondary options as well as prepare students for a career at whatever point they decide to pursue one.
Trends in 21st Century Classroom Design
It is said that the some of the most valuable learning experiences occur outside of the classroom. While real-world experiences are undoubtedly critical for one’s development, could this well-known adage also stem from a century of ineffective classroom design? A growing number of educators are starting to think so. As technology transforms curriculum and facilitates teaching, it has become apparent that standard desks in neatly aligned rows are no longer sufficient to engender optimal outcomes for both students and teachers. Instead, educators are opting for flexible learning spaces that integrate technology, encourage connectivity and emphasize hands-on learning. As a result, the traditional classroom is undergoing some big changes – from the type of furniture, to tools, to layouts.