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http://www.randybest.com Wed, 08 Apr 2015 15:29:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 Randy Best on Voyager Expanded Learning http://www.randybest.com/randy-best-on-voyager-expanded-learning http://www.randybest.com/randy-best-on-voyager-expanded-learning#comments Wed, 08 Apr 2015 15:28:24 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=1066 Continue reading ]]> Randy Best on Voyager Expanded Learning

Between 2001 and 2004, Voyager Expanded Learning became the most effective reading program for K-4 students in U.S. public schools. The program was so consistently successful in leading to fluency among all children that the company guaranteed 100% literacy for its users, offering money back to any student who failed to read at grade level after 2 years in Voyager.

Voyager promoted the program by submitting itself to independent evaluations conducted by hundreds of school districts, states’ departments of education and assessment of outcomes of hundreds of thousands of students through DIBELS, a widely used reading evaluation system and NAPE, another independent evaluator. Pre- and post-evaluations were routinely conducted in thousands of classrooms, which showed unprecedented gains in reading levels among children with diverse backgrounds. As an example, a longitudinal study completed in 2006, which included 35,000 primarily disadvantaged students from 86 districts, demonstrated that literacy can be obtained by 90-95 percent of all children by third grade. After four years in the Voyager’s Universal Literacy program, 91 percent of third graders were on-track readers compared to 66 percent in other reading programs.

When Reading First was introduced under No Child Left Behind in 2002, Voyager effectively marketed itself by publishing student outcomes, qualifying it to receive federal funding. The funding was distributed through states to independent school districts, allowing them to select from numerous reading programs that met the guidelines of No Child Left Behind. The primary beneficiaries of this funding were the major book publishers like McGraw Hill, Houghton Mifflin and Scott Foresman.

In late 2004 V-Math was launched and Voyager teacher training programs were expanded nationally. By 2005 Voyager was serving millions of students annually and districts were renewing their contracts with Voyager at a rate in excess of 98 percent because the programs were so effective. In January 2005 Voyager was sold to a public company, ProQuest.

The track record of Voyager serving over 3 million students annually across 1,000 school districts was unprecedented for a new research-based reading program. Its rapid growth and expanding market share led to criticism from competitors and eventually vague and unsubstantiated charges, alleging that Voyager benefitted from unfair competitive advantages though no official body ever questioned or investigated Voyager.

Voyager’s entire success lay in its strategy to build the most comprehensive, research-based reading program in history, its willingness to invest over the years in research while sustaining substantial losses and to submit its programs with complete transparency to the widest scrutiny and most intense evaluation any reading program has ever received. Its proven outcomes led to Voyager winning substantial business from most of the largest school districts across America, including New York City; Los Angeles; Chicago; Dade County, Florida; Clark County, Nevada; Dallas; Houston and hundreds more.

Believing that the results spoke for themselves, Voyager never responded to any criticism, which I strongly believe was unwise. By taking the higher ground, critics went unchallenged and the facts around Voyager’s considerable contributions to the science of reading have gone unrecognized except by the millions of benefiting children, their parents and the more than a thousand school districts that used and continue to use Voyager because of its low cost and consistent and reliable success in teaching children to read with fluency.  

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Press Release – Academic Partnerships Adds Four Top Specializations Partners http://www.randybest.com/press-release-academic-partnerships-adds-four-top-specializations-partners http://www.randybest.com/press-release-academic-partnerships-adds-four-top-specializations-partners#comments Wed, 08 Apr 2015 05:08:18 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=1052 Continue reading ]]> Press Release - Academic Partnerships Adds Four Top Specializations Partners

DALLAS (March. 26, 2015)
Academic Partnerships (AP), a global provider of online services for higher education, today announced the addition of more than 40 new Specializations developed at the Judge Business School and Queens' Collegeat the University of Cambridge, the UCLA Anderson School of Management, the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business, Rice University and Rice University's Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business. This exclusive group of providers will offer their Specializations through a unique university-to-university model.

AP Specializations are a global credential for international higher education and are designed to expand access to academic programs from the world's best universities to large numbers of global students. They consist of two or more Specialization Certificates, which are derived from courses in degree programs and are taught by distinguished scholars from provider institutions. AP Specializations are distributed through host universities, which are the top schools in countries around the world. Host universities incorporate AP Specializations in their on-campus curriculum or have their students take them concurrently with degree programs, assuring that all enrolled students receive a Specialization Certificate from a premier global brand.

"AP Specializations provide every university with the perfect visiting professor – distinguished, authoritative and inspirational," said Lord John Eatwell, president of Queens' College, University of Cambridge. "Each AP Specialization is designed to complement and enhance the university's own courses, providing support for professors and access for students to receive certification from leading international institutions."

AP's university-to-university distribution model represents the first large-scale collaboration between some of the world's most respected universities. It provides a blended learning experience for students who take AP Specializations online and receive support from the host institution's on-campus faculty, which translates into strong learning outcomes and high completion rates. Students enrolled in AP Specializations are academically qualified, having met the high admissions standards of outstanding host universities.

"The integrity of AP Specializations is based on the indisputable competence and expertise of their course authors, the reputations of the entities that grant them and the content's alignment with the market," said Clayton Christensen, professor at the Harvard Business School. "AP Specializations are designed to optimize time and minimize cost," he added.

The global distribution of AP Specializations is made possible through a new, advanced e-commerce platform, the AP Open Network powered by Canvas, which enables the best universities in the world to serve an unlimited number of students with unrivaled quality. The AP Open Network is the world's first fully integrated enrollment, payment and course delivery system. This unique cloud-based platform delivers content on demand on all devices and in all major languages, and collects payments in local currencies.

The distribution of AP Specializations and the support of host universities are facilitated by 12 global service hubs, which Academic Partnerships has established in Mexico, Colombia, Peru, the U.K., Spain, South Africa, India, Indonesia, Australia, the Philippines,Hong Kong and China.

Additional outstanding provider universities will be announced shortly. 

About Academic Partnerships 

Academic Partnerships (AP) assists universities in converting their traditional degree programs and certificates into an online format, recruits qualified students, and supports enrolled students through graduation.  Serving public and private not-for-profit universities in the United States and top international institutions, AP is guided by the principle that the opportunities presented through distance learning make higher education more accessible and achievable for students in the United States and around the world.  The company was founded by social entrepreneur Randy Best, an 18-year veteran of developing innovative learning solutions to improve education.  For more information, please visit www.academicpartnerships.com.

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Press Release – Academic Partnerships Appoints Dr. Ruth Tarantine as Director of Academic Services for Nursing Programs http://www.randybest.com/press-release-academic-partnerships-appoints-dr-ruth-tarantine-as-director-of-academic-services-for-nursing-programs http://www.randybest.com/press-release-academic-partnerships-appoints-dr-ruth-tarantine-as-director-of-academic-services-for-nursing-programs#comments Wed, 08 Apr 2015 05:03:59 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=1049 Continue reading ]]> Press Release - Academic Partnerships Appoints Dr. Ruth Tarantine as Director of Academic Services for Nursing Programs

DALLAS (March. 24, 2015)
Academic Partnerships (AP), one of the world’s largest online service providers for higher education, announced today it has appointed Dr. Ruth Tarantine to direct its academic support for nursing programs. A national expert in the design and delivery of scalable programs with clinical components, Tarantine further expands Academic Partnerships’ expertise in technology-aided learning and innovation in nursing education.

Tarantine joins Academic Partnerships from South University where, as the department chair for online graduate nursing programs, she oversaw academic quality, rigor and compliance with strict accreditation requirements. A highly experienced nursing faculty member and a 20-year veteran nurse at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Tarantine is one of a few national experts who have successfully scaled complex nursing practica through innovation.

“Ruth is an excellent addition to the Academic Partnerships team and brings us a truly unique expertise,” said Academic Partnerships Chairman and CEO Randy Best. “With her background as an RN, DNP, nurse administrator, professor and online learning expert, she is a great asset to our university partners who -- through nursing education -- are addressing a great market need and, as a result, improving the quality of patient care.”

Tarantine joins Academic Partnerships as the company accelerates the growth of its health care division to meet the demand for affordable, high-quality online nursing programs designed to fit nurses’ busy lives.

“Academic Partnerships has an unprecedented track record in significantly growing nursing programs for public universities with unrivaled quality and helping practicing nurses grow professionally through higher education,” said Tarantine. “It is exciting to join a company that is deeply committed to the advancement of health care through education and innovation, and I am looking forward to collaborating with our partner universities to expand the reach of their nursing programs.”

For more information on Academic Partnerships or its partner universities and programs, please visit www.academicpartnerships.com

About Academic Partnerships 

Academic Partnerships (AP) assists universities in converting their traditional degree programs and certificates into an online format, recruits qualified students, and supports enrolled students through graduation.  Serving public and private not-for-profit universities in the United States and top international institutions, AP is guided by the principle that the opportunities presented through distance learning make higher education more accessible and achievable for students in the United States and around the world.  The company was founded by social entrepreneur Randy Best, an 18-year veteran of developing innovative learning solutions to improve education.  For more information, please visit www.academicpartnerships.com.

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Press Release – Lord John Eatwell Joins Academic Partnerships’ Senior Advisory Board http://www.randybest.com/press-release-lord-john-eatwell-joins-academic-partnerships-senior-advisory-board http://www.randybest.com/press-release-lord-john-eatwell-joins-academic-partnerships-senior-advisory-board#comments Wed, 08 Apr 2015 04:58:44 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=1045 Continue reading ]]> Press Release - Lord John Eatwell Joins Academic Partnerships' Senior Advisory Board

DALLAS (March. 18, 2015)
Academic Partnerships, one of the world's largest online service providers for higher education, announced today that Lord John Eatwell has joined the company as a senior advisor. Eatwell, president of Queens' College at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, is an internationally recognized economist and one of Britain's most sought-after financial experts.

"We are pleased to welcome Lord Eatwell to our team of esteemed advisors," said Randy Best, chairman and CEO of Academic Partnerships. "In addition to his impressive academic career as a professor and administrator at Cambridge, Lord Eatwell is one of the most respected thought leaders in higher education today. His insights, particularly related to the globalization of post-secondary education, will be invaluable to Academic Partnerships' leadership team and our existing and future university partners as we continue on our mission of expanding access to top-quality higher education through technology."

"We are standing at the precipice of a great transformation of higher education, and I believe Academic Partnerships has the experience, innovative drive and will to lead us into the new age," said Eatwell. "I'm pleased to have the opportunity to play a role in its efforts."

Eatwell is a prolific author of numerous books, book chapters, articles and papers spanning topics in economics and financial regulations. His publications include "Global Finance at Risk: The Case for International Regulation" (New Press, 2001), "International Capital Markets" (Oxford University Press, 2002), "Financial Supervision and Risk Management in the EU" (EU Parliament, 2007), and "Global Governance of Financial Systems: The Legal and Economic Regulation of Systemic Risk" (Oxford University Press, 2006). He has been a teaching fellow at Harvard University and a visiting professor at Columbia University, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the University of Amsterdam and the University of Southern California. He founded the Institute for Public Policy Research, one of Britain's leading think tanks, and served as professor of Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research in New York. In 1992, Eatwell entered the House of Lords and between 1993 and 1997 was principal opposition spokesman on Treasury and Economic Affairs, a post he resumed from 2010 to 2013. He was formerly chairman of the British Library and is currently financial commissioner for Jersey and chairman of the Royal Opera House Pension Fund Trustees.

Eatwell was educated at Queens' College at the University of Cambridge, and at Harvard University as a Kennedy Scholar.  

About Academic Partnerships 

Academic Partnerships is a leading online service provider for higher education globally. The company assists universities in converting their on-campus degree programs into an online format, recruits qualified students for those programs, and supports enrolled students through graduation. Serving public and private not-for-profit universities in the United States and top international institutions, Academic Partnerships is guided by the principle that the opportunities presented through technology-aided learning make higher education more accessible and achievable. The company was founded by a social entrepreneur Randy Best, who has spent nearly 20 years developing innovative learning solutions to improve education.  For more information, please visit www.academicpartnerships.com.

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Have MOOCs Helped or Hurt? http://www.randybest.com/have-moocs-helped-or-hurt http://www.randybest.com/have-moocs-helped-or-hurt#comments Wed, 08 Apr 2015 04:49:42 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=1041 Continue reading ]]> Have MOOCs Helped or Hurt?

Inside Higher Ed | by Randy Best (Jan. 9, 2015)
As the hype around MOOCs has subsided, a frequently asked question in university circles today is: Who have massive open online courses helped or hurt?

Providing free and open access to content from revered institutions is laudable. But enrollments at elite colleges’ MOOCs do not translate into revenue at the vast majority of colleges and universities, many of them already cash-strapped. And learning that fails to deliver credit that leads to a credential may not yield much for students, even if they enjoy the courses. MOOCs may have been more faddish than altruistic.

For MOOCs to be important long term, they must be more than a curiosity. A 2014 study from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education found that only 4 percent of those who had registered for a MOOC actually completed it. The curious are obviously much less likely to see a course through to completion than are serious students seeking a credential to help them advance in their lives.

Studies like the one out of Penn suggest that MOOCs may have little long-term utility for students. And for institutions, the risks of issuing credit for MOOCs could have a serious impact on their operating income. Most of those who have created MOOCs have invested a lot of sweat equity in return for relatively little, and no meaningful income for provider universities that contributed their brand and reputation to support the concept.

Higher education needs to be affordable, but it cannot be free. As aptly observed by Michael Cusumano of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the software, music, video, book publishing, newspaper, and magazine industries are “still struggling to recover from the impact of free,” and many companies within those industries never did. In fact, two-thirds of the public software product companies operating in 1998 had shuttered by 2006. While a variety of factors may have contributed to their demise, the proliferation of free products was chief among them, points out Cusumano, a fact that should be kept in mind as we evaluate the impact of MOOCs on higher education.

At a time when many colleges and universities are struggling to justify their value proposition and find financial sustainability, marking their core product to zero seems to be misguided, an observation that is gaining currency among higher educators worldwide. This practice also raises a question whether free implies little value.

Giving away education can make sense in some cases. For instance, the country of Colombia, which has offered MOOC-like courses through SENA, its agency focused on providing practical and technical educational courses to increase employment, and India, which is considering putting high-demand courses online for workforce training may prove that free and open courses online can be effective in up-skilling societies. It is important to keep in mind, however, that these initiatives are seen as a public good and, as such, are fully funded by the government and not by institutions that need to find their way to self-sufficiency.

Using technology to deliver relevant, affordable, and credential-bearing education from top universities to help more citizens progress in their lives is within the incredible potential of the Internet and can be done inexpensively and at scale, as MOOCs have demonstrated.

While the participation of top universities in the delivery of MOOCs has helped further legitimize online learning and infuse higher education with much needed innovation, it has not proven to be the anticipated game changer for either students or universities. History has shown us that giveaways are a gambler’s game and not a strategy for a sustainable future.  

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Building a Global University Brand http://www.randybest.com/building-a-global-university-brand-2 http://www.randybest.com/building-a-global-university-brand-2#comments Wed, 08 Apr 2015 03:59:24 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=1033 Continue reading ]]> Building a Global University Brand

The Economist (Jan. 30, 2014)
These are unnerving times for higher education worldwide.
After a four-decade rise in global demand, universities are grappling with powerful forces colliding at once: reduced government support, rising public skepticism about the value of a degree, increased institutional competition and the emergence of disruptive technology.

Adding to these pressures is a seismic shift in global demographics. Demand for higher education is levelling off in North America and Europe compared to “huge unmet demand” in emerging markets, according to a September, 2013 forecast by the London-based Observatory on Borderless Higher Education. In the United States, the number of high school students is not expected to peak again until 2021, according to the National Centre for Education Statistics, creating excess capacity. By contrast, India will account for one-quarter of 18-22 year olds by 2020, predicts the United Nations, with insufficient university seats to serve them.

By 2020, about 200 million young people worldwide will have degrees -- 40 per cent of them elite and middle class students from China and India -- according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). By 2025, the number of those travelling abroad for a degree could double from today’s estimate of 4.3 million students.

In response, universities are eager to raise their global profile to ensure their long-term financial viability and create a sustainable business model. Public institutions that once relied on government funding and tuition hikes for revenue now are turning to social media, online learning and new credentials to make their mark with international students.

“It’s always been about prestige and reputation,” says University of Toronto professor of higher education Glen Jones. “Now with global competition and new media, reputation simply becomes increasingly important and rankings play into that.” With business models in flux, adds Jones, “part of the answer is to find other sources of revenue, which is why reputation becomes such a big factor.”

With ranking-conscious elite universities intent on holding on to their place in the top echelon, middle-ranked institutions will have no easy time climbing the ladder.

“It is very uncertain terrain with serious competition on a worldwide scale,” says Francisco Marmelejo, lead tertiary education specialist at the World Bank. “There will be significant disruption in the way higher education operates and will operate... this is a trend that is unavoidable.”

Using new tools 

Historically, universities relied on exchanges of students and faculty to build their overseas profile. Over the past decade, some institutions have added smaller-scale online programmes and built overseas branch campuses (there are now at least 200 worldwide), with mixed success.

“There is a history of schools going into countries and a few years later pulling out,” says Andrew Crisp of CarringtonCrisp, a Londonbased education marketing consulting firm. “It is pushing schools to look at more modern methods of raising the brand rather than bricks and mortar.”

At a minimum, “modern methods” translate to smartly designed websites delivering key messages to a target audience.

The University of Buffalo (UB), which ranks among the top 20 US institutions for international enrolment, recruits 17% of its 28,000 students from abroad with the help of its site. UB pioneered a “high touch” strategy in the late 1980s that relied on face-to-face meetings with prospective students, and even today is one of a few publicly funded state institutions that travel overseas to meet students and families at recruitment fairs. However, it now competes with scores of schools from the US, the UK, Australia and Canada, says Steven Shaw, assistant vice-provost and director of international admissions.

To bolster its face-to-face pitch, the university has revamped its website after spending a year researching what prospective students value most—a safe and welcoming campus, personal connections and a globally-enriched curriculum. “It is not your grandmother’s website,” says Rebecca Bernstein, UB’s director of strategy and online communications. “It is filled with information based on research and needs that will close the deal on international recruiting.”

Schools have also been using social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to help them tailor messages to prospective candidates. Increasingly, students themselves are enlisted as virtual ambassadors to sell peers on their institution, responding to granular questions and sharing information based on their own experience. “We now have the technology that allows broader conversations than we have ever been able to have, and that requires paying a lot more attention to the conversation,” says Michael Stoner, president of mStoner, a US higher-education marketing and branding consultancy. On social media, the university initiates a conversation to send out official messages to its target audience while students use the same sites to talk to peers for informal insights on the institution.

“Everything is connected,” says Stoner. “If you are telling kids from China that you are a welcoming community, you had better be able to demonstrate that,” he says. “It is easy enough for students to find out without visiting the campus because they can access social media and find other Chinese students to see what is their experience.”

The MOOC method 

Many institutions of higher learning believe that Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) offer a promising way to polish their reputation for innovation and grow beyond their geographical boundaries. Since 2012, these free and mostly non-credentialed courses have attracted more than six million students from around the world.

But the jury is out on MOOCs, not least because their designers have yet to develop a sustainable business model. Despite the “wow” factor of tens of thousands of students signing up for a single MOOC, participation and completions are low, according to early evaluations. And contrary to initial forecasts, a July 2013 survey by the University of Pennsylvania found that the majority of those who signed up for a MOOC already had a college degree. In developing countries, participants were more affluent and better educated than the general population. Still, a number of small and mid-size institutions see the potential to secure a following by offering specialty courses in a MOOC format or to embed them as part of on-campus campus-based and online courses.

The first wave of MOOCs helped to burnish the reputations of the top universities, and institutions continue to use the online courses to promote their brands. Britain’s Open University, with a 40-year history of distance learning, established Future Learn last year as the first UK MOOC platform, working with more than 20 top UK universities, the British Council, the British Library and the British Museum. “Universities see themselves as global players,” says Mike Sharples, academic lead for Future Learn. “They want to show the world the quality of their teaching and learning material to attract students to degree courses.”

The University of Alberta, a top-five Canadian institution, invested US$314,000 in a high-production value MOOC to build awareness of its international reputation in paleontology research. The course attracted 20,000 participants when it started in September 2013. “As long as the MOOC is aligned with that [reputational strategy], it clearly gives us a way to talk about the U of A that we didn’t have before,” says Debra Pozega Osburn, vice-president for university relations for U of A. “Now we have several thousand people all over the world who know the university and didn’t before.”

A number of universities are moving beyond using MOOCs to build their brand awareness by creating programs to convert leisure MOOC learners into enrolled students. Earlier this year, the University of London (with 54,000 online learners and 70,000 on campus) offered four MOOCs through Coursera, attracting 210,000 registrants from more than 160 countries. Five more are scheduled for 2014. “If we can convert some of those students and make them aware of [our] international programmes, then that is a business model that makes sense to us,” says Michael Kerrison, director of academic development for University of London International Programmes.

MOOCs may become an integral part of higher education, but some question their staying power. “It is way too soon to tell,” says Allan Goodman, president of the US Institute for International Education. “I would have expected MOOCs to be taking campuses by storm and they aren’t yet.” But what they have done, unreservedly, is raise the profile of online learning in an international context.

Credentialing and affordability 

In the hunt for sustainability, some schools are mixing the MOOC format with more traditional courses, offering selective programs at the graduate level. Georgia Institute of Technology, an Atlanta-based university ranked 25th in the world by the Times Higher Education allows MOOC students to earn a Master level computer science degree. The program is priced at US$6,630, one-third the cost of the on-campus degree. For the initial cohort, Georgia accepted 400 students from more than 2,300 applications, with a goal of 10,000 students over three years.

MOOCs have grabbed the headlines, but other strategies are gaining traction to bring higher education within reach to a wider cohort of learners. One way is to “unbundle” credentials in bite-size pieces of learning, with specific competencies recognized through digital badges, certificates and other forms of accreditation.

In 2014, the University of Arizona’s Eller School of Management plans to offer three non-degree online “Specialisations” based on content from the school’s top-ranked, on-campus programmes in management information systems, entrepreneurship and strategic digital marketing. Aimed at those seeking job-ready skills, the new Specialisations represent a concentration of relevant knowledge in high-demand fields, with a student required to take three certificate programs, each comprised of three one-month online courses.

“This is the iTunes version of higher education,” says Joe Valacich, Eller’s director of online initiatives. “We have to create very small learning modules and have them done well. The students have to find them to be of great value,” he says of the university’s strategy. “It’s about reach. The idea that we could have hundreds of thousands of students globally all being U of A alumni is mind-blowing.”

In addition to the three initial Specialisations from the business school, Valacich says the university is “exploring the development” of additional offerings by Eller and other on-campus professional schools, such as law. “Our goal is to engage various colleges in non-degree offerings specific to a particular college as well as hybrid programs that will blend content across colleges.”

As new credentials gain ground, so does interest in competency-based education that awards degrees based on what students know, not time spent in class.

An American pioneer in this fast-growing field is Utah-based Western Governors University, an online, public institution founded in 1997 by a group of state governors to serve the country’s 37-million working adults, many of whom have some college training but no degree. Over the past five years, WGU reported a four-fold expansion in enrolment to more than 42,000 students in 50 states, with rising levels of retention, students in good academic standing and student satisfaction.

On average, students arrive with one year of college, earn a bachelor’s degree in 34 months (two years faster than at a bricks and mortar institution) and pay $6,000 a year, a fraction of tuition charged by conventional public colleges. With computer-mediated interactive instruction and full-time lecturers serving as one-on-one mentors, students advance by completing assignments that assess their knowledge of industry-vetted material.

The focus of the online university is working adults, not high school graduates headed to an on-campus college. But WGU president Robert Mendenhall says his institution’s business model is increasingly relevant given the public backlash against rising tuition and student debt.

“Having a model that says we can provide high-quality education for $6,000 a year does send a message that we need to find more efficient ways to deliver high-quality education,” he says.

Since 2010, WGU has partnered with five American states to set up online, state-based affiliates that aim to graduate adults ready to contribute to economic growth. WGU has also advised half a dozen other higher education institutions in the U.S. in the throes of adopting competency-based education.

As in the past, technology is crucial to WGU’s future. Students now can write exams from home using a webcam instead of driving to a secure site, while instructors use data analytics to assess gaps in student learning. “Over the next five years, technology will increase the gap between how effective a teacher can be in the classroom with 30 students as opposed to how effective technology can be in delivering the right thing at the right time and helping students learn more efficiently and effectively,” says Mendenhall.

Where from here? 

As online learning options and credentials proliferate in what some are now calling an era of “post-traditional higher education,” universities still need to ask the core questions: whom will they serve, and how well?

At the very least, both students and institutions are watching out for new yardsticks to measure success. For example, if a viable business case emerges for MOOCs, they will be evaluated on the number of student participants, drop-out rates, student learning satisfaction and relevance to a career. In time, say analysts, there could be global rankings for MOOCs, as now exist for top-rated global institutions. Meanwhile, badges, certificates and other credentials are in their infancy, with the onus on institutions to explain how they complement traditional forms of accreditation.

“The big challenge for providers is how to convince governments, institutions and employers that what students study not only represents new skills but is worthy of a new document or diploma or certification,” says the World Bank’s Marmolejo.

There will be no easy shortcuts for universities that want to expand their presence internationally, warns Sir John Daniel, the former head of the UK Open University: “You become a well-known global university by a long hard slog of doing things well.” 

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Op-ed: A Call for Balanced Change in American Higher Education http://www.randybest.com/op-ed-a-call-for-balanced-change-in-american-higher-education http://www.randybest.com/op-ed-a-call-for-balanced-change-in-american-higher-education#comments Wed, 08 Apr 2015 03:39:22 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=1026 Continue reading ]]> Op-ed: A Call for Balanced Change in American Higher Education

Cornell’s president looks at costs, tenure and learning outcomes, among other issues.

U.S. News and World Report | By David Skorton (Sept. 22, 2014)
I am concerned. For the first time in my 36 years in academia, the value of America’s colleges and universities is being questioned – and seriously. Is what we offer worth the money and time invested? Will a college degree really translate into a better job down the road or improve our quality of life? Couldn’t we rely more on technology and less on highly paid faculty members and expensive campuses and student amenities to deliver our “product” at lower cost?

There is no “one size fits all” solution to these questions. Colleges are delicate organisms that require careful handling when they must be handled at all. Nonetheless, we in the hallowed halls are the recipients of an enormous public investment – including our tax-exempt status – and we need to find a better balance in several areas: Costs: Higher education faces real resource constraints, but they can’t be solved solely by endless tuition increases. More public funding for public institutions would certainly help, but we can’t make college more affordable without some serious attention to cost containment – by reducing redundancies and layers of management, outsourcing services, negotiating purchasing discounts with suppliers, and finding other ways to make limited dollars go further.

College of Tomorrow 

And while excellent facilities are essential to campus quality, taking care of deferred maintenance on existing buildings should be a higher priority than new construction. Where new construction is necessary, it should be undertaken without incurring substantial debt. Tenure: Colleges traditionally grant tenure to outstanding faculty members so that they can teach, discover, create and pursue knowledge, even in controversial areas, without fear of losing their jobs. Tenure remains important to recruiting and retaining the best faculty, and by extension to institutional excellence and academic freedom, but it should be accompanied by serious post-tenure review with “teeth” to ensure continuing faculty productivity. Student learning outcomes: Increasingly, the public expects a college degree to certify that graduates can succeed in a rapidly changing workplace. Much of what makes college valuable, however, is not easily reduced to a specific set of testable skills. Moreover, course content and quality vary widely among institutions, and grade inflation has complicated the situation further, with the vast majority of students at many institutions earning A’s and B’s. We need to develop more robust measures of student learning outcomes to demonstrate what students have gained from their college careers. The role of a liberal education: In educating students for tomorrow’s jobs, we must not neglect the arts, humanities and social sciences. These disciplines help develop critical thinking, historical and cultural perspective, and the ability to analyze, synthesize and communicate. Equally important, they enrich our lives with joy, beauty and insights into the human condition that can be gained in no other way. [READ: There Is Value in Liberal Arts Education, Employers Say] The use of technology: The rise of online education has led some to predict that the traditional college, with a physical campus and resident professors, soon will be obsolete. Technology can make teaching more engaging and sometimes improve student learning. But it would be a mistake to apply technology for technology’s sake. We must demand proof of efficacy. Diversity: In selecting students, faculty and staff, we need to consider merit and the “fit” with our individual institutions, while also ensuring that the campus reflects the society it serves. All members of a university community benefit when a campus welcomes people of many backgrounds and points of view.For centuries American colleges and universities have added new functions, expanded student access and evolved to meet society’s needs. Today we in academia must take a hard look at the issues mentioned above, among others, and find a better balance so that we can continue to contribute to societal progress and individual success at a price the public can afford. 

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Higher-Ed Leaders Worry Most About Declining Enrollment, Survey Finds http://www.randybest.com/higher-ed-leaders-worry-most-about-declining-enrollment-survey-finds http://www.randybest.com/higher-ed-leaders-worry-most-about-declining-enrollment-survey-finds#comments Wed, 08 Apr 2015 03:30:27 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=1018 Continue reading ]]> Higher-Ed Leaders Worry Most About Declining Enrollment, Survey Finds

The Chronicle of Higher Education (Sept 17, 2014)

The accounting firm released its annual survey of 120 senior executives, mostly chief financial officers, chief academic officers, and controllers, at public and private colleges across the country.

Findings: 

  • Eighty-five percent of those surveyed said they were very or somewhat concerned about maintaining enrollment at their institution. That figure is 14 points higher than it was in last year’s survey and 19 points higher than in the 2012 results.

  • A major factor that could drive down enrollment is an inability to pay tuition, according to two-thirds of the survey’s respondents; it’s competition from other institutions, said half.

  • Eighty percent of those surveyed said their college would probably increase or maintain the size of its faculty. Only 13 percent said the institution planned to cut full-time faculty members and increase its number of adjuncts.

  • In response to cuts in state and federal money for higher education, 44 percent of the respondents said their college had raised tuition or planned to do so. Forty-three percent said their college would offer more online courses as a antidote to declining public support.

  • Many fewer of those surveyed said their institutions were taking measures to cut or contain their operational costs. Fewer than a third said their college would eliminate programs that have less demand, and fewer than a quarter said they would freeze faculty salaries or delay capital projects.

  • Only a third said that the leadership of their college would spend significant time and energy on strategic cost-cutting through shared services or outsourcing. Nearly half said the leadership would focus on improving student recruitment.

    Bottom Line: This year’s survey of higher-education executives underscores the dilemma that many colleges face as they deal with a declining number of high-school graduates (in much of the country) and falling state and federal spending on higher education.

    The increased competition for students compels colleges to maintain spending on academic programs and amenities at the same time that there is widespread concern about the rising price of tuition and about access for low-income students. 

    ]]> http://www.randybest.com/higher-ed-leaders-worry-most-about-declining-enrollment-survey-finds/feed 0 The Funding Squeeze http://www.randybest.com/the-funding-squeeze http://www.randybest.com/the-funding-squeeze#comments Wed, 08 Apr 2015 03:21:37 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=1014 Continue reading ]]> The Funding Squeeze

    (Aug. 4, 2014)
    The higher-education funding crisis was peaking, and the mood was grim. Into the spotlight stepped Gordon Gee, then president of Ohio State University. “The choice, it seems to me, is this: reinvention or extinction,” he told the American Council on Education in 2009. “We must become more agile, more responsive, less insular and less bureaucratic. In so doing, we will save ourselves from slouching into irrelevance.”

    In the half-decade since, Mr Gee’s call for reform has become even more urgent. In order to sustain itself for the future, today’s public university will need to transform into a different beast— leaner, meaner and taking cues from the private sector on how to do business. Leading institutions are recognising the need for change, and a number of universities are engaging more with their surrounding communities, incorporating online learning technologies and partnering with industry to support key research.

    Yet adaptation will not be painless. For decades state governments have been pulling funding from higher education. Although some universities have responded by reducing core services and turning students away, the majority have attempted to replace lost resources by hiking tuition—leaving students and the federal government to shoulder higher costs and universities with unsustainable revenue streams. Over the past two decades, tuition as a share of college revenue has doubled, while state government support has declined by approximately 33%.

    That said, many higher-education economists predict that fees will level out within the decade as the tuition bubble bursts and resets expectations for both students and institutions. Meanwhile, universities must develop new learning models that serve more students more efficiently and effectively, as well as business models for themselves that will prove sustainable over the long term.

    Tightening Belts 

    The global recession of 2008 thrust higher education into the spotlight. Millions of individuals who would normally be found in the workplace were seeking degrees instead, augmenting the already sharp rise in higher-education enrolment that began in the late 1980s and spiked with the advent of online learning and for-profit institutions in the 1990s. In the US, 21m students were enrolled in higher education in 2010 compared with merely 13m in 1987, according to a federal report on the economics of higher education. According to UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation), nearly 160m students now attend college worldwide.

    Within the US, state funding has not kept pace with increasing enrolment. On average, state support for public institutions of higher education has dropped from 60% to slightly below 40% since the 1980s. To make up the deficit, tuition at public four-year schools (which educate three-quarters of US students) has skyrocketed. Annual tuition at these schools has more than doubled—from US$3,350 in 1991 to US$8,660 in 2013.

    The drop in state support has limited access to some university systems. In 2012, the California State University system—the largest in the world—was forced to reject 20,000 eligible students. (Despite hefty tuition increases, the tuition each student pays is still less than the cost of educating that student.)

    In this stark new landscape, higher-education institutions worldwide are pressed for greater accountability and transparency, according to Ellen Hazelkorn, director of the Higher Education Policy Research Unit at the Dublin Institute of Technology. Public funding now comes with strings attached: in the US, state resolutions and the federal rankings have ushered in the rise of performance-based funding, allocating a percentage of resources based on indicators such as course completion, graduation rates or time to degree.

    “Survival is the name of the game,” Ms Hazelkorn says. “But in some cases, the ability to do what you did before but with less money is not possible.” Public institutions are now seeing greater teaching burdens, hiring and salary freezes, and departmental restructuring. In 2013, Purdue University in Illinois instituted a salary freeze for all administrative and professional staff with salaries above US$50,000, and began a programme to assess expenditures and practices across the university for potential centralization and cost-cutting.

    Coping Mechanisms and Innovation 

    In the EU, shrinking funding has sped up what some call the “modernisation of higher education”, forcing institutions to focus more sharply on their core mission and values, says Ms Hazelkorn. And in the US, cash-strapped systems with an eye towards positive change are redesigning courses and using online learning technologies to increase efficiency and enhance learning, as well as generate new revenue streams through economies of scale.

    A lack of resources has pushed California to innovate and experiment with lower-cost educational methods. Its colleges and universities have launched online-learning pilot programmes, developed virtual laboratory classes and introduced “flipped classrooms”—blended teaching that combines online lectures and supplemental instruction—to reduce bottlenecks and enhance learning. Today, more than three-fourths of higher-education students have taken a course with an online component, according to the Educause Information Technology Report 2013, a figure that is only predicted to rise.

    And it isn’t only California. Facing higher expectations from students and attempting to avoid further funding cuts due to underperformance, other colleges across the nation are attempting to use technology to transform courses. In 2009, the University of Maryland reported on the success of its course redesign programme, including a large introductory psychology lecture known for its poor attendance, high failure rate and “overwhelming” amount of material. The class was transformed into an “interactive milieu” of online labs and small-group work. By the end of the experiment, administrators managed to cut the costs of teaching assistance while increasing the scope of content and student pass rates.

    Some universities are also looking outside of traditional funding methods, partnering with industry in an effort to offset revenue decreases, expand research and prepare students for jobs after study. Ohio State University, for instance, has US$111mworth of industry-sponsored research and works with commercial institutions on programmes that range from agriculture to polymer science.

    A Clearer Future 

    The funding squeeze will not undermine the classroom experience everywhere or forever, says Morton Schapiro, a higher-education economist and president of Northwestern University. “I wouldn’t confuse the last couple of years with a permanent decline.”

    The financial crunch has not changed the way Northwestern does business; in fact, the school has admitted a more economically and racially diverse freshman class since Mr Schapiro took the helm in 2009. “A higher-education degree for most people is the best investment they will ever make,” he maintains. The more difficult task for universities will be to make sure the provision of those degrees is sustainable and their cost justified. Most schools looking to survive in an increasingly competitive and cash-strapped landscape will need to innovate and think differently about the best tools to serve their students—and their bottom line.

    http://www.economistinsights.com/leadership-talent-innovation/analysis/higher-education-21st-century/casestudies#tle-tabs-event-casestudies-the-funding-squeeze 

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    US online provider signs up La Trobe http://www.randybest.com/us-online-provider-signs-up-la-trobe http://www.randybest.com/us-online-provider-signs-up-la-trobe#comments Wed, 08 Apr 2015 03:14:46 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=1010 Continue reading ]]> US Online Provider Signs Up La Trobe

    The Australian (Jul. 24, 2014)
    COMPETITION in online learning is hotting up in Australia, with Dallas-based Academic Partnerships International moving into the local market through a deal with La Trobe University.

    Under development for the past 18 months, Specializations are designed to expand reach and increase revenues for U.S. universities, while filling a void for accessible and affordable higher education globally. 

    API’s business is to partner with universities to put traditional courses wholly online. Under the agreement API and La Trobe are planning to launch a number of online postgraduate courses.

    The two have been working together for six months and will next week launch La Trobe’s wholly online masters of nursing science, to be followed in September by an online masters of business administration.

    La Trobe is looking to target the market for professionals seeking to upgrade their skills but whose work and family commitments mean they don’t have time to enroll in traditional campus degrees.

    “Many of our students have busy schedules and have been asking us to provide better ways to both learn and earn, so they can upgrade their qualifications at a time and place that suits them. This new partnership delivers exactly that,” vice-chancellor John Dewar said in a statement.

    La Trobe said API would “help convert the programs into an online format, recruit students and support student retention efforts”.

    “API will work closely with La Trobe to ensure that the new online programs maintain the highest educational standards. The company also will use its integrated marketing and branding strategies to extend the university’s reach, increasing the enrollment of highly qualified students,” La Trobe said.

    API was founded in 2007 by US business tycoon and philanthropist Randy Best. According to his website his dyslexia has inspired him to focus the second half of his career on “pursuing solely business initiatives with a social mission that would have an enduring and positive impact on society. This commitment led to his focus on education and the welfare of children.”

    API says it has partnerships with 40 US universities.

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    The Future of Universities The Digital Degree http://www.randybest.com/the-future-of-universities-the-digital-degree http://www.randybest.com/the-future-of-universities-the-digital-degree#comments Wed, 08 Apr 2015 03:08:21 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=1005 Continue reading ]]> The Future of Universities: The Digital Degree

    The Economist (Jul. 23, 2014)
    The staid higher-education business is about to experience a welcome earthquake

    FROM Oxford’s quads to Harvard Yard and many a steel and glass palace of higher education in between, exams are giving way to holidays. As students consider life after graduation, universities are facing questions about their own future. The higher-education model of lecturing, cramming and examination has barely changed for centuries. Now, three disruptive waves are threatening to upend established ways of teaching and learning.

    On one front, a funding crisis has created a shortfall that the universities’ brightest brains are struggling to solve. Institutions’ costs are rising, owing to pricey investments in technology, teachers’ salaries and galloping administrative costs. That comes as governments conclude that they can no longer afford to subsidise universities as generously as they used to. American colleges, in particular, are under pressure: some analysts predict mass bankruptcies within two decades.

    At the same time, a technological revolution is challenging higher education’s business model. An explosion in online learning, much of it free, means that the knowledge once imparted to a lucky few has been released to anyone with a smartphone or laptop. These financial and technological disruptions coincide with a third great change: whereas universities used to educate only a tiny elite, they are now responsible for training and retraining workers throughout their careers. How will they survive this storm—and what will emerge in their place if they don’t?

    Finance 101 

    Universities have passed most of their rising costs on to students. Fees in private non-profit universities in America rose by 28% in real terms in the decade to 2012, and have continued to edge up. Public universities increased their fees by 27% in the five years to 2012. Their average fees are now almost $8,400 for students studying in-state, and more than $19,000 for the rest. At private colleges average tuition is more than $30,000 (two-thirds of students benefit from bursaries of one sort or another). American student debt adds up to $1.2 trillion, with more than 7m people in default.

    For a long time the debt seemed worth it. For most students the “graduate premium” of better-paid jobs still repays the cost of getting a degree (see article). But not all courses pay for themselves, and flatter graduate salaries mean it takes students longer to start earning good money. Student enrolments in America, which rose from 15.2m in 1999 to 20.4m in 2011, have slowed, falling by 2% in 2012.

    Small private colleges are now struggling to balance their books. Susan Fitzgerald of Moody’s, a credit-rating agency, foresees a “death spiral” of closures. William Bowen, a former president of Princeton University, talks of a “cost disease”, in which universities are investing extravagantly in shiny graduate centres, libraries and accommodation to attract students.

    Politically, the mood has shifted too. Both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have said that universities face a poor outlook if they cannot lower their costs, marking a shift from the tendency of centre-left politicians to favour more public spending on academia. Cuts made by state governments have been partly offset by an increase in federal “Pell Grants” to poor students. But American universities will soon receive more money from tuition fees than from public funding (see chart 1).

    In Asia tuition-fee inflation, running at around 5% for the past five years among leading universities, has stoked middle-class anxieties about the cost of college. Latin American countries fret about keeping fees low enough to expand the pool of graduates. In Europe high levels of subsidy, coupled with lower rates of college attendance, have insulated universities. But fees are going up: in 1998 Britain introduced annual tuition fees of just £1,000 (then $1,650), which by 2012 had increased to a maximum of £9,000 ($13,900).

    Rising costs could scarcely strike at a worse time. Around the world demand for retraining and continuing education is soaring among workers of all ages. Globalisation and automation have shrunk the number of jobs requiring a middling level of education. Those workers with the means to do so have sought more education, in an attempt to stay ahead of the labour-demand curve. In America, higher-education enrolment by students aged 35 or older rose by 314,000 in the 1990s, but by 899,000 in the 2000s.

    Improvements in machine intelligence are enabling automation to creep into new sectors of the economy, from book-keeping to retail. New online business models threaten sectors that had, until recently, weathered the internet storm. Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne, of Oxford University, reckon that perhaps 47% of occupations could be automated in the next few decades. They find that the odds of displacement drop sharply as educational attainment rises.

    iPad illuminatio mea 

    So demand for education will grow. Who will meet it? Universities face a new competitor in the form of massive open online courses, or MOOCs. These digitally-delivered courses, which teach students via the web or tablet apps, have big advantages over their established rivals. With low startup costs and powerful economies of scale, online courses dramatically lower the price of learning and widen access to it, by removing the need for students to be taught at set times or places. The low cost of providing courses—creating a new one costs about $70,000—means they can be sold cheaply, or even given away. Clayton Christensen of Harvard Business School considers MOOCs a potent “disruptive technology” that will kill off many inefficient universities. “Fifteen years from now more than half of the universities [in America] will be in bankruptcy,” he predicted last year.

    The first MOOC began life in Canada in 2008 as an online computing course. It was 2012, dubbed the “year of the MOOC”, that generated vatic excitement about the idea. Three big MOOC-sters were launched: edX, a non-profit provider run by Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); Coursera, partnered with Stanford University; and Udacity, a for-profit co-founded by Sebastian Thrun, who taught an online computing course at Stanford. The big three have so far provided courses to over 12m students. Just under one-third are Americans, but edX says nearly half its students come from developing countries (see chart 2). Coursera’s new chief executive, Richard Levin, a former president of Yale University, plans an expansion focusing on Asia.

    For all their potential, MOOCs have yet to unleash a Schumpetarian gale of disruption. Most universities and employers still see online education as an addition to traditional degree courses, rather than a replacement. Many prestigious institutions, including Oxford and Cambridge, have declined to use the new platforms.

    Nick Gidwani, the founder of SkilledUp, an online-course directory, compares the process to the disruption of publishing and journalism. Large publishers used to enjoy a monopoly on printing presses, subscriber bases and deals with advertisers. A proliferation of low-cost blogs, websites and apps means they no longer do. Even successful print products have had to take on aspects of their digital rivals’ model. Mr Gidwani sees “scant hope for 200 professors, all delivering the same lecture”.

    Traditional universities have a few trump cards. As well as teaching, examining and certification, college education creates social capital. Students learn how to debate, present themselves, make contacts and roll joints. How can a digital college experience deliver all of that?

    The answer may be to combine the two. Anant Agarwal, who runs edX, proposes an alternative to the standard American four-year degree course. Students could spend an introductory year learning via a MOOC, followed by two years attending university and a final year starting part-time work while finishing their studies online. This sort of blended learning might prove more attractive than a four-year online degree. It could also draw in those who want to combine learning with work or child-rearing, freeing them from timetables assembled to suit academics. Niche subjects can benefit, too: a course on French existentialism could be accompanied by another university’s MOOC on the Portuguese variety.

    Some universities are already adding digital classes to their syllabuses. In Brazil, Unopar University offers low-cost degree courses using online materials and weekly seminars, transmitted via satellite. In America, Minerva University has entry criteria to rival the best Ivy League colleges, but far lower fees (around $10,000 a year, instead of up to $60,000). The first batch of 20 students has just been accepted for Minerva’s foundation year in San Francisco, and will spend the rest of their course doing online tutorials while living outside America, with an emphasis on spending time in emerging economies as a selling-point to future employers.

    Error 404: Degree not found 

    Online learning has its pitfalls. A pilot scheme at San Jose State University in California, offering a maths and statistics course run by Udacity, was suspended last year. Whereas 30% of campus students passed an entry-level algebra course, 18% of those studying online did—and the gap widened as material became more complex. “MOOCs’ pedagogy needs to improve very quickly,” admits Udacity’s Mr Thrun. He thinks the San Jose experiment showed that students needed more personalised support to use a university-level online course. A survey of MOOC students in America found that 70% already had a degree. If they are to compete with ordinary universities, MOOC providers must get better at teaching newcomers to academia. EdX’s Mr Agarwal wants to offer more courses during vacation-time, when students could use them to earn extra credit or to catch up on missed topics.

    Detractors point to high dropout rates: only about 10% of first-time MOOC subscribers finish their course. That may not reflect badly on what is offered: the negligible cost of enrolment means that many people sign up without the firm intention to finish the course. But since the providers make most of their money from the certificates they grant to completers, maintaining a reasonable completion rate is important. Some are refining their courses to make the early stages easier to follow. EdX discovered that most dropouts happen quite quickly, in the same way that first-year university students sample courses before deciding which to pursue for their degree credits.

    Another worry is that students can cheat by getting someone else to sit online tests in their place. The iversity, a German online college founded last year, is trying to get around this by holding in-person exams with an invigilator present. Coursera offers paid-for identity-verification services, which involve recording students’ unique typing patterns.

    Online courses have provoked opposition from academics, who fear that they will accelerate cuts to university staffing. When Michael Sandel, a Harvard politics tutor, agreed to deliver some of his popular undergraduate lectures for edX, he was criticised by a group of Californian academics for supporting a model which poses “great peril to our university”. Online courses, they argued, risked “replacing faculty with cheap online education”. Others fret that the main beneficiaries will be stars like Professor Sandel, widening the pay and prestige gap between them and their colleagues. They may be right: lively teachers have always attracted more interest than dull ones (Socrates delivered lectures at raucous Athenian drinks parties). The difference now is that more students can share access to them.

    Credit where it’s due 

    So far, MOOC providers have wooed new students by using graduates’ testimonials, vouching for the fact that completing a course has helped them get a job. Many potential students are put off by the fact that there is no guarantee that their online labours will be accepted as credit towards a degree. This is starting to change, as digital courses become more intertwined with existing curriculums. Over half the 4,500 students at MIT take a MOOC as part of their course. The John F. Kennedy University in California, which educates mainly mature students, has started to accept edX MOOC credits towards its degrees.

    But most universities still do not. An answer to this stand-off may lie in Europe. Under rules designed to promote student mobility between EU member-states, students can transfer course credits, at the discretion of universities, in any of the 53 countries that have signed the Lisbon Recognition Convention, “regardless of whether the knowledge, skills and competences were acquired through formal, non-formal or informal learning paths”. The catch is getting European universities to accept MOOC credits, in order to trade them. “Europe will not quickly take to new forms of degree delivery,” predicts Santiago Iñiguez, the president of Spain’s IE university. Others are more optimistic. Hans Klöpper, the managing director of iversity, points out that it is easy for students to assess MOOCs’ quality, since they are open for all to see. Once students start to complete them in large numbers and clamour for recognition, it will be hard for Europe’s universities to resist accrediting the best of them, he believes.

    In the meantime, a second generation of MOOC is trying to mirror courses offered at traditional universities. Georgia Institute of Technology and Udacity have joined forces with AT&T, a telecoms firm, to create an online master’s degree in computing for $7,000, to run in parallel with a similar campus-based qualification that costs around $25,000. Mona Mourshead, who runs McKinsey’s education consultancy, sees a turning point. “If employers accept this on equal terms, the MOOC master’s degree will have taken off. Others will surely follow,” she says.

    Although some companies have authored online courses (Google, for instance, has made a MOOC on how to interpret data), established universities still create most of them. To encourage them to spare their best academics’ time to put the courses together, online-learning companies must give them a financial incentive. EdX says it is “self-sustaining” but provides no details of its revenues. The Chronicle of Higher Education reported last year that edX lets universities use its platform in return for the first $50,000 generated by the course, plus a cut of future revenues. An alternative model that it reportedly offers is to charge $250,000 for “production assistance” in creating a course, plus further fees every term that the course is offered. Coursera reveals only its revenue from certification—around $4m since its launch in 2012—for which it charges students between $30 and $100.

    Some have struggled to make a business out of this. Last year Udacity underwent an abrupt “pivot”, declaring that the free model was not working and that from then on it would sell professional online training. Although web-based courses are much cheaper than on-campus ones, they will not retain ambitious students unless they replicate the interaction available in good universities. Making teachers available for digital seminars and increasing the level of interactivity could help. So would more detailed online feedback. Improvements like these raise costs. So a more varied MOOC-ecology might end up with varying price-tiers, ranging from a basic free model to more expensive bespoke ones.

    You can’t do this online 

    The universities least likely to lose out to online competitors are elite institutions with established reputations and low student-to-tutor ratios. That is good news for the Ivy League, Oxbridge and co, which offer networking opportunities to students alongside a degree. Students at universities just below Ivy League level are more sensitive to the rising cost of degrees, because the return on investment is smaller. Those colleges might profit from expanding the ratio of online learning to classroom teaching, lowering their costs while still offering the prize of a college education conducted partly on campus.

    The most vulnerable, according to Jim Lerman of Kean University in New Jersey, are the “middle-tier institutions, which produce America’s teachers, middle managers and administrators”. They could be replaced in greater part by online courses, he suggests. So might weaker community colleges, although those which cultivate connections to local employers might yet prove resilient.

    Since the first wave of massive online courses launched in 2012, a backlash has focused on their failures and commercial uncertainties. Yet if critics think they are immune to the march of the MOOC, they are almost certainly wrong. Whereas online courses can quickly adjust their content and delivery mechanisms, universities are up against serious cost and efficiency problems, with little chance of taking more from the public purse.

    In “The Idea of a University”, published in 1858, John Henry Newman, an English Catholic cardinal, summarised the post-Enlightenment university as “a place for the communication and circulation of thought, by means of personal intercourse, through a wide extent of country”. This ideal still inspires in the era when the options for personal intercourse via the internet are virtually limitless. But the Cardinal had a warning: without the personal touch, higher education could become “an icebound, petrified, cast-iron university”. That is what the new wave of high-tech online courses should not become. But as an alternative to an overstretched, expensive model of higher education, they are more likely to prosper than fade.

    Correction: In an earlier version of this story, we incorrectly said that edX was a for-profit provider of MOOCs. It is a non-profit provider. Sorry. This was corrected on June 30th 2014.  

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    Nancy Zimpher on A New Model for Education http://www.randybest.com/nancy-zimpher-on-a-new-model-for-education http://www.randybest.com/nancy-zimpher-on-a-new-model-for-education#comments Wed, 08 Apr 2015 02:54:18 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=1000 Continue reading ]]> Nancy Zimpher on A New Model for Education

    SUNY, New York City (Feb. 27, 2014)
    An interview by The Economist Intelligence Unit
    The system change that’s most noticeable is that our business model is now upside down. It is no longer what it used to be. Public institutions expect state appropriations. They’ve been radically reduced. The cost of college for private institutions and public, as well, is going up, so we have huge issues of student debt and the cost of college.

    I am reminded of President Obama and Secretary Duncan and this notion of the Iron Triangle, that we have to attend to affordability. We also have to attend to accountability, so the transparency of data and outcomes, and then the foundation of innovation, which we take to mean this massive shift to digital-enabled learning. That triangle really describes the new business model, if you will, and why the way we used to do it just isn’t working anymore. 

    Open SUNY: Expanding Education 

    I think we’ve all gotten our arms around this notion of disruptive innovation, and I think digital is at the top of the list. Open SUNY is the State University of New York’s effort to deliver a broader base of instruction, courses and degree programs online, exclusively online, or online or on campus, to as many students – college-age and adult – as possible, to make sure that students and adults are ready for the work force of today and tomorrow. So we’re really focusing on online programs in high-demand fields, because we know the outcome is you’ll get a job.

    We think that we can shorten not only the time to degree but the cost of college for our students, so that’s part of our business model. We think we can grow our enrollments, and we have state appropriation based on our enrollments, and we think that online learning is a way to get more students to completion.

    The inspiration for Open SUNY was to expand, to the largest degree possible, our digital delivery system for teaching and learning. We now have six campuses offering eight online degree programs that carry the characteristics of a tutoring support system, internships and applied learning, assessment for prior learning experience, and hopefully a shortened time to degree. We will, over the next three years, serve approximately 100,000 new students at SUNY.   

    New Systems for Teaching and Learning 

    I think there’s a fundamental worry on everybody’s part that what’s been working for us in the teacher-to-student relationship and the faculty professor-to-student will somehow be damaged, or will go into default. In the digital world, you present a lesson, as a faculty member, and you find out instantly what the students’ questions are, what they’re not understanding. In the digital world, you present a lesson, as a faculty member, and you find out instantly what the students’ questions are, what they’re not understanding. 

    The Future of Education 

    When I think about presidents and chancellors who are going to take these pretty complex positions going forward, I think the vision they have to carry into the job is really societal need. I would hope for every new leader in our sector, they would come with a commitment to solving those societal challenges, and that’s exactly what we’re able to do in this digital age. I would say, on the horizon is this massive expectation that we are going to educate more people, we’re going to educate a much more diverse population, a global population. And it’s time. It’s high time. We’ve done this pretty much the same way for, not decades but centuries, and I think the door opened by the digital revolution is opening us to a whole new clientele that’s really going to change the profile of higher education for the better.

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    Dr. Marni Baker Stein on the New Online Learning Landscape http://www.randybest.com/dr-marni-baker-stein-on-the-new-online-learning-landscape http://www.randybest.com/dr-marni-baker-stein-on-the-new-online-learning-landscape#comments Wed, 08 Apr 2015 02:43:01 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=991 Continue reading ]]> Dr. Marni Baker Stein on the New Online Learning Landscape

    (Apr. 14, 2014 University of Texas, Austin An interview by The Economist Intelligence Unit)
    Online tool are rapidly evolving. Over the last five years we’ve seen the emergence of new technologies that allow for massive pedagogies that allow for more data-driven, evidence-driven approaches to education, that allow for more personalization, and that are highly social by design. I think five to ten years from now the landscape is going to look very different.

    MOOCs: Popularizing New Methods 

    From my perspective, my vantage point, the best thing that’s happened with the emergence of MOOCs is that it has encouraged the higher-education establishment, to wake up to the global potential of online learning. And I think what MOOCs did is they encouraged universities that weren’t in the online game and faculty who were never interested in online teaching before to open their eyes to the real potential of online learning at the scale of the world. 

    The downside of MOOCs is that as they were developed, and as the MOOC technology emerged, they were really developed to support a more traditional paradigm of education. So the technology itself is not really a technology that’s driving high-impact pedagogies or that is encouraging highly social collaborative instructional approaches. They haven’t been deployed to fully leverage the crowd of students they bring together, to not only transmit knowledge and skills to these students, but produce knowledge and produce solutions on a global scale.

    Entering New Markets 

    We are in an increasingly competitive environment for education and online learning provides schools a way to capture new markets that they haven’t been able to capture in the past. Most schools, I think, are doing it out of necessity. Online of course assists us in serving non-traditional students because it allows us to be flexible, and increasingly with new types of competency-based programs allows us to be flexible not only with the delivery, but with the packaging. So we not only can offer degrees online, but we can offer stackable sets of programming assets. So, for example, we can offer a lesson or a just-in-time module. Or we can offer a certificate or a module that stacks into a certificate – a certificate that stacks into a specialization and a specialization that stacks into a degree. So traditional – non-traditional students, I think, are ripe for online education and transformational models of education.

    A New Pedagogy 

    Online learning changes students’ study habits and the outcomes of study, and that pathway is a lot more active than their traditional pathway in traditional educational programs. students have – almost always say, ‘Whoa, this is a lot more rigorous than I thought it was going to be, and this is a lot more work than my regular classes.’ And I think that’s interesting, because a lot of times the perspective is just the opposite. And what we’ve seen is because of that, students tend to do a lot better. They don’t fall through the cracks as easily because there are multiple points of assessment and checks for understanding.   

    The Future of Education 

    I think the future of education is more student-centered by design. That instead of educating students in batches in these predetermined packages, that we are going to understand where a student is going, what are their targeted outcomes and what are the most effective, powerful sort of personalized pathways for those students to those outcomes? And the hope is that we can exponentially increase student success by taking a more student-centered approach. 

    I think what we’re going to see in education across all dimensions of the user experience, or the student experience is more personalization of services that really assist students with their challenges but also really support them in their strengths. And I think this is going to impact not just what happens in the classroom, I think that really big changes that you’re going to see are in institutional and program design. I think the actual curricula that we serve to students is going to look very different in five to ten years than it does now. It’s going to be more personalized. It’s going to be more outcomes-driven, and in some cases it’s going to be more industry-focused especially in emerging industries where we know there are big employment opportunities.

    What will be interesting to see is if technology can really help us to create these scalable, next generation models that actually have exponential, you know, positive impacts on student success across every dimension of success. That is the dream of online education. And who knows? Perhaps really effective education for all is something that we will see in our lifetimes.  

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    Higher Education in the 21st Century: Meeting Real-World Demands http://www.randybest.com/higher-education-in-the-21st-century-meeting-real-world-demands http://www.randybest.com/higher-education-in-the-21st-century-meeting-real-world-demands#comments Wed, 08 Apr 2015 02:30:41 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=983 Continue reading ]]> Higher Education in the 21st Century: Meeting Real-World Demands

    Mar. 25, 2014
    The world of higher education is changing quickly and dramatically. An Economist Intelligence Unit research program explores the changes shaping the higher-education market and identify the steps that institutions are taking to flourish and remain relevant in the 21st century.

     

    Key Findings 

  • Institutions are courting new student populations. Global visibility has become a top priority for colleges and universities, with expansion abroad a key goal for many. Thirty-three percent of the higher-education institutions polled say they are increasing their recruiting of international students, targeting a rapidly growing global middle class. 

  • Creative financing is needed to balance shrinking budgets. Fifty-one percent of survey respondents say that reduced government subsidies have negatively or somewhat negatively affected their institutions’ financial standing; 40% cite the shrinking availability of research grants. Especially in the US and UK, sustainability will depend on rigorous cost-cutting in tandem with finding new sources of revenue

  • Online learning is the new frontier. Today’s institutions of higher learning have high hopes for technology-based delivery of instruction. Sixty-one percent of survey respondents say that they believe online and distance courses will have the greatest effect on how higher education is delivered in the next five years.

    ]]> http://www.randybest.com/higher-education-in-the-21st-century-meeting-real-world-demands/feed 0 Building a Global University Brand http://www.randybest.com/building-a-global-university-brand http://www.randybest.com/building-a-global-university-brand#comments Tue, 07 Apr 2015 23:13:22 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=976 Continue reading ]]> Building a Global University Brand

    (Jan. 30, 2014)
    These are unnerving times for higher education worldwide. After a four-decade rise in global demand, universities are grappling with powerful forces colliding at once: reduced government support, rising public skepticism about the value of a degree, increased institutional competition and the emergence of disruptive technology. Adding to these pressures is a seismic shift in global demographics. Demand for higher education is leveling off in North America and Europe compared to “huge unmet demand” in emerging markets, according to a September, 2013 forecast by the London-based Observatory on Borderless Higher Education. In the United States, the number of high school students is not expected to peak again until 2021, according to the National Centre for Education Statistics, creating excess capacity. By contrast, India will account for one-quarter of 18-22 year olds by 2020, predicts the United Nations, with insufficient university seats to serve them.

    By 2020, about 200 million young people worldwide will have degrees -- 40 per cent of them elite and middle class students from China and India -- according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). By 2025, the number of those traveling abroad for a degree could double from today’s estimate of 4.3 million students. In response, universities are eager to raise their global profile to ensure their long-term financial viability and create a sustainable business model. Public institutions that once relied on government funding and tuition hikes for revenue now are turning to social media, online learning and new credentials to make their mark with international students. “It’s always been about prestige and reputation,” says University of Toronto professor of higher education Glen Jones. “Now with global competition and new media, reputation simply becomes increasingly important and rankings play into that.” With business models in flux, adds Jones, “part of the answer is to find other sources of revenue, which is why reputation becomes such a big factor.” 

    With ranking-conscious elite universities intent on holding on to their place in the top echelon, middle-ranked institutions will have no easy time climbing the ladder.

    “It is very uncertain terrain with serious competition on a worldwide scale,” says Francisco Marmelejo, lead tertiary education specialist at the World Bank. “There will be significant disruption in the way higher education operates and will operate... this is a trend that is unavoidable.”

    Using New Tools 

    Historically, universities relied on exchanges of students and faculty to build their overseas profile. Over the past decade, some institutions have added smaller-scale online programmes and built overseas branch campuses (there are now at least 200 worldwide), with mixed success. “There is a history of schools going into countries and a few years later pulling out,” says Andrew Crisp of CarringtonCrisp, a London-based education marketing consulting firm. “It is pushing schools to look at more modern methods of raising the brand rather than bricks and mortar.”  

    At a minimum, “modern methods” translate to smartly designed websites delivering key messages to a target audience. The University of Buffalo (UB), which ranks among the top 20 US institutions for international enrolment, recruits 17% of its 28,000 students from abroad with the help of its site. UB pioneered a “high touch” strategy in the late 1980s that relied on face-to-face meetings with prospective students, and even today is one of a few publicly funded state institutions that travel overseas to meet students and families at recruitment fairs. However, it now competes with scores of schools from the US, the UK, Australia and Canada, says Steven Shaw, assistant vice-provost and director of international admissions. To bolster its face-to-face pitch, the university has revamped its website after spending a year researching what prospective students value most—a safe and welcoming campus, personal connections and a globally-enriched curriculum. “It is not your grandmother’s website,” says Rebecca Bernstein, UB’s director of strategy and online communications. “It is filled with information based on research and needs that will close the deal on international recruiting.” 

    Schools have also been using social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to help them tailor messages to prospective candidates. Increasingly, students themselves are enlisted as virtual ambassadors to sell peers on their institution, responding to granular questions and sharing information based on their own experience. “We now have the technology that allows broader conversations than we have ever been able to have, and that requires paying a lot more attention to the conversation,” says Michael Stoner, president of mStoner, a US higher-education marketing and branding consultancy. On social media, the university initiates a conversation to send out official messages to its target audience while students use the same sites to talk to peers for informal insights on the institution.

    “Everything is connected,” says Stoner. “If you are telling kids from China that you are a welcoming community, you had better be able to demonstrate that,” he says. “It is easy enough for students to find out without visiting the campus because they can access social media and find other Chinese students to see what is their experience.”  

    The MOOC Method 

    Many institutions of higher learning believe that Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) offer a promising way to polish their reputation for innovation and grow beyond their geographical boundaries. Since 2012, these free and mostly non-credentialed courses have attracted more than six million students from around the world.

    But the jury is out on MOOCs, not least because their designers have yet to develop a sustainable business model. Despite the “wow” factor of tens of thousands of students signing up for a single MOOC, participation and completions are low, according to early evaluations. And contrary to initial forecasts, a July 2013 survey by the University of Pennsylvania found that the majority of those who signed up for a MOOC already had a college degree. In developing countries, participants were more affluent and better educated than the general population. Still, a number of small and mid-size institutions see the potential to secure a following by offering specialty courses in a MOOC format or to embed them as part of on-campus campus-based and online courses. The first wave of MOOCs helped to burnish the reputations of the top universities, and institutions continue to use the online courses to promote their brands. Britain’s Open University, with a 40-year history of distance learning, established Future Learn last year as the first UK MOOC platform, working with more than 20 top UK universities, the British Council, the British Library and the British Museum. “Universities see themselves as global players,” says Mike Sharples, academic lead for Future Learn. “They want to show the world the quality of their teaching and learning material to attract students to degree courses.” The University of Alberta, a top-five Canadian institution, invested US$314,000 in a high-production value MOOC to build awareness of its international reputation in paleontology research. The course attracted 20,000 participants when it started in September 2013. “As long as the MOOC is aligned with that [reputational strategy], it clearly gives us a way to talk about the U of A that we didn’t have before,” says Debra Pozega Osburn, vice-president for university relations for U of A. “Now we have several thousand people all over the world who know the university and didn’t before.”

    A number of universities are moving beyond using MOOCs to build their brand awareness by creating programs to convert leisure MOOC learners into enrolled students. Earlier this year, the University of London (with 54,000 online learners and 70,000 on campus) offered four MOOCs through Coursera, attracting 210,000 registrants from more than 160 countries. Five more are scheduled for 2014. “If we can convert some of those students and make them aware of [our] international programmes, then that is a business model that makes sense to us,” says Michael Kerrison, director of academic development for University of London International Programmes.

    MOOCs may become an integral part of higher education, but some question their staying power. “It is way too soon to tell,” says Allan Goodman, president of the US Institute for International Education. “I would have expected MOOCs to be taking campuses by storm and they aren’t yet.” But what they have done, unreservedly, is raise the profile of online learning in an international context.

    Credentialing and Affordability 

    In the hunt for sustainability, some schools are mixing the MOOC format with more traditional courses, offering selective programs at the graduate level. Georgia Institute of Technology, an Atlanta-based university ranked 25th in the world by the Times Higher Education allows MOOC students to earn a Master level computer science degree. The program is priced at US$6,630, one-third the cost of the on-campus degree. For the initial cohort, Georgia accepted 400 students from more than 2,300 applications, with a goal of 10,000 students over three years.

    MOOCs have grabbed the headlines, but other strategies are gaining traction to bring higher education within reach to a wider cohort of learners. One way is to “unbundle” credentials in bite-size pieces of learning, with specific competencies recognized through digital badges, certificates and other forms of accreditation.

    In 2014, the University of Arizona’s Eller School of Management plans to offer three non-degree online “Specialisations” based on content from the school’s top-ranked, on-campus programmes in management information systems, entrepreneurship and strategic digital marketing. Aimed at those seeking job-ready skills, the new Specialisations represent a concentration of relevant knowledge in high-demand fields, with a student required to take three certificate programs, each comprised of three one-month online courses.

    “This is the iTunes version of higher education,” says Joe Valacich, Eller’s director of online initiatives. “We have to create very small learning modules and have them done well. The students have to find them to be of great value,” he says of the university’s strategy. “It’s about reach. The idea that we could have hundreds of thousands of students globally all being U of A alumni is mind-blowing.”

    In addition to the three initial Specialisations from the business school, Valacich says the university is “exploring the development” of additional offerings by Eller and other on-campus professional schools, such as law. “Our goal is to engage various colleges in non-degree offerings specific to a particular college as well as hybrid programs that will blend content across colleges.”

    As new credentials gain ground, so does interest in competency-based education that awards degrees based on what students know, not time spent in class.

    An American pioneer in this fast-growing field is Utah-based Western Governors University, an online, public institution founded in 1997 by a group of state governors to serve the country’s 37-million working adults, many of whom have some college training but no degree. Over the past five years, WGU reported a four-fold expansion in enrolment to more than 42,000 students in 50 states, with rising levels of retention, students in good academic standing and student satisfaction.

    On average, students arrive with one year of college, earn a bachelor’s degree in 34 months (two years faster than at a bricks and mortar institution) and pay $6,000 a year, a fraction of tuition charged by conventional public colleges. With computer-mediated interactive instruction and full-time lecturers serving as one-on-one mentors, students advance by completing assignments that assess their knowledge of industry-vetted material.

    The focus of the online university is working adults, not high school graduates headed to an on-campus college. But WGU president Robert Mendenhall says his institution’s business model is increasingly relevant given the public backlash against rising tuition and student debt. “Having a model that says we can provide high-quality education for $6,000 a year does send a message that we need to find more efficient ways to deliver high-quality education,” he says.

    Since 2010, WGU has partnered with five American states to set up online, state-based affiliates that aim to graduate adults ready to contribute to economic growth. WGU has also advised half a dozen other higher education institutions in the U.S. in the throes of adopting competency-based education.

    As in the past, technology is crucial to WGU’s future. Students now can write exams from home using a webcam instead of driving to a secure site, while instructors use data analytics to assess gaps in student learning. “Over the next five years, technology will increase the gap between how effective a teacher can be in the classroom with 30 students as opposed to how effective technology can be in delivering the right thing at the right time and helping students learn more efficiently and effectively,” says Mendenhall.

    Where from here? 

    As online learning options and credentials proliferate in what some are now calling an era of “post-traditional higher education,” universities still need to ask the core questions: whom will they serve, and how well? At the very least, both students and institutions are watching out for new yardsticks to measure success. For example, if a viable business case emerges for MOOCs, they will be evaluated on the number of student participants, drop-out rates, student learning satisfaction and relevance to a career. In time, say analysts, there could be global rankings for MOOCs, as now exist for top-rated global institutions. Meanwhile, badges, certificates and other credentials are in their infancy, with the onus on institutions to explain how they complement traditional forms of accreditation.

    “The big challenge for providers is how to convince governments, institutions and employers that what students study not only represents new skills but is worthy of a new document or diploma or certification,” says the World Bank’s Marmolejo.

    There will be no easy shortcuts for universities that want to expand their presence internationally, warns Sir John Daniel, the former head of the UK Open University: “You become a well-known global university by a long hard slog of doing things well.”

     

    http://www.economistinsights.com/leadership-talent-innovation/analysis/higher-education-21st-century/casestudies

     

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    Can Half The Business Schools Really Go Out Of Business? http://www.randybest.com/can-half-the-business-schools-really-go-out-of-business http://www.randybest.com/can-half-the-business-schools-really-go-out-of-business#comments Tue, 07 Apr 2015 22:42:46 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=968 Continue reading ]]> Can Half The Business Schools Really Go Out Of Business?

    by John A. Byrne 

    A few months ago, Richard Lyons stunned many when he boldly predicted that half of the business schools in the U.S. could be out of business in as little as five years or as many as ten.

    The dean of the University of California at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business made the rather Draconian forecast based on the likely disruption of the higher education business by technology. 

    The proliferation of online business degree programs and business MOOC courses, Lyons reasoned, would especially hurt the cash cows of every business school: part-time MBA programs, Executive MBA programs, and open-enrollment executive education courses.

    FIVE TOP 25 BUSINESS SCHOOLS WILL OFFER ONLINE MBA DEGREES WITHIN NEXT FIVE YEARS 

    In an interview yesterday (July 14) with Poets&Quants, Lyons made another bold prediction: Five of the top 25 business schools in the U.S. will join Carnegie Mellon, the University of North Carolina and Indiana University in offering online MBA programs over the next five years. If his forecast comes true, that development alone will hasten the likelihood that many second- and third-tier business schools will lose out to the bigger brands.

    Lyons, who has been dean of Haas since 2008, says that the first online MBA programs at such top ranked schools were initiatives that came out of offensive strategy, attempts to gain competitive advantage in the marketplace. But in the future, Lyons says, online degree programs will be launched as part of a defensive strategy, efforts to prevent loss of market share. “If we don’t do this, a school’s programs are going to be cannibalized and absorbed by other players,” he says.  

    When Lyon’s more dire prediction was quoted by Bloomberg BusinessWeek in March, it lacked any context or perspective. Lyons explains that he came to his conclusion after Harvard Business School innovation guru Clay Christensen said that half of U.S. universities could go bankrupt in 15 years due to the impact of online learning on their business models. 

    WITHIN FIVE YEARS, 10% OF THE COURSES TAKEN BY FULL-TIME MBAS COULD BE ONLINE 

    Within five years, the Haas dean believes, it’s not farfetched that 10% of the courses taken by full-time MBAs would be digitally delivered, 30% for part-time MBAs and Executive MBAs, and as much as 50% in executive education. Online delivery could potentially be especially important in custom exec ed, thinks Lyons, where companies often want educational programming given to senior leadership “cascaded” down the ranks electronically because it can be done more economically that way.

    Lyons partly bases his beliefs on the success of a course run as a pilot of sorts at Haas by Professor Cameron Anderson. He took his highly popular Power & Politics In Organizations course and delivered it online, with 40% of it synchronous, or given in real time. Offered to full-time and part-time MBA students, the course was oversubscribed. When it was done, the school found that 96% of the students were likely or very likely to recommend the course to a friend.  

    TRUE DISRUPTION OCCURS WHEN IT CHANGES THE PRODUCT 

    No less important, during a review by Anderson in front of Haas faculty, the professor spoke glowingly of his experience. “‘The course is better than the traditional version of the course,’” Lyons recalls Anderson saying. “He also said, ‘I will never teach the traditional course the same way again.’”

    “Digital delivery made for a better course,” Lyons observes. “Someone noted that industry after industry has gone digital. Sometimes, it causes disruption. Sometimes, it’s just another form of distribution. It becomes disruptive when it changes the product. That’s what it does.”

     

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    Academic Partnerships Launches New Online Global Specializations Credential http://www.randybest.com/academic-partnerships-launches-new-online-global-specializations-credential http://www.randybest.com/academic-partnerships-launches-new-online-global-specializations-credential#comments Thu, 13 Feb 2014 18:46:07 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=917 Continue reading ]]> Press Release - Academic Partnerships Launches New Online Global Specializations Credential

    DALLAS (Jan. 21, 2014)
    Academic Partnerships (AP), one of the world’s largest representatives of online learning, today announced that it has launched a new Specializations initiative designed to help partner universities capitalize on the globalization of higher education. AP has been working with prestigious, private universities that are leaders in the digital education space, such as Rice University, as well as top public universities on the development of this credential.

    Under development for the past 18 months, Specializations are designed to expand reach and increase revenues for U.S. universities, while filling a void for accessible and affordable higher education globally. 

    “Globalization is becoming the most important trend in American higher education,” said AP Chairman and CEO Randy Best.  “It has become clear to us that while institutions of higher learning in the United States have a growing affordability problem, billions of citizens around the world have an accessibility problem.  The globalization of U.S. universities powered by technology has the potential to resolve both issues.  We believe that our Specializations initiative, which we originated and are launching with partner universities, will significantly increase post-secondary enrollment around the world, resulting in untold benefits for citizens everywhere, while simultaneously addressing the financial challenges faced by U.S. universities.”

    Harvard Business School Professor and AP Senior Advisor Dr. Clayton Christensen added, “Specializations are designed to optimize time and minimize cost.  The integrity of AP’s Specializations initiative is based on the indisputable competence and expertise of the course authors, the reputations of the institutions that grant them, and the content’s alignment with the market.”

    Representing a concentration of relevant knowledge in high-demand fields of global interest, such as cybersecurity, management and leadership in healthcare, and entrepreneurship and innovation, that are developed and presented by upper-level faculty with expertise in a specific field of study, Specializations consist of three progressive certificates that are offered in multiple languages and can be earned in nine months.   

    AP’s partner universities will provide course content, while AP will maintain responsibility for translation, marketing, and recruitment. 

    AP’s partner universities outside of the United States, meanwhile, will serve as host universities for the Specializations, a distinguishing factor that will allow U.S. universities to enter these new markets with unprecedented efficiency.

    Specializations and the forces that have made them so attractive to universities around the world will be the focus of AP’s upcoming conference “The Globalization of Higher Education.”  To be held in Dallas on March 24 and March 25, 2014, the conference, which is co-hosted by Governors Jeb Bush and Jim Hunt, as well as Queens’ College, University of Cambridge, will provide a conversational platform to collectively consider the benefits of expanding access to higher education through the export of the United States’ globally recognized brands.   

    World-renowned thought leaders from academia, government, and international organizations, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, bestselling author and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, CNN host Dr. Fareed Zakaria, and former President of the World Bank Robert Zoellick, will meet with the leaders of top U.S. and international universities at this first-of-its-kind event to discuss the emerging circumstances that will soon change how post-secondary institutions view the world and the ways we can dramatically expand access to higher education—and the opportunities that result from it—for the benefit of both the institutions themselves and citizens everywhere.

    For more information about “The Globalization of Higher Education” conference, please visit www.globalizationofhighereducation.com.

    For more information about Specializations, please visit www.specializations.com or http://www.academicpartnerships.com/specializations

     

    About Academic Partnerships 

    Academic Partnerships (AP) assists universities in converting their traditional degree programs and certificates into an online format, recruits qualified students, and supports enrolled students through graduation.  Serving public and private not-for-profit universities in the United States and top international institutions, AP is guided by the principle that the opportunities presented through distance learning make higher education more accessible and achievable for students in the United States and around the world.  The company was founded by social entrepreneur Randy Best, an 18-year veteran of developing innovative learning solutions to improve education.  For more information, please visit www.academicpartnerships.com.

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    Academic Partnerships Chosen to Bring Top Mexican University Online http://www.randybest.com/academic-partnerships-chosen-to-bring-top-mexican-university-online http://www.randybest.com/academic-partnerships-chosen-to-bring-top-mexican-university-online#comments Thu, 13 Feb 2014 18:44:22 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=914 Continue reading ]]> Press Release - Academic Partnerships Chosen to Bring Top Mexican University Online

    DALLAS (October 29, 2013)
    Academic Partnerships (AP), one of the largest representatives of online learning in the United States and around the world, today announced that it has been chosen by Mexico’s Universidad Intercontinental (UIC) to bring five of its degree programs online in the coming months.

    “We are pleased to partner with Universidad Intercontinental as it makes its programs available online,” said AP Chairman and CEO Randy Best. “The university will soon be able to serve many more students in Mexico City and throughout the region, and we are delighted to bring our online learning experience to bear as part of this important initiative.”

    Early next year, UIC, a private Catholic university in Mexico City, will make its Bachelor of Business Administration; Bachelor in Law; Bachelor in Marketing; Bachelor in Psychology; and Bachelor in International Trade Relations available online for the first time.

    AP will provide services related to technology, faculty development, curriculum planning, marketing, and admissions for each of these programs.

    About Academic Partnerships 

    Academic Partnerships (AP) helps universities convert their traditional degree programs into an online format, recruits qualified students, and supports enrolled students through graduation.  Serving more than 40 public universities in the United States and numerous top foreign institutions, AP is guided by the principle that the opportunities presented through distance learning make higher education more accessible and achievable for students in the United States and around the world.  The company was founded by social entrepreneur Randy Best, an 18-year veteran of developing innovative learning solutions to improve education.  For more information, please visit www.academicpartnerships.com.

    About Universidad Intercontinental

    The Universidad Intercontinental is a private Catholic university, located in Mexico City.  Founded in 1976 by Guadalupe Missionaries, it is one of only six Mexican universities in the International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU) and is widely-regarded as one of Mexico's most prestigious universities.  With historical strengths in Dentistry, Psychology, and Communication, it is one of the top Mexican universities in these fields.  For more information, please visit www.uic.edu.mx.

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    Academic Partnerships and Rosetta Stone Form Strategic Relationship to Bring English Language Instruction to Online Learners Around the World http://www.randybest.com/academic-partnerships-and-rosetta-stone-form-strategic-relationship-to-bring-english-language-instruction-to-online-learners-around-the-world http://www.randybest.com/academic-partnerships-and-rosetta-stone-form-strategic-relationship-to-bring-english-language-instruction-to-online-learners-around-the-world#comments Thu, 13 Feb 2014 18:42:42 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=911 Press Release - Academic Partnerships and Rosetta Stone Form Strategic Relationship to Bring English Language Instruction to Online Learners Around the World

    DALLAS (October 17, 2013)
    Academic Partnerships (AP), one of the largest representatives of online learning in the United States and around the world, today announced that it has formed a strategic relationship with Rosetta Stone Inc. (Rosetta Stone) (NYSE:RST), a leading provider of technology-based language-learning solutions.  The relationship will allow AP to offer English language instruction to students enrolled in the degree programs of its partner universities free of charge.   

    “As we expand our presence beyond the United States, we recognize that many of the students at our partner universities would like to improve their English language skills,” said AP Chairman and CEO Randy Best.  “We are delighted to have joined forces with Rosetta Stone to help them do just that as part of our commitment to providing industry-leading products and services to our university partners and the students they serve.”

    “With the rise of online learning, higher education has become a truly global endeavor,” said Judy Verses, President, Global Institutions at Rosetta Stone.  “This relationship reflects AP’s recognition of that fact and our shared belief that being able to communicate across borders and cultures is incredibly valuable.”

    The relationship will allow AP to provide Levels 1 and 2 of Rosetta Stone’s English language program to students enrolled in the programs of its partner universities free of charge.  Students who have enrolled will have online access to the 100-hours of content offered by the program 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

    Students wishing to pursue their English language lessons further will be able to do so at a reduced rate as a result of this relationship.

    Rosetta Stone is the most recent addition to AP’s proprietary portfolio of strategic relationships and initiatives that includes Canvas, the industry-leading, open, easy-to-use, cloud-native learning management system, and Internships.com, the world’s largest internship marketplace, as well as MOOC2Degree.  Through this portfolio, AP provides its partner universities and the students they serve with complimentary access to industry-leading products and services as part of its commitment to providing them with tools that will contribute to their success.

    About Academic Partnerships 
    Academic Partnerships (AP) helps universities convert their traditional degree programs into an online format, recruits qualified students, and supports enrolled students through graduation.  Serving more than 40 public universities in the United States and numerous top foreign institutions, AP is guided by the principle that the opportunities presented through distance learning make higher education more accessible and achievable for students in the United States and around the world.  The company was founded by social entrepreneur Randy Best, an 18-year veteran of developing innovative learning solutions to improve education.  For more information, please visit www.academicpartnerships.com.

    About Rosetta Stone

    Rosetta Stone Inc. (NYSE: RST) is dedicated to changing the way the world learns.  The company’s innovative technology-driven language and reading solutions are used by thousands of schools, businesses, government organizations, and millions of individuals around the world.   Founded in 1992, Rosetta Stone pioneered the use of interactive software to accelerate language learning.  Today the company offers courses in 30 languages, from the most commonly spoken (such as English, Spanish, and Mandarin) to the less prominent (including Swahili, Swedish, and Tagalog).  In 2013, Rosetta Stone expanded beyond language and deeper into education-technology with its acquisitions of Livemocha and Lexia Learning. Rosetta Stone is based in Arlington, VA, and has offices in Harrisonburg, VA, Boulder, CO, Austin, TX, San Francisco, CA, Seattle, WA, Concord, MA, Tokyo, Seoul, London, Dubai, and Sao Paulo.

    For more information, visit www.rosettastone.com.

    “Rosetta Stone” is a registered trademark or trademark of Rosetta Stone Ltd. in the United States and other countries.

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    Academic Partnerships Brings Leading Colombian University Online http://www.randybest.com/academic-partnerships-brings-leading-colombian-university-online http://www.randybest.com/academic-partnerships-brings-leading-colombian-university-online#comments Thu, 13 Feb 2014 18:40:23 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=907 Continue reading ]]> Press Release - Academic Partnerships Brings Leading Colombian University Online

    DALLAS (October 15, 2013)
    Academic Partnerships (AP), one of the largest representatives of online learning in the United States and around the world, today announced its collaboration with Fundación Universitaria de Ciencias de la Salud (FUCS), one of Colombia’s premier private universities.  Applications for the program are currently being accepted. 

    “The demand for higher education in Colombia and throughout Latin America is at an all-time high,” said AP Chairman and CEO Randy Best.  “By offering this high-demand program online, Fundación Universitaria de Ciencias de la Salud has taken an important first  step toward increasing access to its programs and meeting the region’s workforce needs, and we are delighted to partner with them in this effort.”

    Well-known throughout Latin America for its excellence in instruction in healthcare-related fields, FUCS is now offering a certificate course on basic, clinical, and surgical science.  The unique 13-week program provides entrance examination preparation for doctors who plan to pursue a specialization at FUCS graduate medical school. 

    FUCS has been recognized with the Colombia Ministry of Education’s “High Quality” accreditation for its programs in medicine and nursing. 

    AP will provide services related to technology, faculty development, curriculum planning, marketing, and admissions for the university.

    Click here to learn more.

    About Academic Partnerships 

    Academic Partnerships (AP) helps universities convert their traditional degree programs into an online format, recruits qualified students and supports enrolled students through graduation.  Serving more than 40 public universities in the United States and numerous top foreign institutions, AP is guided by the principle that the opportunities presented through distance learning make higher education more accessible and achievable for students in the United States and around the world.  The company was founded by social entrepreneur Randy Best, an 18-year veteran of developing innovative learning solutions to improve education.  For more information, please visit www.academicpartnerships.com.

    About Fundación Universitaria de Ciencias de la Salud

    Fundación Universitaria de Ciencias de la Salud (FUCS) is a private non-profit organization founded in 1976 by The Society of Surgery of Bogotá.  Offering programs in medicine, nursing, health management, and related fields, FUCS has two hospitals with more than 700 beds in total.  For more information, please visit www.fucsalud.edu.co.

    Contact:

    Jaquelyn M. Scharnick
    866-939-6323
    mediarelations@academicpartnerships.com

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    Academic Partnerships Chosen to Bring Premier Peruvian University Online http://www.randybest.com/academic-partnerships-chosen-to-bring-premier-peruvian-university-online http://www.randybest.com/academic-partnerships-chosen-to-bring-premier-peruvian-university-online#comments Thu, 13 Feb 2014 18:35:34 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=903 Continue reading ]]> Press Release - Academic Partnerships Chosen to Bring Premier Peruvian University Online

    DALLAS (October 3, 2013)
    Academic Partnerships (AP), one of the largest representatives of online learning in the United States and around the world, today announced that it has been chosen by Peru’s Universidad de San Martín de Porres (USMP) to bring more than a dozen of its degree programs online.

    “Like other areas in Latin America, Peru has seen an increased demand for higher education,” said AP Chairman and CEO Randy Best.  “We are delighted to partner with the Universidad de San Martín de Porres to increase access to its high-quality programs through the utilization of technology for the delivery of instruction.”

    Widely regarded as one of the premier universities in Peru, USMP has chosen AP to bring its degree programs in fields including education, business, and healthcare online in the coming months.  The degrees include: Bachelor of Education, Teacher Professional Degree; Master of Education; Doctor of Education; Bachelor of Economy; Bachelor of Accounting and Finance; Master of Accounting and Finance; Bachelor in Government and Public Administration; Master in Law; Master of Public Health; Master of Health Services Management; Master of Strategic Quality Management and Medical Auditing; Doctorate in Health Services Management, Public Health; Master of Conflict Management and Solution; and Master of Real Estate Management.

    A private university committed to academic excellence and contributing to the development of the country, USMP is the only Peruvian university to have all of its career offerings accredited by international accreditors.

    With nine colleges and 32,000 students, USMP is also one of the largest universities in Peru and one of the top three private universities in the country.

    About Academic Partnerships 

    Academic Partnerships (AP) helps universities convert their traditional degree programs into an online format, recruits qualified students and supports enrolled students through graduation.  Serving more than 40 public universities in the United States and numerous top foreign institutions, AP is guided by the principle that the opportunities presented through distance learning make higher education more accessible and achievable for students in the United States and around the world.  The company was founded by social entrepreneur Randy Best, an 18-year veteran of developing innovative learning solutions to improve education.  For more information, please visit www.academicpartnerships.com.

    About Universidad de San Martín de Porres

    Universidad de San Martín de Porres is a private university located in Lima, Peru.  Founded in 1962 by the Dominican Order of the Catholic Church, the university’s culture is based on essential principles such as respect for the individual, the search for truth and excellence, integrity, an innovative and enterprising approach, protecting the environment, and making a commitment to the development of the country.  It offers undergraduate and graduate programs in multiple fields through the following faculties: Accounting, Economics and Finance; Law; Communication, Tourism and Psychology; Business Administration and Human Resources; Medicine; Obstetrics and Nursing; Dentistry; and Engineering and Architecture.

    Contact:

    For Academic Partnerships
    Jaquelyn M. Scharnick
    866-939-6323
    mediarelations@academicpartnerships.com

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    University of North Carolina Wilmington to Now Offer High-Demand Nursing and Education Programs Online with Carousel Enrollment http://www.randybest.com/university-of-north-carolina-wilmington-to-now-offer-high-demand-nursing-and-education-programs-online-with-carousel-enrollment http://www.randybest.com/university-of-north-carolina-wilmington-to-now-offer-high-demand-nursing-and-education-programs-online-with-carousel-enrollment#comments Fri, 02 Aug 2013 16:26:07 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=882 Continue reading ]]> Press Release - University of North Carolina Wilmington to Now Offer High-Demand Nursing and Education Programs Online with Carousel Enrollment

    WILMINGTON, NC and DALLAS –
    The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) today announced that it will begin offering two of its high-demand nursing and education programs—Registered Nurse-to-Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN) and Master of Education with a specialization in Elementary Education (M.Ed., Elementary Education )—online with carousel enrollment in the coming months.  Applications for the programs are now being accepted.

    “We are honored to offer registered nurses a platform to earn one of today’s most desirable degrees at UNCW in a new, innovative, and flexible way,” said UNCW Chancellor Gary L. Miller.  “Furthermore, we see this as a way to give back to our community at large.  UNCW and graduates of these programs will jointly help move the nursing and teaching workforce and North Carolina forward.”

    UNCW’s RN-BSN program is designed for practicing registered nurses who wish to earn a baccalaureate degree.  Through interactions with individuals, families, communities, and other health care professionals in clinical settings, nursing graduates will contribute toward meeting the wide-ranging needs of the region, state, and the larger community.
     

    Increased access to the program comes amidst growing national and regional focus on the ability of existing programs and educational systems to produce the number of additional nurses with the appropriate levels of education likely to be needed in the future.  The need for additional nurses with baccalaureate degrees is especially pronounced in North Carolina, and UNCW’s competitively-priced online offering is well-positioned to address it.

    UNCW is also accepting applications for its online M.Ed., Elementary Education program.  Designed for experienced teachers wishing to enhance their theoretical and pedagogical knowledge of elementary education, the program is focused on learning theories; diversity; technology; special needs; lesson planning; and arts and literature and addresses current North Carolina Teaching Standards.

    UNCW is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; the RN-BSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education; and the M.Ed., Elementary Education program has been accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

    UNCW has chosen Academic Partnerships (AP), one of the largest representatives of public universities’ online learning in the United States and around the world, to help convert the program into an online format, recruit students, and support student retention efforts.  AP will work closely with UNCW faculty to ensure that the new online degree programs maintain the highest educational standards.  The company will also use its integrated marketing and branding strategies to extend the university’s reach, increasing the enrollment of highly-qualified students.

    While both programs were already available online, they will now be offered through AP on the carousel system, allowing students to complete classes in seven-and-a-half week intervals, versus the traditional fifteen-week offerings.

    The online RN-BSN program will begin later this month, while the M.Ed., Elementary Education program will begin in October.  Click here to apply or learn more about the programs.

    About the University of North Carolina Wilmington

    The University of North Carolina Wilmington, the state’s coastal university, is dedicated to learning through the integration of teaching and mentoring with research and service.  A public institution with nearly 14,000 students, our university is widely acknowledged for its superb faculty and staff and its powerful academic experience that stimulates creative inquiry, critical thinking, thoughtful expression, and responsible citizenship.  With an array of high-quality programs at the baccalaureate and master’s levels, and doctoral programs in marine biology and educational leadership, UNCW is continuously recognized at a national level for academic excellence and affordability.  We are dedicated to offering a community rich in diversity and inclusion, global perspectives, and enriching the quality of life through scholarly community engagement in such areas as health, education, the economy, the environment, marine and coastal issues, and the arts.  For more information, please visit www.uncw.edu.

    About Academic Partnerships 
    Academic Partnerships (AP) helps universities convert their traditional degree programs into an online format, recruits qualified students and supports enrolled students through graduation.  Serving more than 40 public universities in the United States and numerous top foreign institutions, AP is guided by the principle that the opportunities presented through distance learning make higher education more accessible and achievable for students in the U.S. and around the world.  The company was founded by social entrepreneur Randy Best, an 18-year veteran of developing innovative learning solutions to improve education.  For more information, please visit www.academicpartnerships.com.

    Contacts:
     
    For the University of North Carolina Wilmington
    Tara Romanella
    +1.910.962.3616 (office)
    +1.910.512.4280 (mobile)
    romanellat@uncw.edu
     
    For Academic Partnerships
    Jaquelyn M. Scharnick
    +1.866.939.6323
    mediarelations@academicpartnerships.com

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    Whitney University System Signs Agreement with Organization of American States http://www.randybest.com/whitney-university-system-signs-agreement-with-organization-of-american-states http://www.randybest.com/whitney-university-system-signs-agreement-with-organization-of-american-states#comments Mon, 24 Jun 2013 14:38:06 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=872 Continue reading ]]> Press Release: Whitney University System Signs Agreement with Organization of American States

    Miami-based Whitney University System has been selected by the Organization of American States’ Virtual Educa to serve as the leading provider and strategic partner in the design, development, deployment and management of the OAS’ Virtual C@mpus of the Americas.

    "This alliance will benefit all of us in the Americas."

    An outcome of the XI International Virtual Educa Ministerial Meeting in the Dominican Republic, the Virtual C@mpus of the Americas will provide virtual spaces for dialogue and training for universities, facilitate the convergence of traditional presential education with distance learning, and promote the development of performance indicators that will enable effective quality measurements for online higher education in the Americas. Additionally, it will offer university certificates and virtual postgraduate specializations in topics the OAS considers strategic, such as Administration, Science and Technology, Competitiveness, Culture, Defense and Security, Education, and technical-vocational training.

    “The Virtual C@mpus of the Americas is a project we proposed some years back at the OAS. It needed an innovative strategic partner with the capabilities and technological expertise in this area that could allow us to make it a reality, and Whitney is that strategic partner,” said Jose Maria Anton, general secretary of Virtual Educa. “This alliance will benefit all of us in the Americas.”

    Whitney will collaborate with Virtual Educa to expand access to affordable quality virtual education in the Americas by working with OAS partners and the Ilumno Network, which is composed of ten higher education institutions in eight Latin American countries.

    “The transformation and expansion of affordable quality higher education is totally aligned with our vision at Whitney and our Ilumno Network,” said Pete Pizarro, president of Whitney University System and executive director of the Ilumno Network. “We commend our heads of state and ministers in the Americas who like us, recognize that education has a direct impact in promoting social mobility. We are committed to expanding access to affordable quality higher education in the region.”

    The agreement was signed by María Fernanda Campo Saavedra, Minister of Education of Colombia, Pizarro and Anton, during the XIV International Virtual Educa Ministerial Meeting in Medellin, Colombia.

    About Whitney University System

    Based in Miami, Florida, Whitney University System forms strategic partnerships and provides services to higher education institutions in Latin America to help them expand access and inclusion to higher education through best practices and technology. Whitney provides outsourcing services in quality distance learning technologies, marketing, student recruitment, student services, and executes higher education strategies through a team of experts who specialize in the optimization of infrastructure and administrative and financial services for higher education institutions. With regional offices in four countries, Whitney promotes quality, innovation, access, globalization, social responsibility and employability for institutions, faculty and students in Latin America. To learn more about Whitney, visit www.whitneyintl.com.

    Contacts

    Whitney University System
    Raul Duany, +(1) 786-477-5700
    raul.duany@whitneyintl.com
    or
    Organization of American States
    José María Antón, +(1) 202-657-4035
    jmanton@virtualeduca.org

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    Academic Partnerships Chairman and CEO to Speak at InstructureCon 2013 http://www.randybest.com/academic-partnerships-chairman-and-ceo-to-speak-at-instructurecon-2013 http://www.randybest.com/academic-partnerships-chairman-and-ceo-to-speak-at-instructurecon-2013#comments Thu, 20 Jun 2013 15:45:58 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=864 Continue reading ]]> Press Release: Academic Partnerships Chairman and CEO to Speak at InstructureCon 2013

    June 20, 2013
    Academic Partnerships (AP), one of the largest representatives of online learning in the United States and around the world, today announced that Chairman and CEO Randy Best will speak at InstructureCon 2013, the annual conference of educational technology leaders hosted by Instructure, the technology company behind the Canvas learning platform.  Best will appear alongside Instructure CEO Josh Coates during the presentation, which will take place on Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. MDT in Park City, Utah.

    Canvas, the open, easy-to-use, cloud-native learning management system (LMS), is available to all of AP’s current and future university partners free of charge through the strategic partnership the two companies formed last fall.

    AP decided to offer the LMS to its partners free of charge for the online programs the company represents as a way of making its services more comprehensive and further reducing the cost of providing higher education online.  Canvas is used by more than six million teachers and students from more than 425 educational institutions around the world.

    “Academic Partnerships sees technology, which is vastly expanding access to a university education, as the great enabler in higher education today,” said Best.  “It is an essential component of taking the quality of our best universities to scale and educating the number of knowledge workers required in our 21st-century economy, and learning management systems play a key role in making that possible.  Our partners who are using Canvas have found that it provides a much-improved online experience for both students and professors, and I am confident that those who adopt it in the future will have the same experience.”

    A video of the presentation will be available after InstructureCon.  It will be accessible through the conference website at www.instructure.com/instructurecon.

    About Academic Partnerships 

    Academic Partnerships (AP) helps universities convert their traditional degree programs into an online format, recruits qualified students, and supports enrolled students through graduation.  Serving more than 40 public universities in the United States and numerous top foreign institutions, AP is guided by the principle that the opportunities presented through distance learning make higher education more accessible and achievable for students in the U.S. and around the world.  The company was founded by social entrepreneur Randy Best, an 18-year veteran of developing innovative learning solutions to improve education.  For more information, please visit www.academicpartnerships.com.

    About Instructure

    Instructure is a technology company committed to improving education.  We provide instructors and students modern tools and resources to empower the learning experience.  Instructure offers Canvas Network—the open, easy-to-use, cloud-native learning management system.  We also provide an index of open, online courses from Ivy Leagues to community colleges.  To keep learning, visit www.instructure.com.

    Contact:

    For Academic Partnerships
    Jaquelyn M. Scharnick
    mediarelations@academicpartnerships.com

    For Instructure
    Devin Knighton
    Director of Public Relations
    Instructure | www.instructure.com
    (801) 722-8187 | devin@instructure.com

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    Academic Partnerships’ Faculty eCommons Expands Professional Development Programming http://www.randybest.com/academic-partnerships-faculty-ecommons-expands-professional-development-programming http://www.randybest.com/academic-partnerships-faculty-ecommons-expands-professional-development-programming#comments Wed, 12 Jun 2013 16:40:43 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=859 Continue reading ]]> Press Release: Academic Partnerships’ Faculty eCommons Expands Professional Development Programming

    June 12, 2013
    Academic Partnerships (AP), one of the largest representatives of online learning in the United States and around the world, today announced that it has expanded the professional development programming available through Faculty eCommons, the social learning ecosystem developed for faculty around the world to work together and improve online education.

    “Faculty eCommons is dedicated to helping faculty design and teach high-quality online courses that meet that needs of today’s learners,” said AP Vice President of Academic Services Whitney Kilgore.  “It has been a tremendous resource for those involved in providing online instruction, and we are delighted to expand the professional development programs it provides to address issues of interest, including teaching with emerging technologies and designing innovative instruction for the online classroom.”

    Developed with quality in mind, Faculty eCommons’ free professional development events provide faculty with guidance and practical tips that can be applied to online courses to create effective and memorable learning experiences for students.

    Regular events include “Ed Tech Du Jour,” an ongoing web series hosted by online learning authorities and AP Academic Services Directors Dr. Heather Farmakis and Dr. Melissa Kaulbach.  The series focuses on effective online teaching practices and techniques designed to promote academic honesty, build community, and increase student engagement.

    Faculty eCommons also offers “Learn with Michelle,” an ongoing series of webinars and Google+ Hangouts hosted by Michelle Pacansky-Brock, AP academic services director and author of Best Practices for Teaching with Emerging Technologies.  As part of the series, Ms. Pacansky-Brock facilitates informal conversations with representatives of institutions that have successfully implemented effective practices to solve eLearning challenges, such as integrating Web 2.0 tools and establishing faculty development models.

    In addition, Faculty eCommons is offering four-week professional development massive open online courses.  These “Micro-MOOCs” focus on developing skills that faculty can apply to designing and teaching online courses.  Each “Micro-MOOC” offers webinars hosted by field experts and online resources around which course conversations and learning occur.  Past courses have focused on how to incorporate Open Education Resources into the curriculum and instructional design for mobile learning.

    All resources provided by Faculty eCommons are available free of charge.

    To learn more about these offerings or view a calendar of upcoming professional development events, visit www.facultyecommons.org/events/.

    About Academic Partnerships
    Academic Partnerships (AP) helps universities convert their traditional degree programs into an online format, recruits qualified students, and supports enrolled students through graduation.  Serving more than 40 public universities in the United States and numerous top foreign institutions, AP is guided by the principle that the opportunities presented through distance learning make higher education more accessible and achievable for students in the U.S. and around the world.  The company was founded by social entrepreneur Randy Best, an 18-year veteran of developing innovative learning solutions to improve education.  For more information, please visit www.academicpartnerships.com.

    About Faculty eCommons
    Developed by Academic Partnerships, Faculty eCommons is a social learning ecosystem for faculty across the globe to work together and better online education.  The site offers industry research, guidance, best practices, and professional development, with a focus on national quality standards.  Academic Partnerships has a strategic alliance with Sloan Consortium and a subscription to the Quality Matters™ program, which are available to AP Partner faculty.  For more information, please visit www.facultyecommons.com

    Contact:

    For Academic Partnerships
    Jaquelyn M. Scharnick
    media.relations@academicpartnerships.com

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    Big Business Thinking Will Move Universities Forward, Study Says http://www.randybest.com/big-business-thinking-will-move-universities-forward-study-says http://www.randybest.com/big-business-thinking-will-move-universities-forward-study-says#comments Thu, 30 May 2013 18:17:08 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=851 Continue reading ]]>

    Big Business Thinking Will Move Universities Forward, Study Says

    By Kelly Petty

    Thinking like big businesses may be the key driving force in transforming the nation’s colleges and universities, according to researchers at the New America Foundation, a nonpartisan organization.

    The group’s study, titled “The Next Generation University,” says bold leadership and fresh ideas based on growth models will set the best universities apart from the rest. The study focuses on six public universities in the U.S. that are excelling in the areas of enrollment, financial aid access, and educational attainment.

    “Make innovation trump tradition,” said Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University, during a panel discussion. “Allow innovation to be the thing that’s driving us forward and then once you begin to grasp the concept of what innovation allows you to do, then size is no longer a given.”

    The six universities — Arizona State University, Georgia State University, University of Texas at Arlington, University of California at Riverside, University at Buffalo, and the University of Central Florida — were recognized as the “Next Generation Universities” by developing innovative and cost-effective methods to educating their students despite reduced state revenues and increases in tuition.

    These universities share a common characteristic of being public research universities. That classification has allowed them to capture research dollars and develop state-of-the-art facilities for science and technology study. The keyword is STEM — and it is propelling Next Generation Universities to step up and lead in providing the curriculum, resources, and space to educate students for future careers in engineering and tech industries, which are projected to grow to nearly 8 million workers by 2018.

    In 2010, the University of Texas at Arlington opened a new science and engineering building and hired highly qualified researchers in the areas of computer science, engineering, bioengineering and science. Arizona State University, the largest public university in the nation, cut about 70 programs and introduced new ones focused on earth and space, technology and innovation, and human evolution and social change.

    UT-Arlington forged a relationship with the for-profit online course builder and student recruiter Academic Partnerships which resulted in 60 percent of its students taking at least one online course. Arlington’s nursing program, which is the largest of any public university, increased its online enrollment to 5,000 students from the 127 students that began using the program in 2008.

    The University of California at Riverside invested $100 million in private funds to build a new medical school to be competitive with other UC campuses. Douglas Mitchell, interim dean and professor in the School of Education, believes a lack of highly achieving students at Riverside is not the problem, rather it is important to take current and incoming students at the university and “make them elite.”

    The study also focused on emerging learning models to access a large number of students. Not afraid of large student populations, each of the six universities has increased their campus communities by offering online and hybrid courses, as well as traditional lectures to give their students a variety of learning options to best fit their schedules.

    To stave off tuition increases and increase higher education access to underrepresented and minority groups, some of these universities have focused on offering alternative funding models and creating partnerships with local community colleges to give the greatest amount of students access to a college education wherever they are in their studies.

    Georgia State University’s “Keep Hope Alive” program, which offers $500 grants to students who lose the state-lottery funded HOPE scholarship, retains those who would otherwise drop out due to the loss of their scholarship funds. The university also offers an incentive program that pays work-study dollars to students to be tutors for classes in which they received a high GPA.

    GSU also has begun awarding grants of up to $1000 to help pay off remaining debts students owe at the end of the semester.

    Both Arizona State University and Central Florida have boosted relationships with local community colleges and worked to accept more transfer credits so two-year college students can move seamlessly to four-year universities and graduate on time.

    The study’s authors ultimately concluded that for colleges and universities to innovate, they must think like some of the most successful corporations in the nation by focusing on innovation, investment, and making themselves competitive. Increasing student population and campus size to reflect specialized study — like ASU’s six campuses — as well as making the transfer from community colleges to universities easier and focusing on degree completion will realign universities for a 21st century workforce.

    http://ivn.us/2013/05/28/big-business-thinking-will-move-universities-forward-study-says/

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    Columbus State University to Add Additional Online Degree Programs http://www.randybest.com/columbus-state-university-to-add-additional-online-degree-programs http://www.randybest.com/columbus-state-university-to-add-additional-online-degree-programs#comments Mon, 20 May 2013 14:44:23 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=846 Continue reading ]]> Press Release: Columbus State University to Add Additional Online Degree Programs

    May 20, 2013
    Columbus State University (CSU) today announced that its College of Education and Health Professions will offer additional online degree programs beginning this summer.  Applications for the programs—Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-to-BSN), Education Specialist in Education Leadership (Ed.S. Educational Leadership), and Master of Education in Special Education (M.Ed. in Special Education)—are currently being accepted.

    “We are committed to making our distinctive programs available to qualified students near and far,” said CSU President Timothy Mescon.  “Our growing array of quality online offerings allows us to attract students throughout the Southeast and around the world so that we can truly deliver on that commitment.”

    CSU’s College of Education and Health Professions seeks to achieve excellence in the preparation of teachers, counselors, leaders, and health professionals.  Like its on-campus programs, CSU’s online RN-to-BSN, M.Ed. in Special Education, and Ed.S. in Educational Leadership are fully accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges. 

    In addition, the RN-to-BSN is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Ed.S. in Educational Leadership and the M.Ed. in Special Education are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.  The Ed.S. in Educational Leadership has also been designated as a performance-based leadership program by the Georgia Public Standards Commission; and the M.Ed. in Special Education has been recognized by the Council for Exceptional Children.

    CSU has chosen Academic Partnerships (AP), one of the largest representatives of public universities’ online learning in the United States, to help convert these programs into an online format, recruit students, and support student retention efforts.  AP will work closely with CSU faculty to ensure that the new online degree programs maintain the highest educational standards.  The company will also use its integrated marketing and branding strategies to extend the university’s reach, increasing the enrollment of highly-qualified students.

    These new programs will begin in August 2013.  Click here to apply or learn more about the programs.

    About Columbus State University

    Ranked among the top regional universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report with special recognition of its online programs in the College of Education and Health Professions, Columbus State offers nationally distinctive programs in the arts, education, business, nursing and more.  Columbus State University provides a creative, deeply personal and relevant college experience.  Serving the Southeast while attracting students from around the world, Columbus State thrives on community partnerships to deliver excellence for students who want to achieve personal and professional success in an increasingly global environment.  Just 100 miles southwest of Atlanta, Columbus State University is part of the University System of Georgia, enrolling more than 8,200 students in a wide variety of degree programs.  For more information, please visit www.columbusstate.edu.

     

    About Academic Partnerships

    Academic Partnerships (AP) helps universities convert their traditional degree programs into an online format, recruits qualified students and supports enrolled students through graduation.  Serving more than 40 public institutions, AP is one of the largest representatives of public universities' online learning in the United States.  The company was founded by social entrepreneur Randy Best, an 18-year veteran of developing innovative learning solutions to improve education.  AP is guided by the principle that the opportunities presented through distance learning make higher education more accessible and achievable for students in the U.S. and globally.  For more information, please visit www.academicpartnerships.com.

    Contacts:

    For Columbus State University
    John Lester
    +1.706.507.8725>
    lester_john@columbusstate.edu

    For Academic Partnerships
    Jaquelyn M. Scharnick
    +1.214.438.4144
    jaquelyn.scharnick@academicpartnerships.com

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    University of Arizona Eller College to Bring MBA Program Online http://www.randybest.com/university-of-arizona-eller-college-to-bring-mba-program-online http://www.randybest.com/university-of-arizona-eller-college-to-bring-mba-program-online#comments Wed, 15 May 2013 15:38:18 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=841 Continue reading ]]> Press Release: University of Arizona Eller College to Bring MBA Program Online

    May 15, 2013
    The University of Arizona (UA) Eller College of Management today announced that its internationally-recognized MBA program will be available online beginning this fall. Applications for the program are currently being accepted.

    "Business schools need to be responsive to the changing needs of their students, and we are committed to offering many modes of graduate business education," said Len Jessup, Dean of the Eller College. "Making the MBA program more flexible for highly-qualified students is part of our broader effort to expand access to the University of Arizona and will go a long way toward increasing its footprint in Arizona and beyond."

    Associate Dean of Eller MBA Programs Hope Schau added, "Offering our program in an online format opens it up to a new segment of students. We pride ourselves on meeting the needs of highly-qualified students at all stages of their careers, and this new offering reflects that commitment."

    With a focus on innovation, application, and communication, the Eller MBA experience is designed to give graduates what they need to effectively lead in today's changing global marketplace. Like its full-time, evening, and executive MBA formats, the Eller online MBA program is fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International).

    UA has chosen Academic Partnerships (AP), one of the largest representatives of public universities' online learning in the United States, to help convert the program into an online format, recruit students, and support student retention efforts. AP will work closely with Eller faculty to ensure that the new online degree program maintains the highest educational standards. The company will also use its integrated marketing and branding strategies to extend the university's reach, increasing the enrollment of highly-qualified students.

    The University of Arizona's new online MBA program will begin in September 2013. Click here to apply or learn more about the program.

    About the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona

    The Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona is internationally recognized for pioneering research, innovative curriculum, distinguished faculty, excellence in management information systems, entrepreneurship, and social responsibility. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller undergraduate program #14 among public business schools and three of its programs are among the top 20 — Entrepreneurship, MIS, and Management. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller MBA Full-Time program #44 in the U.S. and #21 among public business schools. The College leads the nation's business schools in generating grant funds for research. In addition to a Full-Time MBA program, the Eller College offers an Evening MBA program and the Eller Executive MBA. The Eller College of Management supports approximately 5,700 undergraduate and 700 graduate students on the UA campus in beautiful Tucson, Arizona.

    About Academic Partnerships

    Academic Partnerships (AP) helps universities convert their traditional degree programs into an online format, recruits qualified students and supports enrolled students through graduation. Serving more than 40 public institutions, AP is one of the largest representatives of public universities' online learning in the United States. The company was founded by social entrepreneur Randy Best, an 18-year veteran of developing innovative learning solutions to improve education. AP is guided by the principle that the opportunities presented through distance learning make higher education more accessible and achievable for students in the U.S. and globally. For more information, please visit www.academicpartnerships.com.

    Contacts:

    For the University of Arizona
    Liz Warren-Pederson
    +1.520.626.9547
    news@eller.arizona.edu

    For Academic Partnerships
    Jaquelyn M. Scharnick
    +1.214.438.4144
    jaquelyn.scharnick@academicpartnerships.com

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    Academic Partnerships Adds Authorities in Online Learning to Its Academic Services Team http://www.randybest.com/academic-partnerships-adds-authorities-in-online-learning-to-its-academic-services-team http://www.randybest.com/academic-partnerships-adds-authorities-in-online-learning-to-its-academic-services-team#comments Tue, 16 Apr 2013 14:59:16 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=835 Continue reading ]]> Press Release: Academic Partnerships Adds Authorities in Online Learning to Its Academic Services Team

    April 15, 2013
    Heather Farmakis and Michelle Pacansky-Brock Named Directors of Academic Services

    DALLAS (April 15, 2013) Academic Partnerships (AP), one of the largest representatives of public universities’ online learning in the United States, today announced that it has named Heather Farmakis and Michelle Pacansky-Brock as directors of Academic Services.  Dr. Farmakis and Ms. Pacansky-Brock bring significant expertise designing and implementing student-centered online learning experiences to the company.  They will report to Academic Partnerships’ Vice President of Academic Services Whitney Kilgore.

     

    “Heather and Michelle are well-respected in the academic arena for their work in the evolution of online teaching through the delivery of exemplary professional development,” said Ms. Kilgore.  “They share Academic Partnerships’ commitment to providing best-in-class faculty support services to our university partners, and I am delighted that they have joined us.  I look forward to the contributions they will make on

    Faculty eCommons, our social learning community for faculty in online university programs, to support our partners in the scholarship of teaching and learning.”

     

    Dr. Farmakis was most recently a Technology Program Specialist at the School District of Palm Beach County (SDPBC) in Fla.  In this role, she was responsible for overseeing the SDPBC’s online learning management system and the district’s professional development programs for teachers, administrators, and others.  Additionally, Dr. Farmakis was the co-host of the television shows Palm Breeze Café and Teaching with Technology, which promoted technology integration in education.  She is also an online adjunct professor for Lynn University and teaches technology leadership courses at the graduate level.  She serves on the University’s Advisory Board for the College of Education, planning and collaborating on graduate programs for the working adult.  Dr. Farmakis holds a B.A. from Florida Atlantic University and a M.Ed. and Ph.D. from Lynn University. Based on her experiences in these roles, Dr. Farmakis wrote an eBook for students new to online learning entitled iLearn: Tips and Tricks for Online Learners.

    Noted online instructor and faculty development specialist Ms. Pacansky-Brock has held numerous leadership roles in the national online teaching community and is the author of Best Practices for Teaching with Emerging Technologies.  In addition to consulting for a variety of companies and colleges, she served as a Steering Committee member of the Sloan-C Emerging Technologies for Online Learning (ET4Online) Symposium in 2013 and 2012.  In 2010, she was awarded a Sloan-C Effective Practice Award for her use of VoiceThread, the Web-based application that allows users to create a shared presentation as a media album and interact with via voice, video, or text.  Ms. Pacansky-Brock is also a recipient of the Sloan-C Excellence in Online Teaching Award, a National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) award for Teaching Excellence, and the Capella Educator Advancement scholarship.  She is the author of the forthcoming eBook How to Humanize Your Online Class with VoiceThread, which will be available this summer.  Ms. Pacansky-Brock holds a B.A. from San Jose State University, a M.A. from the University of California, Riverside, and is currently completing her doctoral work in Education Leadership and Management at Capella University.

     

    About Faculty eCommons 

    Developed by Academic Partnerships, Faculty eCommons is a social learning ecosystem for faculty across the globe to work together and better online education.  The site offers industry research, guidance, best practices, and professional development, with a focus on national quality standards.  Academic Partnerships has a strategic alliance with Sloan Consortium and a subscription to the Quality Matters™ program, which are available to AP Partner faculty.  For more information, please visit www.facultyecommons.com.

    About Academic Partnerships 
    Academic Partnerships (AP) helps universities convert their traditional degree programs into an online format, recruits qualified students and supports enrolled students through graduation.  Serving more than 40 public institutions, AP is one of the largest representatives of public universities' online learning in the United States.  The company was founded by social entrepreneur Randy Best, an 18-year veteran of developing innovative learning solutions to improve education.  AP is guided by the principle that the opportunities presented through distance learning make higher education more accessible and achievable for students in the U.S. and globally.  For more information, please visit www.academicpartnerships.com.

    Contact:

    Jaquelyn M. Scharnick

    Academic Partnerships

    +1.214.438.4144

    jaquelyn.scharnick@academicpartnerships.com

     

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    Point of view: Virtual classes give lesson in reality http://www.randybest.com/point-of-view-virtual-classes-give-lesson-in-reality http://www.randybest.com/point-of-view-virtual-classes-give-lesson-in-reality#comments Thu, 14 Mar 2013 16:02:21 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=826 Continue reading ]]>

    Point of view: Virtual classes give lesson in reality

    By James Dean
    Can an online MBA programme be of the same high quality as a campus-based programme? From a teaching and learning perspective, there can no longer be any doubt that online education can match and, in some ways, exceed the performance of conventional education.

    Online MBA programmes match or exceed the quality of on-campus programmes when done right. Doing it right does not mean simply transmitting taped lectures or using Powerpoint slides with a voice-over lecture. It does mean:

    • Rigorous courses taught by excellent teachers who assess students’ work and provide feedback

    • Students working in teams on group projects:

    • Students actively engaged with classmates and professors, forming a lifelong network.

    Doing online right is very hard work, and requires investments of time and resources. But it is possible and worthwhile, and MBA@UNC is the proof.

    Any quality programme is built on the foundation of excellent students, faculty and curriculum. It must be engaging, interactive and supportive. A quality online programme is no different. Furthermore, while the experience is not exactly the same, the differences might surprise you.

    With the right design, an online programme can offer experiences that you might think students miss by not being on campus. Our students participate in simulations and group projects, listen to corporate speakers and engage in a virtual consulting project. Live classes, capped at 15 students, feature a high level of direct student-faculty interaction. Students build strong relationships with each other and the school. They have virtual happy hours and virtual hallway conversations. When our first class graduates in July, a member will serve on our school’s alumni council.

    Frankly, what we discovered is that using traditional education as the gold standard is outmoded.

    • In our small, live classes, professors and students are visible at all times. There is no back row, so everyone can and must participate in ways that do not always occur in on-campus classes. Students are more accountable and their levels of energy and engagement are higher. Professors can better gauge their understanding in real-time.

    • We archive everything, including live sessions. Students watch taped classes as many times as they need to master a subject; the class does not “evaporate” when the session ends. Professors can evaluate sessions and go back to a specific moment – for instance, to identify when a student became confused. Importantly, we have given essentially the same tests to our full-time and online students and seen virtually identical performance.

    • Online students master virtual teamwork – a skill that companies require and value.

    • Professors think deeply about what exactly they want students to learn and how to communicate that in new ways and then redesign their courses. They often incorporate those changes into their on-campus classes.

    Beyond the purely curricular perspective, the picture is more complicated. Full time and online programmes have a portfolio of strengths and weaknesses, and meet the different needs of different student populations, with EMBA programmes, in many ways, the intermediate between the two.

    For students who want to make significant changes early in their career paths, full-time programmes offer on-campus access to recruiters in ways not easy to replicate. Yet MBA@UNC students receive individualised career management support, assessments and coaching as students. And their employers reap the benefits of what they are learning. MBA@UNC students apply what they learn in class on Thursday at work on Friday morning. Employers so value their learning that about 30 per cent of our students have received promotions and new jobs after only one year in the programme.

    Among the most compelling reasons for a top online programme are increased access and unparalleled flexibility for people who thought a quality MBA programme was out of reach. Those students might live in a place without proximity to a top programme and cannot or do not want to leave their jobs or relocate their families. What is the highest cost for on-campus students? To forego income for one or two years.

    Asking whether an online programme can match the quality of a traditional programme might ultimately be the wrong question. As technology evolves, the question will increasingly become what are the characteristics of a high-quality programme for a particular student segment, however it is delivered.

    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/b04eb9b8-859d-11e2-9ee3-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2NHwzvati

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    Student-Loan Delinquencies Among the Young Soar http://www.randybest.com/student-loan-delinquencies-among-the-young-soar http://www.randybest.com/student-loan-delinquencies-among-the-young-soar#comments Mon, 11 Mar 2013 15:05:11 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=803 Continue reading ]]>

    Student-Loan Delinquencies Among the Young Soar

    By Ruth Simon
    The number of young borrowers who have fallen behind on their student loan payments has soared over the past four years, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said in a report released Thursday.

    According to the report, 35% of people under 30 who have student loans were at least 90 days late on their payments at the end of last year, up from 26% in 2008 and 21% at the end of 2004.

    The new figures, which exclude borrowers who are still in school or aren't yet required to make payments, show that young Americans are having a tougher time repaying college loans as debt loads increase and job prospects remain shaky.

    Amplifying the burden: a growing number of young adults have become student borrowers. All told, 43% of 25-year-olds had student debt in the fourth quarter of 2012, up from about 33% in the fourth quarter of 2008.

    Concerns about higher debt loads and rising delinquencies are leading government officials and families to focus more on the payoff from a college degree. Meanwhile, colleges and universities are facing increased pressure to limit tuition increases. Some are even freezing or cutting their charges.

    The high delinquency rate is very worrisome, said Wilbert van der Klaauw, an economist with the New York Fed, noting that higher education has traditionally produced a sizable financial payoff. "We hope the returns to these educational investments are going to be there" as the labor market rebounds, he added.

    The amount of U.S. student-loan debt increased 11% last year to $966 billion and is up 51% since 2008, according to the report. Student-loan debt climbed even as other types of borrowing fell.

    While 40% of student-loan borrowers owe less than $10,000, a growing number have higher loan balances. Nearly 47% of borrowers owe between $10,000 and $50,000, up from 38% in the fourth quarter of 2005. The share of borrowers with balances of $100,000 or more has also jumped, to 3.7% from 1.7% during this period.

    Student-loan borrowers of all ages are struggling to make their payments, according to the Fed report. Overall, the portion of borrowers who are 90 days or more past due climbed to 31% in 2012 from 24% in 2008. Delinquency rates were highest for borrowers under 30, with 35% of them 90 days or more past due last year, up from 21% in 2004.

    The New York Fed's numbers exclude the roughly 44% of borrowers who don't have to make loan payments, typically because they are still in school or have been granted a loan deferral or forbearance. The share of all borrowers who are 90 days or more past due climbed to 18% in the fourth quarter from 10% at the end of 2004, according to the report.

    The amount of other types of consumer debt held by borrowers ages 25 to 30 tumbled between 2005 and 2012 even as student loan balances have increased. The reduction in other types of debt was greatest for borrowers with $100,000 or more in student loan debt, a group that includes many borrowers with advanced degrees.

    Borrowers who are behind on their student loan debts are far more likely to also be late on auto-loan, credit-card and mortgage payments, according to the report.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323978104578332222805526516.html

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    Big Increase In High School Enrollment In College Courses http://www.randybest.com/big-increase-in-high-school-enrollment-in-college-courses http://www.randybest.com/big-increase-in-high-school-enrollment-in-college-courses#comments Mon, 11 Mar 2013 15:03:37 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=800 Continue reading ]]>

    Big Increase In High School Enrollment In College Courses

    The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released a new report documenting the rapid and sustained growth of dual and concurrent enrollment nationwide, demonstrating the important role that partnerships with colleges and universities have in increasing the rigor of the high school experience.

    During the 2010-11 school year, NCES estimates that nearly 15,000 public high schools (82 percent) enrolled students in 2 million college courses, for which students earned both high school and college credit. This is an increase from 71% in school year 2002-03, when NCES last conducted the study. Over the intervening eight years an additional 4,000 public high schools established dual and concurrent enrollment partnerships to offer college courses.

    The majority of students were able to take college courses without leaving their high school campus through the concurrent enrollment model, which utilizes college-approved high school instructors to teach college courses. Over three-quarters (77%) of dual enrollment students were taught at secondary school locations, including career centers run by the public school system. At 89% percent of high schools where academic college courses are offered on site, high school instructors deliver some or all of the college courses.

    Sandy González of Schenectady County Community College in New York, President of the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) remarked: “The new report from NCES documents the remarkable growth in concurrent enrollment partnerships between high schools and colleges throughout the past decade. Colleges and universities increasingly recognize the need to share resources and create a more continuous education system for students.”

    The report, conducted by the statistical agency of the U.S. Department of Education, provides nationwide estimates based on a representative survey of public high schools. It concludes that high school students took 2 million college courses in 2010-11, up from 1.2 million in 2002-03. This represents an annual growth rate of greater than 7% over the intervening eight years. Even higher growth rates were seen in schools where a majority of students are ethnic or racial minorities (12%), rural schools (12%), and in the Northeast and Southeast regions of the country (9%). A companion report on postsecondary providers of dual enrollment courses will be released in March.

    Research studies show that earning college credit while in high school improves college transitions and creates the academic momentum necessary for students to complete college degrees. Recent reports from the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and the Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) have called on colleges and universities to further engage with their secondary partners to address the critical need to improve students’ readiness for college.

    http://collegepuzzle.stanford.edu/?p=2917

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    A College Degree Sorts Job Applicants, but Employers Wish It Meant More http://www.randybest.com/a-college-degree-sorts-job-applicants-but-employers-wish-it-meant-more http://www.randybest.com/a-college-degree-sorts-job-applicants-but-employers-wish-it-meant-more#comments Mon, 11 Mar 2013 15:02:10 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=797 Continue reading ]]>

    A College Degree Sorts Job Applicants, but Employers Wish It Meant More

    By Karin Fischer
    Yet half of those surveyed recently by The Chronicle and American Public Media's Marketplace said they had trouble finding recent graduates qualified to fill positions at their company or organization. Nearly a third gave colleges just fair to poor marks for producing successful employees. And they dinged bachelor's-degree holders for lacking basic workplace proficiencies, like adaptability, communication skills, and the ability to solve complex problems.

    "Woefully unprepared" is how David E. Boyes characterized the newly minted B.A.'s who apply to his Northern Virginia technology consulting company.

    What gives? These days a bachelor's degree is practically a prerequisite for getting your résumé read—two-thirds of employers said they never waive degree requirements, or do so only for particularly outstanding candidates. But clearly the credential leaves employers wanting. While they use college as a sorting mechanism, to signal job candidates' discipline and drive, they think it is falling short in adequately preparing new hires.

    The tension may lie partly in changes in the world of work: technological transformation and evolving expectations that employees be ready to handle everything straightaway. And perhaps managers are right to expect an easier time finding employees up to the task—after all, three times the proportion of Americans have bachelor's degrees now as did a generation or two ago.

    Some economists, like Peter Cappelli, a professor of management at the University of Pennsylvania, argue that employers' gripes about unprepared job candidates are just the same old, same old: "I understand that those doing the hiring in ancient Greece complained about the same thing."

    Sine Nomine Associates, Mr. Boyes's firm, works with high-tech companies like Cisco and IBM. However, it's fundamental abilities that he says recent graduates lack, like how to analyze large amounts of data or construct a cogent argument. "It's not a matter of technical skill," he says, "but of knowing how to think."

    Mr. Boyes, who takes on one or two new employees a year, isn't alone in finding recent graduates weak in those areas. While fresh hires had the right technical know-how for the job, said most employers in the survey, they grumbled that colleges weren't adequately preparing students in written and oral communication, decision-making, and analytical and research skills.

    That might come as a surprise to college leaders, who frequently cast the value of a degree in those very terms. But Julian L. Alssid, of the nonprofit Workforce Strategy Center, says that although business and higher education may use the same language, it doesn't always have the same meaning. Educators often think of such competencies "in a purely academic context," Mr. Alssid says, while employers want "book smarts to translate to the real world."

    "It's a matter of how to apply that knowledge," he says.

    Such a push, however, tends not to go over well with faculty members who look down on any instruction perceived as vocational.

    The Boeing Company in 2008 began to rank colleges based on how well their graduates perform within the corporation; it plans to conduct the same evaluation again this year, says Richard D. Stephens, senior vice president for human resources and management.

    While the results have not been made public, Boeing did share them with colleges. Some took the findings seriously, even working with the aerospace company to refine their curricula, while others dismissed them. Colleges' responses, Mr. Stephens says, have affected where Boeing focuses its internship programs and hiring.

    "To expect business to bring graduates up to speed," he says, "that's too much to ask."

    With many people now moving from job to job and employer to employer throughout their careers, on-the-job preparation no longer makes economic sense to a lot of companies. Mr. Boyes, the technology consultant, puts all new hires through a yearlong training program, but he's an outlier.

    "Once upon a time, 'trainee' used to be a common job title," says Philip D. Gardner, director of the Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University. "Now companies expect everyone, recent graduates included, to be ready to go on Day One.

    "The mantle of preparing the work force," he says, "has been passed to higher ed."

    Whether colleges want to accept that responsibility is another matter. While some institutions tout their career centers, internship offerings, and academic programs designed with industry input, others argue that workplace skills ought to be taught on the job. Higher education is meant to educate broadly, not train narrowly, they say: It's business that's asking too much.

    And if college graduates aren't up to scratch, some campus leaders ask, why do employers keep hiring them? The unemployment rate for Americans with bachelor's degrees, after all, is less than 5 percent; for those with only high-school diplomas, it's nearly double.

    Well, because even though employers may kvetch about college graduates, they generally make better employees than those who finished only high school, says Paul E. Harrington, who leads Drexel University's Center for Labor Markets and Policy. If nothing else, having gone through four—or five or six—years of schooling proves that they can stick with a task. "It's a relative bet," he says.

    Survey respondents echoed that idea, calling a college degree "absolutely required," "a must," and "indication a candidate ... can work toward achieving a goal." A B.A. shows that somebody has "staying power," one employer said. "It helps distinguish between those that have put in effort," another noted, "versus those who have not."

    But Mr. Harrington and others worry that bachelor's-degree holders may be squeezing those with less education out of the job market, particularly during this lingering downturn. A recent study by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, a research-and-advocacy group, found that nearly half of all American college graduates in 2010 were underemployed, holding jobs that require less than a bachelor's degree.

    Those findings are contested by some in higher education, such as the Lumina Foundation's Jamie P. Merisotis, who calls the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics' occupational definitions, on which the study is based, imprecise or out of date. A college degree may not be necessary to sell shoes, but it probably is to sell sophisticated medical devices, Mr. Merisotis says. Both occupations are classified as "sales" by the bureau.

    In fact, in the Chronicle-Marketplace survey, some lines of work that traditionally haven't required a degree, including manufacturing and the service-and-retail sector, are where employers now place a higher value on a college education. Other fields, like nursing and respiratory therapy, have begun to require a bachelor's degree for even entry-level positions.

    The trend may reflect the growing complexity of certain professions, but it worries Barbara R. Jones, president of South Arkansas Community College, a rural institution that enrolls large numbers of working adults and first-generation students.

    Additional schooling isn't always feasible or affordable for them, she says, and all the focus on the bachelor's degree could make it more difficult for those students to climb toward a solid career.

    "My concern," she says, "is that we don't eliminate rungs on the ladder."

    Students go to college to get an education and a job. Yet the things they look for in colleges to help propel them forward don't always square with what employers value.

    In a national survey, freshmen at four-year colleges most often cited the option "This college has a very good academic reputation" as very important in deciding where to enroll. After they spend years doing well in school to get into college, straight A's often remain an expectation. And in some circles, the name on the rear-window decal of the family car is all-important.

    But students' grades and their colleges' reputations are hardly the most important factors for employers, according to a survey by The Chronicle and American Public Media's Marketplace. Employers want new graduates to have real-world experience. Internships and work during college matter most: Employers said that each of those was about four times as important as college reputation, which they rated least important. Relevance of coursework and grade-point average rounded out the bottom of the list.

    Those results track with other research into what employers want, says Anthony P. Carnevale, director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. "Students and families overestimate the importance of selectivity enormously," he says. "The economy is much more democratic than higher education is."

    Yet there is less of a discrepancy between how families and employers look at college than there used to be, says David Strauss, a principal with the Art & Science Group, a higher-education consulting firm that studies enrollment decisions. Top students used to feel confident about life after graduation, he says. Not anymore.

    Second to academic reputation among students' reasons for picking a college is that its "graduates get good jobs," according to the survey of freshmen. Some directors of campus internship programs report fielding questions from prospective families. And, responding to consumer demand in 2007, the Princeton Review scrapped its ranking of best academic colleges, replacing it with one for career services.

    That recent interest aligns with employers' focus on practical experience. For Enterprise-Rent-A-Car, which hires some 8,500 recent college graduates in a typical year, such experience can come from an internship, a job, "anything that allows them to see what the real world is like—the more professional, the better," says Marie M. Artim, vice president for talent acquisition. The company's own internship program serves as a significant pipeline.

    The same goes for General Electric. The company concentrates its recruitment on 45 American and 60 foreign campuses, from which it makes two-thirds of its hires, says Steve Canale, manager of global recruiting and staffing. So while there are good candidates elsewhere, he says, GE homes in on where it will get the greatest return. That means even a standout student at an unknown college is less likely to catch a recruiter's eye.

    Beyond experience, the rest of what matters to employers can be murkier: It depends on the company and the job. Take grade-point average. Many employers are little concerned with grades, as the survey reflects. Others, like GE, use a cutoff to shrink the pool. As for graduates' majors, they matter a great deal in some fields, like engineering; you need a certain background to design a jet engine. But recent graduates angling to work, say, sales, don't need a particular major as long as they have other skills. Communication, integrity, and ambition are three qualities GE looks for in all its hires.

    Between teenagers and careers stand colleges, and both sides expect them to be a bridge. "Universities across the U.S. are working to bring those two pieces together closer all the time," says Gene Wells, who directs the career center at the University of Evansville.

    Evansville's president has made a big push on career development, says Mr. Wells. "We want to make sure our education is a value proposition for students, parents, and our other set of customers: employers and our community."

    The campaign begins even before students enroll. Last summer Evansville began offering free career-assessment and -advising sessions during campus visits by prospective students. Career counselors also talk with them outside the visit program, sometimes via Skype. From last August to December, 160 prospective students took part in some kind of counseling, Mr. Wells says.

    They may have an idea of what job they'd like to pursue—perhaps because they've seen it on TV, he says—but they haven't learned yet to think broadly about various ways their interests might line up with the world of work. That's where Evansville can help.

    But while colleges are doing more to prepare students for the job search, employers aren't necessarily satisfied with the results. Nearly a third responded in the survey that recent graduates were unprepared for that search. Their interviewing skills, employers said, were particularly lacking.

    Students start college with a limited understanding of the professional world, says Christopher E. Reeves, a counselor at Beechwood High School, in Fort Mitchell, Ky. Parents care a lot about their children's finding jobs after college, but at the admissions stage that mostly translates into a fixation on major, says Mr. Reeves. Parents feel better "if the major describes the job," he says. The liberal arts, he finds, can be a tough sell.

    Perhaps that limited awareness shouldn't come as a surprise. Should high-school students know exactly where they want to go to college to plot a precise course to a career? Teenagers may be clueless about what they might do with their lives, but they're being pushed to start figuring it out.

    The pressure is on. Already the admissions process is starting earlier, and the stakes are high. College prices are rising, family incomes are not, and more students are turning to loans to make up the difference. As greater shares of students graduate with debt, they must think fast about earning a living in a job market that remains weak.

    Students have much to gain, then, in figuring out what employers want. Of course, they can always just go to graduate school.

    That's where Rachel Vandernick, a senior at Messiah College, in Mechanicsburg, Pa., learned how to fail. It happened during one of her six internships, when she inadvertently sent the wrong press release to 40 news outlets.

    Until then, says Ms. Vandernick, a public-relations major, failure meant getting a B-minus, showing up to class late, or not knowing the answer to a professor's question. Failure in her internship affected other people and the company's brand. She had to send out 40 new e-mails to make things right.

    "I learned," she says, "how to clean up a mistake."

    The lessons internships can teach, their growing prominence, and the enormous value they carry for college graduates are turning them into a key marketing asset for higher education in a tough economy—even as the experiences can prove difficult to weave into the traditional curriculum.

    Students don't just want internships; they need them. When evaluating recent graduates, employers weigh internships most heavily—more so than applicants' college, their grades, or their major, according to a survey commissioned by The Chronicle and American Public Media's Marketplace.

    "An internship is the single most important credential for recent college graduates to have on their résumé," wrote Maguire Associates, the higher-education consulting firm that conducted the survey.

    Internships also present a paradox. While a college degree delivers higher earnings over a lifetime, it is often internships that start graduates on their way. And yet the experiences unfold almost entirely outside traditional academic bounds.

    Internships take many forms. Professionally focused disciplines may require them, sometimes by other names: fieldwork, co-op, practicum. Some internships pay; some ask that interns receive academic credit; some do both or neither. Two students in the same major at the same college can intern for the same company, work for different supervisors, and emerge with two very different experiences.

    Such variety can make it difficult to quantify internships' educational value. And yet colleges often must do just that. Federal guidelines, intended to protect interns from exploitation, consider academic credit a fair substitute for compensation. At least that's how companies see it—and they often require that interns get that credit.

    To increase oversight of internships and bolster their educational validity, colleges have erected considerable institutional scaffolding around them. The most robust programs screen and counsel students, offer a concurrent internship course, craft learning contracts with employers, conduct site visits, assign students writing exercises, assess their portfolios, and ask students and employers to evaluate each other.

    Although such efforts are helpful, they're not the only factors that lead to real learning, says Michael True, director of the Internship Center at Messiah and manager of a national e-mail list on the subject. In good internships, students are bound to learn, whether their college takes an active role or not. The hope, he says, is that institutions will push students to think more deeply than they otherwise would.

    "The reflection is what brings the deep learning," says Mr. True. "We know that doesn't always happen," but "that's the ideal."

    Educators certainly see the potential of internships. They are one of several "high-impact practices" identified by George D. Kuh, founder of the National Survey of Student Engagement, or Nessie. Like service learning, study abroad, and open-ended research projects, internships often place undergraduates in challenging situations with complex tasks and elusive answers.

    "You can't easily simulate that kind of real-world experience," says Jillian Kinzie, associate director of Nessie. "When done well, they connect students to opportunities where they can apply what they're leaning to a different context."

    Internships also come with real-life consequences, as Ms. Vandernick, of Messiah, discovered. Working with colleagues can carry lessons as well. Students will often find themselves alongside people of different ages, backgrounds, and views, which can also spur self-reflection and learning.

    But colleges aren't always thorough in prompting that reflection. Less than half of students granted academic credit for an internship had to write a paper or deliver a presentation on what they learned during their experience, according to Intern Bridge, a recruiting-and-consulting firm, which analyzed survey responses in 2011 from nearly 9,000 students at 300 colleges.

    Even in internship programs with apparently sound educational guidelines, lessons aren't guaranteed.

    The University of Connecticut's internship program in writing is one that makes a deliberate effort to connect the classroom to the workplace. Students serving as interns take a course that assigns one to two pages of reflection following each day of work, says Ruth Fairbanks, the program's director.

    Such exercises don't always ensure connections, at least at first. Jacquelyn M. Lomp, who graduated from UConn last May with a B.A. in English, initially wasn't sure how her internship, in which she wrote newsletters for the university's pharmacy department, related to her studies. "I'd go from dissecting different pharmaceutical research," she says, "to studying Norse mythology."

    Only after college did she come to recognize that both her academic work and her internship required intense focus and the ability to analyze language for deeper meaning.

    In some practically oriented fields, the classroom is direct preparation for the workplace. An internship can add a necessary dose of messiness.

    Shannon Duffy, who graduated from Xavier University in Ohio with a degree in nursing, says internships helped her see obstacles that can arise in clinical practice. While her coursework taught her that a bacterial infection can be cured with antibiotics, her experience revealed that the patient may not understand the instructions, have enough money to fill the prescription, or finish the prescribed course.

    "There was always a jolt to see or do something for the first time with a patient, compared to in classes," Ms. Duffy, who is now a pediatric nurse in an intensive-care unit, wrote in an e-mail.

    Such stories suggest that internships will continue to bring educational value to students. Whether this value is the result of, or irrelevant to, a sometimes-disconnected academic enterprise is debatable. In a depressed labor market, in which an internship has become more or less a prerequisite for a job, those concerns may also be beside the point.

    Survey Results and Methodology

    The findings on these pages come from a survey developed, fielded, and analyzed by Maguire Associates Inc., a higher-education consulting firm, on behalf of The Chronicle and American Public Media's Marketplace. Maguire invited 50,000 employers to participate in the study. Experience.com, a career-services consultancy, helped develop the sample by providing a contact list of employers that recruit recent college graduates.

    The survey was conducted in August and September 2012. There were 704 responses.

    Results were organized by industry and hiring level. Hiring levels were divided into human resources, managers, and executives.

    http://chronicle.com/article/A-College-Degree-Sorts-Job/137625#id=overview

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    Public-University Costs Soar http://www.randybest.com/public-university-costs-soar http://www.randybest.com/public-university-costs-soar#comments Mon, 11 Mar 2013 15:00:29 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=794 Continue reading ]]>

    Public-University Costs Soar

    By Ruth Simon
    Tuition at public colleges jumped last year by a record amount as state governments slashed school funding, the latest sign of strain in the U.S. higher-education sector.

    The average amount that students at public colleges paid in tuition, after state and institutional grants and scholarships, climbed 8.3% last year, the biggest jump on record, according to a report based on data from all public institutions in all 50 states to be released Wednesday by the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association. Median tuition rose 4.5%.

    The average state funding per student, meanwhile, fell by more than 9%, the steepest drop since the group began collecting the data in 1980. Median funding fell 10%. During the recession, states began cutting support for higher education, and the trend accelerated last year.

    Rising tuition costs are "another example of the bind that public institutions are in," said Sandy Baum, a senior fellow at the George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development. "Unless we make public funding a higher priority, the funds are going to have to come from parents and students."

    To be sure, last year's decline in state funding nationwide was driven heavily by cutbacks in California, which has the largest state system and lashed funding per student by 14.3% last year. Not including California, per-student funding fell 8% and tuition rose 6.3%.

    Paul Lingenfelter, president of the higher-education association, noted that 31 states increased higher education funding in 2012-13, and a number have proposed an increase for the coming year as well.

    Kaylen Hendrick, a senior at Florida State University in Tallahassee majoring in environmental studies, is graduating in three years rather than four in order to keep costs and borrowing down.

    "Growing up, I thought if I made good enough grades, that college would not be a problem," said Ms. Hendrick, 20 years old, who has taken out about $15,000 in student loans and works 20 hours a week to pay for college.

    State funding for the State University System of Florida has declined by more than $1 billion over the last six years, even as enrollment has grown by more than 35,000 students, a spokeswoman for the system said.

    Nationally, average tuition, after institutional grants and scholarships, increased to $5,189 in 2011-12 from $4,793 a year earlier, according to the report, which is based on the 2011-12 academic year and adjusted its figures for inflation. Tuition revenue accounted for a record 47% of educational funding at public colleges last year.

    The price increases at state schools come at a time when many private colleges are reining in price increases and awarding generous scholarships to attract families worried about rising debt loads and a still shaky job market. In some cases, state tuition has risen so much that costs approach what students might pay at a private college.

    At Pennsylvania State University's main campus, in-state undergraduate students receiving financial aid paid an average of $21,342 after grants and scholarships in 2010-11, according to the U.S. Department of Education, up 12% since 2008-09. State funding now accounts for less than 14% of the school's educational budget, down from as much as 62% in 1970-71. "When the appropriation is cut, tuition rises," a Penn State spokeswoman said.

    In addition to raising tuition, many states have pared spending. The California State University System declined to take the vast majority of transfer students this spring and has turned away about 20,000 students who qualified for admission during each of the past three years, a spokesman said.

    In Kentucky, higher tuition prices make up for just half of the loss in state funding, said Robert King, president of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, which oversees the state's system.

    Kentucky's colleges have increased efforts to promote online education, and are also taking steps that could hurt academic quality, such as reducing course offerings and increasing the use of adjunct faculty. The University of Kentucky is tapping revenue from its athletic department to fund construction of a new science building, he added.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324539404578342750480773548.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

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    Financing for Colleges Declines as Costs Rise http://www.randybest.com/financing-for-colleges-declines-as-costs-rise http://www.randybest.com/financing-for-colleges-declines-as-costs-rise#comments Mon, 11 Mar 2013 14:58:21 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=791 Continue reading ]]>

    Financing for Colleges Declines as Costs Rise

    By Tamar Lewin
    State and local financing for higher education declined 7 percent in fiscal 2012, to $81.2 billion, according to the annual report of the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, and per-student support dropped 9 percent from the previous year, to $5,896, in constant dollars, the lowest level in at least 25 years.

    “Tuition revenues are up substantially due to higher prices and more enrollments, but not enough to offset losses of public funding,” said Paul Lingenfelter, the president of the higher education group, based in Boulder, Colo. “Students are paying more, while public institutions are receiving substantially less money to educate them. These one-year decreases in funding and increases in student costs are unprecedented over my 40-year career in higher education.”

    Mr. Lingenfelter said he was particularly troubled by the long-term trend of shifting the cost of higher education from the public onto students and their families.

    Over the last 25 years, the share of public university revenues coming from tuition and fees has climbed steadily to 47 percent past year, from 23 percent in 1987. And with ever-higher tuition, full-time college attendance is out of reach for an increasing number of students, which bodes ill for their chances of completing a degree.

    “We’ve developed a culture that says part-time study is O.K.,” Mr. Lingenfelter said. “But the more you go to school part time, the less likely you are to finish. We should be providing enough assistance that students can pay attention to their education, and not making a living for a short period of time, so they’ll be prepared to make a good living for a long time.”

    In 2008, before the recession, state and local government provided a record high of $88 billion to colleges and universities. And while the recession cut sharply into state financing, the federal stimulus funds helped keep the level of support relatively stable in 2009-11. But by last year, most of that stimulus money had been spent, bringing a large decline in government support.

    Enrollment at public universities, which had increased 28 percent since 2002, dropped by 0.7 percent in 2012.

    The worst of the financial troubles may be past. Education appropriations for 2013 increased in three out of five states, although the national total for state higher education appropriations is still slightly down.

    “This is not a hostile environment for higher education,” said Patrick M. Callan, a higher education policy expert. “But politicians are really feeling pressure on the affordability and debt issue. In a couple of states, when they put money back in, they also put a lid on tuition. Anyone who thinks we’re going to get back to the status quo ante, that’s simply not in the cards.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/06/education/aid-for-higher-education-declines-as-costs-rise.html?_r=0

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    UK Universities ‘Face Online Threat’ http://www.randybest.com/uk-universities-face-online-threat http://www.randybest.com/uk-universities-face-online-threat#comments Mon, 11 Mar 2013 14:56:28 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=788 Continue reading ]]>

    UK Universities 'Face Online Threat'

    By Sean Coughlan
    Sir Michael Barber, chief education adviser for Pearson, says online courses will be a "threat and opportunity" for the UK's universities.

    This "avalanche" could see some middle-ranking universities closing, he says.

    "There are too many universities doing the same thing," says Sir Michael.

    The report, An Avalanche is Coming, argues that higher education faces an unpredictable global revolution, driven by the impact of the rise in online universities.

    The former Downing Street adviser says he would be "very surprised" if such disruption in higher education did not mean the closure of some universities within a decade.

    The report, published by the IPPR think tank, warns that the UK's universities will have to adapt to direct international competition.

    There are already big US networks of universities offering courses to students anywhere in the world, with two consortiums having already signed up almost four million students.

    These offer hundreds of courses from partner universities in Europe and Asia as well as the US.

    These so-called MOOCs - massive open online courses - give students online access to lectures and courses from leading academics and universities around the world.

    Sir Michael says this creates an opportunity for the UK - and that there is nothing inevitable about this emerging market being dominated by big players from the US.

    Futurelearn, an online consortium of UK universities, is expected to launch courses later this year.

    Re-inventing universities

    Sir Michael forecasts that this more competitive environment will see the component parts of universities being "unbundled".

    Research could be taken over by private specialist institutions or universities could focus on the quality of teaching, using lectures and course materials created elsewhere.

    It could also see universities emerging that are more systematically integrated with their local economies.

    Such internationalisation will also mean challenges for national government, says Sir Michael.

    The current undergraduate finance model, where students borrow to study for three years in a UK institution, does not provide for a future in which students might want to take course units from a range of universities, both in the UK and abroad.

    Sir Michael also says the government will have to reconsider how they can develop start-up businesses around universities, following the pattern of hi-tech industries in the United States growing around Stanford University in California and MIT in the Boston area.

    "The certainties of the past are no longer certainties. The models of higher education that marched triumphantly across the globe in the second half of the 20th Century are broken," write the report authors, Sir Michael Barber, Katelyn Donnelly and Saad Rizvi.

    "Just as globalisation and technology have transformed other huge sectors of the economy in the past 20 years, in the next 20 years universities face transformation."

    Sir David Bell, vice chancellor of Reading University, said: "Success in the future will depend on agility, rather than a simple choice between one model of university or another."

    He suggested that this would mean combining advanced research and international campuses as well as being "intensely local".

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-21670959

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    LSU Collaborates with Academic Partnerships to Bring Four Top Master’s Degree Programs Online http://www.randybest.com/lsu-collaborates-with-academic-partnerships-to-bring-four-top-masters-degree-programs-online http://www.randybest.com/lsu-collaborates-with-academic-partnerships-to-bring-four-top-masters-degree-programs-online#comments Tue, 05 Mar 2013 15:46:47 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=785 Continue reading ]]> Press Release: LSU Collaborates with Academic Partnerships to Bring Four Top Master’s Degree Programs Online

    Mar. 5, 2013
    LSU today announced that it will be collaborating with Academic Partnerships (AP), one of the largest representatives of public universities' online learning in the United States, to bring four of its most popular master’s degree programs online.

    Slated to launch this spring are online degree programs from the E. J. Ourso College of Business (Master of Business Administration); the College of Human Sciences & Education (Master of Arts in Education with a specialization in Higher Education and Master of Science in Human Resource Education with a concentration in Human Resource and Leadership Development); and the College of Engineering (Master of Science in Construction Management).

    "We recognize that higher education has become a global market, and LSU wants to actively participate as our domestic students are coming to see their future as tied to their global citizenship," said William L. Jenkins, interim president and chancellor of LSU. "New technologies and the global marketing network that Academic Partnerships brings us will accelerate LSU's ability to recruit and educate students around the world."

    LSU Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Stuart R. Bell added, "The quality of LSU’s business, education, and engineering programs is well known, and we look forward to expanding the reach of these programs while carrying on their tradition of excellence."

    Randy Best, founder and chairman of Academic Partnerships, said, "We are delighted to be collaborating with LSU. It is a great American university and a truly global brand. Providing degree programs online will give LSU the opportunity to take its high academic quality to greater scale."

    Academic Partnerships was selected due to its successful track record of helping public universities expand access. AP has assisted more than 750 professors convert more than 1,500 traditional courses into an electronic delivery format and recruited thousands of students for its U.S. and international partners.

    About Louisiana State University
    LSU is the flagship institution of the state of Louisiana and is one of only 30 universities nationwide holding land-grant, sea-grant and space-grant status. Since 1860, LSU has served the people of Louisiana, the region, the nation, and the world through extensive, multipurpose programs encompassing instruction, research, and public service. The quality of LSU’s academics is reflected in the number of nationally ranked programs and nationally recognized scholars at LSU. Since its first commencement in 1869, LSU has awarded nearly 200,000 degrees. That number continues to grow and includes some of the nation’s best and brightest graduates. For more information, please visit www.lsuonline.lsu.edu.

    About Academic Partnerships
    Academic Partnerships (AP) helps universities convert their traditional degree programs into an online format, recruits qualified students and supports enrolled students through graduation. Serving more than 40 public institutions, AP is one of the largest representatives of public universities' online learning in the United States. The company was founded by social entrepreneur Randy Best, an 18-year veteran of developing innovative learning solutions to improve education. AP is guided by the principle that the opportunities presented through distance learning make higher education more accessible and achievable for students in the U.S. and globally. For more information, please visit www.academicpartnerships.com.

    Contacts:

    Kristine Calongne
    LSU
    +1.225.578.5985
    kcalong@lsu.edu

    Jaquelyn M. Scharnick
    Academic Partnerships
    +1.214.438.4144
    jaquelyn.scharnick@academicpartnerships.com

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    Minister urges universities to put courses online http://www.randybest.com/minister-urges-universities-to-put-courses-online http://www.randybest.com/minister-urges-universities-to-put-courses-online#comments Mon, 04 Mar 2013 15:40:36 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=781 Continue reading ]]>

    Minister urges universities to put courses online

    UK universities should invest in online courses if they are to take advantage of a "historic opportunity", according to Universities Minister David Willetts, who said that countries such as India and Indonesia have a soaring demand for university courses – creating a market for the UK's universities – writes Sean Coughlan for the BBC.

    But he argued that the scale of demand would need to be met by online courses as well as campus universities. Willetts, speaking at the Guardian Higher Education Summit, told university leaders that online universities were going to be an important part of the global expansion in student numbers.

    The minister described as "astounding" the likely rise in demand in Asian countries for university places, driven by demographic and economic changes. But he questioned whether the classic model of a traditional campus university would be able to respond to such a "huge appetite" for higher education. Full report on the BBC site.

    http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20130301135902981

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    Financial Pressures Drive Down College Completion – CLASP RADD Chart Series Continues http://www.randybest.com/financial-pressures-drive-down-college-completion-clasp-radd-chart-series-continues http://www.randybest.com/financial-pressures-drive-down-college-completion-clasp-radd-chart-series-continues#comments Mon, 04 Mar 2013 15:39:42 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=778 Continue reading ]]>

    Financial Pressures Drive Down College Completion - CLASP RADD Chart Series Continues

    Confronted with high costs and unmet financial need, low- and modest-income students and their families face a difficult choice: work more while in college, borrow more, or do both. When students cannot afford college, it not only limits access to higher education and drives up debt, it also increases (sometimes significantly) the time it takes to earn a degree and/or ultimately complete a credential.

    Though students fail to complete postsecondary programs for a variety of reasons, financial pressures appear to be the single largest factor. A 2009 survey of young adults who had left college confirms this phenomenon: 71 percent of students said one reason for leaving was because they had to “go to work and make money;” 54 percent listed this as a “major reason.”

    Researchers also think the need to work substantial hours while in college largely explains why so many students now attend college part-time. A recent study by the National Student Clearinghouse of nearly two million undergraduates over a six-year period found that more than half (51 percent) attended college a mixture of full and part-time. This affected how quickly they could complete their degrees. After six years, 76 percent of full-time students had completed, with just 4 percent still enrolled. By contrast, among students attending a mix of full and part-time, only 41 percent had completed and 27 percent were still enrolled.

    We can start to address these issues by protecting Pell Grants, simplifying and better targeting the $34 billion+ we spend annually on tax-based student aid, and giving students and parents the facts about college outcomes. Read our report for policy recommendations to help address the affordability gap.

    http://www.clasp.org/postsecondary/in_focus?id=0083

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    A Degree Drawn in Red Ink http://www.randybest.com/a-degree-drawn-in-red-ink http://www.randybest.com/a-degree-drawn-in-red-ink#comments Tue, 26 Feb 2013 18:59:40 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=772 Continue reading ]]>

    By Ruth Simon
    Most people assume a degree in the arts is no guarantee of riches. Now there is evidence that such graduates also rack up the most student-loan debt.

    A Wall Street Journal analysis of new Department of Education data shows that median debt loads at schools specializing in art, music and design average $21,576, which works out to a loan payment of about $248 a month. That is a heavy burden, considering that salaries for graduates of such schools with five or fewer years' experience cluster around $40,000, according to PayScale.com.

    The figures are based on the amount of federal education loans in 2010-11; they include those taken out by students and their parents, but consist of only students for whom there is borrowing. That group is growing. Almost 67% of college students who graduated in 2012 had loans, up from 63% a decade ago, estimates Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of FinAid.com, a financial-aid website.

    The "College Scorecard" released by the government last week offers prospective students a new way to help gauge the financial return on a college education. Families can search by school to see how much money students owe on federal student loans when they leave college, as well as estimated monthly loan payments. About 10 states, including Virginia, Florida and California, already publish salary information by school and program or are expected to do so this year.

    The scorecard also includes information on graduation rates, loan defaults and average costs after grants and scholarships, all of which was previously available on a Department of Education website. That earlier site also shows the average amount students at different schools borrow in a year, but it doesn't spell out how that debt can add up or what it will take to repay it.

    Lisa Collins, who has three children in college, said it would have been "absolutely wonderful" to have such information when her family was picking colleges. Ms. Collins, of South Amboy, N.J., said her children, who this year are attending Monmouth University and Rutgers University in New Jersey as well as online institution Thomas Edison State College, have racked up about $100,000 in student debt, an amount she called "frightening."

    Among the 4,000 colleges and universities in the federal database, the Creative Center in Omaha, Neb., a for-profit school that offers a three-year bachelor's in fine arts, had the highest average debt load, at $52,035. Median pay for graduates of the school with five or fewer years' experience is $31,400, according to PayScale.com.

    "Salaries can be pretty darn high or pretty low" for the school's graduates, who typically get jobs in graphic arts or advertising, said Creative Center President Ray Dotzler. "We have graduates making six figures, which we think is really good," he adds, though "a lot of them start in the twenties."

    New York's Manhattan School of Music had the second-highest median debt load, at $47,000. Graduates with up to five years' experience earn an average of $42,700, according to PayScale.

    "Manhattan School of Music offers world-class musical education at a reasonable price," said interim President Marjorie Merryman. She called the government figures "misleading," noting that typically 30% to 50% of the class borrows and class size is small, typically 65 to 90 students, meaning year-to-year figures can turn on the actions of a handful of students. Many students work abroad and take years to realize their full earnings potential, she added.

    The federal data aren't complete. Families can't compare schools side by side or use the tool to see what kind of money people can expect to earn after graduation. Graduation rates include only first-time, full-time students. And loan figures also measure debt at the time students enter loan repayment, meaning they don't take into account whether or not students complete college. That could understate debt loads for graduates of schools with high dropout rates.

    Department of Education officials said they plan to add a comparison tool and make other revisions. The government expects to make salary information available later this year and is looking at ways to use Social Security data, Labor Department records or other information.

    New York University, with a median debt of $29,260, had the highest borrowing among schools with more than 10,000 students.

    "Excellence in higher education is costly," particularly in a big city like New York, an NYU spokesman said in a statement, adding that NYU doesn't benefit from a large per student endowment or state funding and is "upfront" about costs. The federal data "seems to be dated" and doesn't take into account a recent decline in median borrowing, he added.

    Sara Moe, a junior majoring in political science and public policy, figured she would have to take on substantial debt at NYU. "But I was hoping for five digits, not six," said Ms. Moe, who expects to rack up more than $100,000 in loans by the time she graduates. Said Ms. Moe: "It's important to know what you are getting yourself into."

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324432004578306610055834952.html

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    Colleges Should Do More to Align Programs With Job Market http://www.randybest.com/colleges-should-do-more-to-align-programs-with-job-market http://www.randybest.com/colleges-should-do-more-to-align-programs-with-job-market#comments Tue, 26 Feb 2013 18:08:35 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=769 Continue reading ]]>

    By Julia Lawrence
    How responsible are institutions of higher education for making sure that their graduates are job-ready? That is the question being asked by Joshua Wyner, the Executive Director of Aspen Institute College Excellence Program, in an article for the Huffington Post.

    He takes for his departure point the statements made by both President Barack Obama and the current GOP frontrunner for the 2016 nomination Senator Marco Rubio that the economic recovery will be the key to the reversal of the decline of the American middle class. And one way that this economic recovery could be pushed forward is with college programs that do a better job to filling the employment gaps in the country’s most forward-looking industries.

    Research shows that there are about two million jobs in the United States today going begging because Americans don’t have the skills needed to fill those jobs. If domestic and multinational corporations are to fill those jobs here in the U.S. rather than moving them overseas, two things will need to be done.

    There have been nascent efforts to fill that gap at the high school and college level. New York City’s successful P-TECH school, which got a mention during the President’s State of the Union address and which teaches its students skills necessary to begin an entry-level job at IBM upon gradation, is one such move that’s promising success. Yet most colleges still continue to run their programs as if the realities of the job markets don’t exist. Few make the effort to liaise with industry representatives to find out what they expect from their potential employees.

    Last year, a story on NPR provided a good example of the challenge. There are thousands of computer-related jobs in the high-tech Seattle area that are going unfilled despite the fact that qualified students are clamoring to get into computer science and computer engineering programs at the University of Washington. How is this possible? Because while the University of Washington has an undergraduate program designed to train and place students in this field, that program has not been expanded since 1999 even though the number of high-tech jobs has exploded. Good jobs and eligible students make for what might seem like a perfect match, but there is log jam: Students can’t access the training that they need to be prepared for those jobs.

    What is preventing the program expansion at the University of Washington and elsewhere is, of course, money. Funding for public universities has been shrinking on both the state and the federal level, and schools often can’t afford to hire additional faculty and dedicate additional resources to meet student demand.

    To fix the problem, Wyner calls on the federal government to find a way to financially reward schools that make an effort to produce more graduates in shortage fields. But the schools must also be willing to make hard choices like “realigning their own resources” from less job-oriented programs to the ones for whose graduates the local businesses clamor.

    http://www.educationnews.org/higher-education/colleges-should-do-more-to-align-programs-with-job-market/

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    Johnny Manziel taking only online courses, only on campus once a month http://www.randybest.com/johnny-manziel-taking-only-online-courses-only-on-campus-once-a-month http://www.randybest.com/johnny-manziel-taking-only-online-courses-only-on-campus-once-a-month#comments Thu, 21 Feb 2013 15:21:21 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=765 Continue reading ]]>

    Johnny Manziel taking only online courses, only on campus once a month

    By Frank Schwab
    Johnny Manziel is the big man on campus at Texas A&M, except for the fact that he's never really on campus. Manziel met with reporters before a Davey O'Brien Award dinner, and Brent Zwerneman, the Aggies beat writer for the San Antonio Express-News and Houston Chronicle, tweeted out a couple of interesting tidbits from Texas A&M's quarterback about his classwork this semester.

    Most notably, his education is all coming online.

    We're not suggesting any of this is afoul with NCAA rules; Texas A&M obviously knows of Manziel's online classes and wouldn't mess around with the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner's eligibility. But it's just a little weird. After all, it doesn't seem normal that Cam Newton, the 2010 Heisman Trophy winner who has two NFL seasons under his belt, is spending more time on Auburn's campus this semester than last season's Heisman winner who will be playing college ball in the fall is spending at Texas A&M. But, since the school apparently has no problem with it (and online classes aren't exactly new ground or anything), it seems there's nothing more to the story other than it being a bit unusual.

    There's probably good reason for Manziel to take online classes. And Texas A&M is proud of its online schooling. Manziel has to be a major celebrity at Texas A&M already (one other nugget from Zwerneman is that Manziel said he'll look at all his NFL options after the season), and he probably deals with many distractions when he is on campus.

    In the Express-News, Zwerneman wrote that Manziel signed up for an on-campus English class, but quickly saw he was the center of attention.

    “I went one day — it was a small class of 20 or 25 — and it kind of turned into more of a big deal than I thought,” Manziel told the paper. “The (athletic department) did a good job of saying, 'Let us know if you need anything and we'll figure it all out,' but (by then) I had all online classes, so we didn't need that.”

    Still, this probably won't be promoted by the NCAA, which tries to pass off the notion of "student-athlete" as its highest profile athlete isn't living the normal student life, at least for this semester.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/ncaaf-dr-saturday/johnny-manziel-taking-only-online-courses-only-campus-233900102--ncaaf.html

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    Academic Partnerships and Internships.com Form Strategic Partnership to Provide Next-Generation Virtual Career Solution to Online Learners http://www.randybest.com/academic-partnerships-and-internships-com-form-strategic-partnership-to-provide-next-generation-virtual-career-solution-to-online-learners http://www.randybest.com/academic-partnerships-and-internships-com-form-strategic-partnership-to-provide-next-generation-virtual-career-solution-to-online-learners#comments Thu, 21 Feb 2013 15:19:36 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=762 Continue reading ]]> Press Release: Academic Partnerships and Internships.com Form Strategic Partnership to Provide Next-Generation Virtual Career Solution to Online Learners

    Feb. 21, 2013
    Academic Partnerships (AP), one of the largest representatives of public universities' online learning in the United States, today announced that it has formed a strategic partnership with Internships.com, the world's largest internships marketplace serving students, employers, and higher education institutions. Through this strategic partnership, all of Academic Partnerships' current and future university partners will be able to offer a next-generation virtual career solution to the students enrolled in their programs free of charge.

    "We are committed to providing industry-leading offerings to the universities with which we partner, and the virtual career platform that we have created with Internships.com is another example of that committment," said Randy Best, founder and chairman of Academic Partnerships. "Colleges and universities play an important role in supporting students seeking internships and employment opportunities, and we are pleased to provide our partners and the students they serve with a tool that will contribute to their success."

    "We are delighted to be working with Academic Partnerships on this important initiative," said Robin D. Richards, chairman and CEO of Internships.com. "Academic Partnerships offers students access to world-class educational programs; now it will be able to offer a world-class career solution as well."

    Students at Academic Partnerships' partner universities will have online access to more than 125,000 internship, part-time, and full-time job opportunities, as well as a next-generation virtual career solution to support their entry into the workforce. Every student will be able to access premium tools, including a database of millions of companies with contact information and industry resources, that aid in networking and career searches; a set of professional assessment tests that identify a student's values, skills, personal qualities, and preferences; and a professionally-created online certification course that trains students in practical workplace skills. The platform will also be integrated with the leading social networks to enable students to leverage their social connections. Internships.com will custom-brand and integrate its platform into the Academic Partnerships' network, providing students at partner universities with a truly customized and seamless online experience.

    Named a "Top 10 Careers Website" by Forbes and selected to support the White House's 2012 Summer Jobs+ initiative as a co-lead technology partner, Internships.com is a leader in web-based internship and career platforms for higher education institutions. Microsoft, AT&T, and NBC Universal are among the companies that have recently posted opportunities on Internships.com.

    Academic Partnerships has a successful track record of helping universities expand access and scale the delivery of their high-quality online degree programs. AP has assisted more than 750 professors convert more than 1,500 traditional courses into an electronic delivery format and recruited thousands of students into online degree programs for its U.S. and international partners.

    About Academic Partnerships

    Academic Partnerships (AP) helps universities convert their traditional degree programs into an online format, recruits qualified students and supports enrolled students through graduation. Serving more than 40 public institutions, AP is one of the largest representatives of public universities' online learning in the United States. The company was founded by social entrepreneur Randy Best, an 18-year veteran of developing innovative learning solutions to improve education. AP is guided by the principle that the opportunities presented through distance learning make higher education more accessible and achievable for students in the U.S. and globally. For more information, please visit www.academicpartnerships.com.

    About Internships.com

    Internships.com, part of CareerArc Group, is the world's largest internship marketplace bringing students, employers and higher education together in one centralized location. The innovative, Los Angeles-based company, named by Forbes as a "Top 10 Careers Website," develops a wide variety of interactive, world-class tools and services to enable every student, employer, and educator to better understand and optimize internship opportunities. For more information, please visit www.internships.com.

    Contact:
    Jaquelyn M. Scharnick
    Academic Partnerships
    +1.214.438.4144
    jaquelyn.scharnick@academicpartnerships.com

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    How Colleges Should Prepare Students For The Current Economy http://www.randybest.com/how-colleges-should-prepare-students-for-the-current-economy http://www.randybest.com/how-colleges-should-prepare-students-for-the-current-economy#comments Wed, 20 Feb 2013 20:41:35 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=757 Continue reading ]]>

    How Colleges Should Prepare Students For The Current Economy

    By Susan Brennan
    One of the most pressing concerns for higher education institutions today is whether they’re offering real value for the considerable tuitions they’re charging.

    This unease, which has permeated campuses across the country, is absolutely warranted.

    Students and their families are increasingly worried about the return on their investment in higher education; as a result, the burden of proof has now fallen on colleges and universities, which must demonstrate that they can truly prepare each and every student for a successful life and career after graduation.

    Unfortunately for students, parents and educators, there is no established or readily accepted standard or metric to measure how “successful” a college or university is in arming students for the post-diploma decades.

    And this presents a genuine problem, because, if the current confusion, uncertainty – and even cynicism – about higher education continue, we may find that one of America’s greatest institutional assets is downgraded in people’s minds. In fact, according to one survey, it’s already happening. The collateral damage from this reputational degradation will only hamper our nation’s future economic prospects and possibilities.

    Recognizing the stakes, a number of colleges are doubling down and enhancing their career placement services for students. They are doing this in a pragmatic and thoughtful way that ensures that short-term skills and training for the “real” world don’t eclipse or erase higher education’s over-arching mission of creating a generation of curious, analytical and open life-long learners.

    At my university, for example, we’re offering a four-year career development plan called “Hire Education.” The program is focused on four themes tied to each college year: Explore, Experiment, Experience and Excel.

    The “Explore” phase begins freshmen year for students, with a career development seminar that’s taught in close collaboration with corporate partners and lays the foundation for a lifetime of career management. During the class, students start to discover their professional path with a Strong Interest Inventory® Code Assessment and begin to hone vital career skills during interactive lab sessions where they come face-to-face with corporate recruiters for mock interviews and elevator pitches.

    The seminar lays the foundation for students’ subsequent career development as they “Experiment” with industries through career fairs and networking events; “Experience” internships, more than 90 percent of Bentley students complete at least one; and, ultimately, prepare to “Excel” in a dynamic workplace.

    By the time graduation is in sight, students have had four years of focused and targeted career advising and, in the process, they’ve developed and implemented a customized career action plan that offers a solid and sustainable bridge to the economy of the 21st century.

    There are a host of other noteworthy job counseling and placement programs at other colleges and universities such as Xavier University and Washington University in St. Louis.

    We are seeing results and helping to make the education we offer our students more relevant and more valuable. In fact, 98 percent of our 2012 graduates received job offers or are in graduate school. And this placement rate has been above 90 percent since 2007.

    There are other positives here, too – especially the low default rate on students’ college loans. The latest number at my university is .09 percent, which means that 99 percent of our students successfully pay back their loans, a direct correlation to successful job placement efforts.

    Higher education is at a crucial crossroad today. New models and new programs are proliferating, as the role of colleges and universities in our society is being debated. All of this is well and good – even healthy.

    But, in the meantime, I believe we need to place much greater focus on both career development and measurable employment outcomes for our students. As we offer students a quality education, we must also set a higher standard for their future.

    Finding and holding a good job is the first big step toward students’ post-graduate success.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/colleges-need-to-prepare-students-for-the-current-economy-2013-2#ixzz2LTQE7BnF

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    It Takes a B.A. to Find a Job as a File Clerk http://www.randybest.com/it-takes-a-b-a-to-find-a-job-as-a-file-clerk http://www.randybest.com/it-takes-a-b-a-to-find-a-job-as-a-file-clerk#comments Wed, 20 Feb 2013 20:15:52 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=753 Continue reading ]]>

    It Takes a B.A. to Find a Job as a File Clerk

    By Cathrine Rampell
    The college degree is becoming the new high school diploma: the new minimum requirement, albeit an expensive one, for getting even the lowest-level job.

    Consider the 45-person law firm of Busch, Slipakoff & Schuh here in Atlanta, a place that has seen tremendous growth in the college-educated population. Like other employers across the country, the firm hires only people with a bachelor’s degree, even for jobs that do not require college-level skills.

    This prerequisite applies to everyone, including the receptionist, paralegals, administrative assistants and file clerks. Even the office “runner” — the in-house courier who, for $10 an hour, ferries documents back and forth between the courthouse and the office — went to a four-year school.

    “College graduates are just more career-oriented,” said Adam Slipakoff, the firm’s managing partner. “Going to college means they are making a real commitment to their futures. They’re not just looking for a paycheck.”

    Economists have referred to this phenomenon as “degree inflation,” and it has been steadily infiltrating America’s job market. Across industries and geographic areas, many other jobs that didn’t used to require a diploma — positions like dental hygienists, cargo agents, clerks and claims adjusters — are increasingly requiring one, according to Burning Glass, a company that analyzes job ads from more than 20,000 online sources, including major job boards and small- to midsize-employer sites.

    This up-credentialing is pushing the less educated even further down the food chain, and it helps explain why the unemployment rate for workers with no more than a high school diploma is more than twice that for workers with a bachelor’s degree: 8.1 percent versus 3.7 percent.

    Some jobs, like those in supply chain management and logistics, have become more technical, and so require more advanced skills today than they did in the past. But more broadly, because so many people are going to college now, those who do not graduate are often assumed to be unambitious or less capable.

    Plus, it’s a buyer’s market for employers.

    “When you get 800 résumés for every job ad, you need to weed them out somehow,” said Suzanne Manzagol, executive recruiter at Cardinal Recruiting Group, which does headhunting for administrative positions at Busch, Slipakoff & Schuh and other firms in the Atlanta area.

    Of all the metropolitan areas in the United States, Atlanta has had one of the largest inflows of college graduates in the last five years, according to an analysis of census data by William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution. In 2012, 39 percent of job postings for secretaries and administrative assistants in the Atlanta metro area requested a bachelor’s degree, up from 28 percent in 2007, according to Burning Glass.

    “When I started recruiting in ’06, you didn’t need a college degree, but there weren’t that many candidates,” Ms. Manzagol said.

    Even if they are not exactly applying the knowledge they gained in their political science, finance and fashion marketing classes, the young graduates employed by Busch, Slipakoff & Schuh say they are grateful for even the rotest of rote office work they have been given.

    “It sure beats washing cars,” said Landon Crider, 24, the firm’s soft-spoken runner.

    He would know: he spent several years, while at Georgia State and in the months after graduation, scrubbing sedans at Enterprise Rent-a-Car. Before joining the law firm, he was turned down for a promotion to rental agent at Enterprise — a position that also required a bachelor’s degree — because the company said he didn’t have enough sales experience.

    His college-educated colleagues had similarly limited opportunities, working at Ruby Tuesday or behind a retail counter while waiting for a better job to open up.

    “I am over $100,000 in student loan debt right now,” said Megan Parker, who earns $37,000 as the firm’s receptionist. She graduated from the Art Institute of Atlanta in 2011 with a degree in fashion and retail management, and spent months waiting on “bridezillas” at a couture boutique, among other stores, while churning out office-job applications.

    “I will probably never see the end of that bill, but I’m not really thinking about it right now,” she said. “You know, this is a really great place to work.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/20/business/college-degree-required-by-increasing-number-of-companies.html?_r=1&

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    Why Your College Could go Bankrupt http://www.randybest.com/why-your-college-could-go-bankrupt http://www.randybest.com/why-your-college-could-go-bankrupt#comments Mon, 18 Feb 2013 15:18:22 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=747 Continue reading ]]>

    Why Your College Could go Bankrupt

    By Blaire Briody
    As the higher education system in the U.S. faces rising costs and reduced state funding, many are asking, What will colleges of the future look like?

    According to a recent cover story in The American Interest, some won't look like anything at all, because they'll cease to exist. Author Nathan Harden estimates that in 50 years, half of the approximately 4,500 colleges and universities in the U.S. will go belly-up.

    How could this happen? Through technology, he argues. Virtual classrooms, lectures through streaming videos, online exams — we've already seen these innovations crop up at major academic institutions, but they'll only proliferate on a much larger scale and disrupt the higher education system as we know it.

    Harvard and MIT already have the online education venture edX, while Stanford has Coursera and has formed agreements with Penn, Princeton, UC Berkeley, and the University of Michigan to manage their online education programs. Harden also predicts that as online education becomes more widespread, a college-level education will soon be free (or cost just a minimal amount) for everyone in the world, and that the bachelor's degree will become irrelevant.

    "If a faster, cheaper way of sharing information emerges, history shows us that it will quickly supplant what came before," he argues. "We may lose the gothic arches, the bespectacled lecturers, dusty books lining the walls of labyrinthine libraries, but nostalgia won't stop the unsentimental beast of progress from wreaking havoc on old ways of doing things."

    Prestigious institutions, he says, will be in the best position to adapt, while for-profit colleges and low-level public and non-profits will be the first to disappear. "Universities of all ranks below the very top will engage each other in an all-out war of survival. In this war, big-budget universities carrying large transactional costs stand to lose the most. Smaller, more nimble institutions with sound leadership will do best," he writes.

    While Harden takes the extreme outlook, signs of the traditional university's bumpy future are already apparent. Moody's Investors Service recently gave a negative outlook to all U.S. universities, citing "mounting fiscal pressure on all key university revenue sources," as a number of states continue to cut higher education budgets, endowments fall, and enrollment numbers and tuition dollars dwindle. Long-term debt at not-for-profit universities has been growing at 12 percent a year, according to consulting firm Bain & Company and private-equity firm Sterling Partners. For-profit colleges, booming businesses only a few years ago, have seen their enrollments fall 7 percent from 2011 to 2012 (compared to a 1.8 percent decline for all higher education institutions), despite efforts to offer generous tuition discounts.

    Other colleges have gone into survival mode — some are deferring billions of dollars of maintenance needs, cutting staff, and combining resources with other nearby schools. Minnesota's St. Olaf College and Carleton College, for example, have begun discussing combining libraries, technology infrastructure, human resources and payroll — and possibly even their academic programs.

    While many students and parents worry that an online education won't offer the same quality or formative experience as a brick-and-mortar school, Harden cites research at Carnegie Mellon's Open Learning Initiative and Ithaka S+R, an academic research and consulting service, which looked at machine-guided learning combined with traditional classroom instruction. They found that students who receive computer instruction do equally well on tests as traditional students, but can learn material much faster.

    Other experts have come out recently on the traditional university's doom: Billionaire investor Mark Cuban compared the current higher education system in the U.S. to the newspaper industry. Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen also predicts "wholesale bankruptcies" among standard universities over the next decade due to online technologies.

    As Harden puts it, "Why would someone pay tens of thousands of dollars to attend Nowhere State University when he or she can attend an online version of MIT or Harvard practically for free?"

    http://theweek.com/article/index/240205/why-your-college-could-go-bankrupt

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    Boise State University Expands Online Programs with Academic Partnerships http://www.randybest.com/boise-state-university-expands-online-programs-with-academic-partnerships http://www.randybest.com/boise-state-university-expands-online-programs-with-academic-partnerships#comments Thu, 14 Feb 2013 15:19:14 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=721 Continue reading ]]> Press Release: Boise State University Expands Online Programs with Academic Partnerships

    Boise State University (Boise State) has announced that it will be collaborating with Academic Partnerships (AP), one of the largest representatives of public universities' online learning in the United States, to add an MBA program to its online offering.  The online MBA program, which will be offered through Boise State's College of Business and Economics (COBE), will begin accepting applications this spring.

    The new program will be offered in addition to Boise State's unique full-time MBA program for recent graduates, part-time evening MBA program for working professionals, and Executive MBA program.

    "The online business program will provide high-quality graduate education for an entirely new segment of students," said Boise State Provost Martin Schimpf.  "We are truly committed to expanding access to our programs in order to better serve the needs of our students, and this new program is yet another example of that."

    Randy Best, founder and chairman of Academic Partnerships, added, "We share Boise State's commitment to providing high-quality and engaging online programs to students near and far.  We are delighted to have been chosen to help Boise State deliver its MBA program online and look forward to helping the University increase its footprint in Idaho and beyond."  

    Academic Partnerships was selected due to its successful track record of helping universities expand access and scale the delivery of their high quality online degree programs.  AP has assisted more than 750 professors convert more than 1,500 traditional courses into an electronic delivery format and recruited thousands of students into online degree programs for its U.S. and international partners.  The company will work closely with Boise State's faculty to ensure that the new online degree program maintains the highest educational standards.  AP will also use its integrated marketing and branding strategies to extend the University's reach, increasing the enrollment of highly qualified students.

    As with Boise State's College of Business and Economics current business curriculum, the new online degree is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).  AACSB accreditation ensures students that they are receiving a top-quality education and ensures employers that business school graduates are ready to perform immediately upon graduation.

    Boise State's new online business programs will be launched in the fall of 2013.  To learn more about the programs, please visit http://cobe.boisestate.edu/onlinemba/.

    About Boise State University
    A public metropolitan research university with more than 22,000 students, Boise State comprises seven academic colleges, serving undergraduate and graduate students in nearly 200 majors and programs. Located in Idaho's capital city, the university plays a crucial role in the region's knowledge economy and famed quality of life.  Learn more at www.BoiseState.edu.

    About Academic Partnerships  
    Academic Partnerships (AP) helps universities convert their traditional degree programs into an online format, recruits qualified students and supports enrolled students through graduation.  Serving more than 40 public institutions, AP is one of the largest representatives of public universities' online learning in the United States.  The company was founded by social entrepreneur Randy Best, an 18-year veteran of developing innovative learning solutions to improve education.  AP is guided by the principle that the opportunities presented through distance learning make higher education more accessible and achievable for students in the U.S. and globally.  For more information, please visit www.academicpartnerships.com.

    Contacts:

    For Boise State
    Sherry Squires
    +1.208.426.1563 
    ssquires@boisestate.edu

    For Academic Partnerships
    Jaquelyn M. Scharnick
    +1.214.438.4144 
    jaquelyn.scharnick@academicpartnerships.com

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    Hernán Jaramillo: Tareas Plus está Revolucionando la Educación http://www.randybest.com/hernan-jaramillo-tareas-plus-esta-revolucionando-la-educacion http://www.randybest.com/hernan-jaramillo-tareas-plus-esta-revolucionando-la-educacion#comments Wed, 13 Feb 2013 18:19:04 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=716 Continue reading ]]>

    Hernán Jaramillo: Tareas Plus está Revolucionando la Educación

    Sentados con Hernan Jaramillo, fundador y director de Tareas Plus en las oficinas de The Hachery en San Francisco, nos cuenta cómo llegó a Silicon Valley con una idea y unos pocos ahorros; y consiguió llevar su idea acabo. Este es uno de los ejemplos que ofrece este servicio.

    - ¿Qué es Tareas Plus?

    - Tareas Plus es el lugar donde los estudiantes de latinoamérica están estudiando física, química y matemáticas. La variable de tiempo ya no es un problema, es decir, la educación está limitada, al mismo momento de la clase, si el alumno no lo entiende en ese instante, ya no lo puede volver a recuperar, pero con Tareas Plus puede repetir la lección tantas veces como quiera, en el iPad, en el móvil o en su casa en delante del ordenador. Tenemos la biblioteca de vídeos educativos más grande del mundo. Además, los estudiantes, que son nativos digitales, lo primero que hacen cuando no entienden algo en clase, buscan «online» para ver la respuesta y nos encuentran a nosotros. Para un adolescente, el primer sitio para mirar es su teléfono móvil. Por esa razón, la aplicación de Tareas Plus para «smartphone» está en el top 50 de aplicaciones más descargadas.

    - ¿Y cuántas personas se conectan?

    - Estamos revolucionando la educación, más de 50.000 personas al día se conectan a tareas plus para ver los tutoriales que ofrecemos. Cada segundo un estudiante en latinoamerica aprende matemáticas con nosotros.

    - ¿Cuéntanos cómo llegaste hasta Silicon Valley?

    - Necesitábamos encontrar un sitio donde convergiera tecnología y capital, por eso me vine a Silicon Valley, vendí todo lo que tenía en Colombia y me vine aquí a buscar inversión para poner en marcha la idea. Busqué inversión durante meses, sin conocer a nadie, con los ahorros que podía tener una persona de 37 años. Conté el número de «NOS» que me daban antes de recibir el primer «Sí», cuanto tiempo llevaría, y lo más importante cuánto dinero tenía para «aguantar» aquí.

    - ¿Qué es a lo que queréis aspiráis?

    - Que todo el conocimiento, todas las clases estén en Tareas Plus, que sea como una Wikipedia para estudiantes, es decir, un añadido para los libros y la enseñanza tradicional.

    - ¿Y qué tal Tareas Plus en España?

    - Es el tercer país que más nos visita, después de México y Colombia. Pero pasa algo curioso que no pasa en otros países, y nos hemos dado cuenta que en España, los que más usan Tareas Plus son los profesores para buscar contenido para sus alumnos, en el resto de países, son los alumnos los que acceden directamente al canal.

    http://www.abc.es/tecnologia/noticias/20130213/abci-tareas-plus-hernan-jaramillo-201301281307.html

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    More proof that the economics of higher education must change Annual survey reports a growing number of students are choosing schools based on cost http://www.randybest.com/more-proof-that-the-economics-of-higher-education-must-change-annual-survey-reports-a-growing-number-of-students-are-choosing-schools-based-on-cost http://www.randybest.com/more-proof-that-the-economics-of-higher-education-must-change-annual-survey-reports-a-growing-number-of-students-are-choosing-schools-based-on-cost#comments Mon, 11 Feb 2013 17:18:18 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=638 Continue reading ]]>

    More proof that the economics of higher education must change Annual survey reports a growing number of students are choosing schools based on cost

    From staff and wire reports

    Two-thirds of incoming freshmen said their choice of which college to attend was significantly affected by current economic conditions. Continuing a recent trend, more incoming freshmen at four-year colleges said money was a key factor in their choice of school—and the percentage of students who said their main reason for attending college was career-focused reached an all-time high.

    These are the primary takeaways from an annual survey released Jan. 24, and they lend further support to the idea that the economics of higher education must change as colleges compete for students. Each year since 1966, UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute has conducted a massive survey of incoming freshmen at four-year colleges, asking questions about their motivations, their plans, and their political views. Typically, big shifts are only apparent over long time periods. But sometimes economic and political currents can lead new college students to give responses noticeably different from what their predecessors said.

    This year’s survey is based on the responses of 192,912 first-time, full-time students at 283 four-year colleges. The responses are statistically weighted to reflect the broader population of such students—approximately 1.5 million at 1,613 institutions nationally.

    Here are some key findings

    • Two-thirds of incoming freshmen (67 percent) said their choice of which college to attend was significantly affected by current economic conditions, up from 62 percent two years ago, when UCLA first asked the question. More are also deciding to live with family or relatives (17 percent, up from 15 percent last year) and fewer in dorms (76 percent, down from 79 percent a year ago).

    • About 84 percent expect to graduate from college in four years. In fact, only about half are likely to do so.

    • New college students are increasingly career-focused when it comes to what they want out of higher education. Among reasons for attending, getting a better job was the most common response and hit an all-time high of 88 percent, 20 points higher than in the mid-1970s. Other top reasons most students reported include making more money and gaining an appreciation of ideas (No. 3 on the list).

    • More than 30 percent of incoming freshmen reported frequently feeling overwhelmed when they were high school seniors. But there were wide gender gaps: 41 percent of female students said they’d felt overwhelmed, compared to 18 percent of male students.

    • Politically, compared to 2008 when President Barack Obama was elected the first time, fewer freshmen now identify as liberal (30 percent, down from 34 percent). More students call themselves middle of the road (47 percent, up from 43 percent), and the number calling themselves conservative is about the same (23 percent).

    • Movement has been sharper, though in varying political directions, on specific social issues. Support for same-sex marriage rose to 75 percent, up 4 points from just a year ago and up 24 points from 1997. Among freshmen calling themselves conservative, 47 percent support same-sex marriage, up from 43 percent a year ago. The number who believe abortion should be legal also has increased, from 58 percent in 2008 to 61 percent this year, while 65 percent believe the wealthy should pay higher taxes (up from 60 percent in 2008).

    However, the percentage who said they believe “a national health care plan is needed to cover everybody’s medical costs” fell from 70 percent in 2008 to 63 percent this year.

    http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/more-proof-that-the-economics-of-higher-education-must-change/

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    http://www.randybest.com/more-proof-that-the-economics-of-higher-education-must-change-annual-survey-reports-a-growing-number-of-students-are-choosing-schools-based-on-cost/feed 0
    Shared Crisis http://www.randybest.com/shared-crisis http://www.randybest.com/shared-crisis#comments Mon, 11 Feb 2013 15:48:07 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=636 Continue reading ]]>

    Shared Crisis

    Colleen Flaherty

    Citing a recent wave of unilateral moves to eliminate academic programs by university administrators claiming financial crisis, the American Association of University Professors today released new guidelines designed to tighten the definition of financial exigency and increase faculty participation in deciding whether to close programs.

    “We had a standard, and that standard was clearly being ignored” by a variety of institutions, said Michael Bérubé, who led a two-year AAUP investigation into department closures that resulted in the proposed guidelines and an accompanying report, "The Role of the Faculty in Conditions of Financial Exigency." “But addressing them one-by-one was like playing ‘Whack-a-Mole.’ ”

    AAUP accepts that academic programs may be cut due to true financial exigency or sound educational reasons, said Bérubé, professor of English at Pennsylvania State University and immediate past president of the Modern Language Association. But some of the cuts in recent years have not been based on a “you’re bankrupt and owe money to the mob tomorrow” imperative, but rather “festering” financial crises related to the greater economic climate in which administrations have looked to cut instructional costs before other, extracurricular priorities, such as athletics.

    Institutions named in the report include the University of Northern Iowa, several within the University of Louisiana System and the State University of New York at Albany; all have eliminated academic programs and in some cases, associated tenure-track positions within the last several years, pointing to financial imperatives but without declaring financial exigency. Under longstanding AAUP policy, only colleges that have declared financial exigency may eliminate the jobs of tenured professors.

    Additionally, Bérubé said, administrations in some cases have cut programs with low numbers of majors without thinking about broader curricular implications. At Northern Iowa, for example, he said, cutting the physics program last year left other science majors with a hole in their course loads where they would have taken physics classes. This is more commonly associated with recent cuts to language departments, a trend that can leave undergraduates with fewer options to fulfill language requirements. (A spokesman from University of Northern Iowa referred questions on this topic to earlier statements by President Benjamin Allen in response to a related but separate AAUP report on program cuts. In those statements, Allen said AAUP’s position was mere opinion, without punitive teeth, and that it mischaracterized the process by which the university identified programs for cuts and “misapprehended” the severity of the university’s financial emergency, among other criticisms).

    Fundamentally linking budget concerns with curriculum concerns, the new recommendations outline a strict protocol for faculty participation in declarations of financial exigency and department closure discussions. Peer-elected faculty members should be involved alongside administrators at all levels of the discussion, with access to least five years' worth of the institutions’ audited financial statements; current and following-year budgets; and detailed cash-flow estimates for future years, as well as program, department and administrative-level budgets. Program cuts – and the tenure-track job losses that usually accompany them – should also be a last resort, following attempts to cure budget ills by furloughs and other means, including cuts to extracurricular expenditures.

    The new recommendations, which build on existing regulations dating back to the 1970s, also offer a clearer-cut definition of financial exigency, falling somewhere between an immediate threat to the survival of the institution and ordinary attrition in operating budgets; exigency can only be declared when “substantial” injury to the institution’s academic mission will result from prolonged and drastic reductions in funds available to the institution and only when determination of the institution’s financial health is guided by generally accepted accounting principles. The report includes an appendix with metrics by which administrators and faculty can jointly assess the severity of their financial crisis.

    When cuts to programs are unavoidable, faculty should be given at least 30 days’ notice. The report also outlines a process by which tenured faculty should be reassigned, where possible, to another academic department.

    John Lombardi, a former president of the Louisiana State University and expert on institutional finance, said that financial exigency has historically been a point of contention between administrations and faculty precisely because it means different things to different groups at different levels of the institution. Union groups tend to hold that any available funds should be spent on keeping jobs, while administrators have to balance a wider variety of obligations.

    “Given the financial challenges of many institutions, we can expect to see continued controversy over these issues,” said Lombardi. “Often it's best to be sure everyone understands the budget, understands the context, and understands the decisions. This rarely produces agreement, but it does reduce paranoia and tends to focus on the real issues involving the money. Then, when the administration makes a decision, we all know how it arrived there, even if we do not agree with the decision.”

    Kent Chabotar, the president of Guilford College in North Carolina, who also has written extensively about the intersection of institutional finance and management, agreed that such debate will be ongoing. But administrations can ease such discussions by maintaining financial transparency at all times – not just in financial crises. That way, he said, there will be less suspicion and more financial literacy among faculty when it comes to making tough decisions. Institutions also can maintain standard student-to-faculty ratios or student-to-administrator ratios that will take some of the mystery out of the decision-making process in times of true financial exigency, he said.

    Although AAUP’s investigation began as a probe into financial exigency, Bérubé said it ultimately became more about the importance of shared governance – something already “in tatters” across higher education. The report and revised recommendations are intended to be a “wake-up call” to faculty as well as administrators.

    “You should be involved in this stuff,” he said of downtrodden faculty. “This is not something you should be taking lying down.”

    http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/01/15/aaup-calls-faculty-participation-financial-exigency-declarations#ixzz2Kbd84ytw ]]> http://www.randybest.com/shared-crisis/feed 0 UC spends big to market its online courses — but reaches only one person http://www.randybest.com/631 http://www.randybest.com/631#comments Mon, 11 Feb 2013 15:39:34 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=631 Continue reading ]]>

    UC spends big to market its online courses — but reaches only one person

    Christina Farr

    In an effort to show off its array of online courses, the University of California has poured millions of dollars into promoting its UC Online system. But as the San Francisco Chronicle reports, only one person from outside the UC system has taken a class.

    For its operating costs, UC Online took out a $6.9 million loan from UC. Since the earliest meetings in 2010, it has spent about $5 million, with most going to a marketing company. Back in 2010, prestigious universities like Harvard and Stanford began to offer their most popular courses online free of charge. In subsequent years, the movement known as the Massive Online Open Courses (MOOC) has caught on. In recent months, universities began to accept them as a form of college credit.

    On sites like Coursera, over 700,000 users worldwide can pick and choose from hundreds of courses in the humanities and sciences from dozens of elite universities. With all the competition in this space, it hasn’t been an easy run for UC Online, given that many of its classes cost over $1,000. The university was only able to attract one high school girl, who paid $1,400 for an online precalculus course at UC Irvine and four units of UC credit.

    In a recent interview with VentureBeat, Coursera founder Andrew Ng said their approach worked because they took the time to “build up communities around the courses.” He explained, “Too often, universities had been putting up videos on the web and hoping for the best.”

    UC has achieved better results with its student population. Seventeen hundreed UC students are taking 14 classes that launched last year. Keith Williams, the interim director for UC Online, told the San Francisco Chronicle that these courses were developed by the faculty and had undergone rigorous peer review.

    Funding for public schools is in short supply. To ensure that the project doesn’t circle the drain, Gov. Jerry Brown — a Democrat who’s had to aggressively cut California’s budget due to multibillion dollar shortfalls – got involved with the UC Online project. He invited popular MOOC provider Udacity to show UC how it’s done.

    During a visit in November, Brown made a comparison to the U.S. Postal Service, “a venerable institution being upended by digital change.”

    http://venturebeat.com/2013/01/08/uc-spends-big-to-market-its-online-courses-reaches-one-user/#r795MbMPvpw1AW53.99

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    College Rankings: a Guide to Nowhere http://www.randybest.com/college-rankings-a-guide-to-nowhere http://www.randybest.com/college-rankings-a-guide-to-nowhere#comments Mon, 11 Feb 2013 15:31:12 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=626 Continue reading ]]>

    College Rankings: a Guide to Nowhere

    By Debra Houry

    This month high-school seniors have been frantically submitting their college applications for the January deadlines.

    Students aspire for acceptance into a reputable college, yet how do they determine which one is the best for them? Many of them turn for guidance to U.S. News & World Report and other resources that rank institutions.

    Unfortunately, those "one size fits all" rankings, which are influential to both students and institutions, are often poorly designed and untrustworthy.

    In November, George Washington University disclosed that it had been inflating class-rank data for the past decade, which resulted in its own inflated ranking in U.S. News. It was the third institution last year to admit to providing inaccurate and inflated data. The other two, Claremont McKenna College and my own employer, Emory University, reported inflated SAT scores. And there are most likely many more instances of data falsification.

    I'm not absolving anyone of blame, but there is an inherent conflict of interest in asking those who are most invested in the rankings to self-report data.

    Furthermore, the formula used in the rankings is poor. U.S. News calculates "student selectivity"—how picky the college is—based in large part on how many students were in the top 10 percent of their high-school classes. However, the National Association for College Admission Counseling reported that most small private and competitive high schools no longer report class rank, and some public high schools are also forgoing reporting this rank to their students and colleges. But U.S. News still includes it as a category.

    While the rankings themselves are suspect, U.S. News's criteria are a disincentive for colleges to evolve. For example, they discourage colleges from selecting a diverse student body. An institution that begins accepting more African-American students or students from low-income families—two groups that have among the lowest SAT scores, according to the College Board—might see its ranking drop because the average SAT score of its freshmen has gone down.

    The rankings also discourage colleges from keeping pace with the digital revolution and doing things more efficiently. For example, in its law-school rankings, U.S. News rewards higher numbers of library volumes and titles, even though the move toward digital formats should make that measure obsolete. Meanwhile, dollars spent per student are rewarded as well, so if colleges perform more cost-effectively, perhaps by using newer technologies like online learning, they are penalized.

    Other ranking systems aren't any better. Forbes, which also annually rates colleges based on value and quality of teaching, includes as part of its scoring system student evaluations from Rate My Professors (notorious for its "hotness" category). These student evaluations are anonymous and unverified, so a student unhappy with her grade or even the professor can comment.

    In some systems, colleges can pay to be included. The QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) World University Rankings now has a "star system." The QS star system is able to use publicly available data for some institutions, like Harvard. But beginning in 2011, the vast majority of other colleges included in the QS star system paid $30,400 for an initial audit and a three-year license for participation. A New York Times article last month highlighted how many of those paying colleges received high star marks in the QS ratings, yet aren't rated highly in other ratings systems.

    Defenders will say these rankings provide a place for prospective students to compare data from various institutions, and may get them to consider ones they were not aware of. Although the rankings do highlight information on institutions, including class size and graduation rates, they miss important measures such as student learning and the university experience. A recent survey conducted by Gallup for Inside Higher Ed reported that only 14 percent of admissions directors believed that these rankings helped students find a college with a good fit.

    Students might be better off turning to reports like the National Survey of Student Engagement, which annually collects information from more than 500 institutions about student participation in programs and activities geared toward learning and personal development. At Emory, for instance, we started a program called Living-Learning Communities, which gives upperclassmen incentives to live on campus and participate in residential learning. But you would never learn about that from the ranking formulas.

    Competition and colorful magazines are alluring, but we should expect the scores to be meaningfuland accurate. Emory, for its part, has developed a data-advisory committee to ensure a consistent and accurate method to report all institutional data. Other colleges should put in place similar checks of internal data validity or have external audits.

    Meanwhile, ranking organizations should develop more-meaningful measures around diversity of students, job placement, acceptance into professional schools, faculty membership in national academies, and student engagement. Instead of being assigned a numerical rank, institutions should be grouped by tiers and categories of programs. The last thing students want is to be seen as a number. Colleges shouldn't want that, either.

    Debra Houry is an associate professor in the School of Medicine and the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.

    http://chronicle.com/article/College-Rankings-a-Guide-to/136863/]]>
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    MOOCs – Mistaking brand for quality? http://www.randybest.com/moocs-mistaking-brand-for-quality http://www.randybest.com/moocs-mistaking-brand-for-quality#comments Mon, 11 Feb 2013 15:24:23 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=619 Continue reading ]]>

    MOOCs – Mistaking brand for quality?

    Stamenka Uvalic-Trumbic

    In 2012 MOOCs were the sensation of the year in US higher education, and they continue to fascinate the media and bloggers.

    The recent annual conference of CHEA, the US Council for Higher Education, in Washington, DC, held a session on MOOCs that brought together the enthusiasm of Coursera – a for-profit start-up that helps some 30 universities to offer MOOCs – the views of university President Paul Leblanc, and the perspective of US regional accrediting body NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges).

    Where are MOOCs going?

    Educational technology has a history of fads. However, the volume of MOOCs activity, even though largely US-based, means that MOOCs will evolve rather than disappear.

    The UK is now joining the fray as Futurelearn, a new company owned by the Open University and which includes 10 top UK universities, the BBC and the British Council – launches its global MOOCs initiative.

    Other countries will follow suit including, hopefully, some developing countries.

    Following Coursera’s claim that its MOOCs are the answer to excess demand for higher education in poor countries, the movement already has a neocolonialist flavour. This will raise hackles, as did the first open educational resources (OER) when MIT launched its open courseware in 2001.

    However, as well as MOOCs there are initiatives to expand online programmes with less fanfare. Thirty US state universities have teamed up successfully with Academic Partnerships. Students gain credit and degrees and there is a sustainable business model.

    Some of its university partners will make the first course in their regular online programmes a credit-bearing MOOC and Academic Partnerships is now seeking alliances in developing countries.

    In another promising experiment edX is working with Bunker Hill and Mass Bay community colleges are to offer MIT’s Introduction to Computer Science and Programming MOOC to 20 students. This will show whether using MOOC material can strengthen other institutions.

    What about quality?

    At the CHEA conference NEASC’s Barbara Brittingham suggested that accreditation and quality assurance agencies should let the MOOCs bandwagon roll for a while before turning their attention to it. Since these agencies focus primarily on study leading to credit and awards, which is not yet the case with most MOOCs, the market can take care of things for the time being.

    Another paper noted that quality assurance systems for orthodox university courses and programmes usually make judgements after reviewing quality on various dimensions such as student support, student counselling and, above all, completion rates.

    In most MOOCs these are either absent or, in the case of completion rates, dismal. But competition will now produce greater diversity and healthy experimentation in MOOCs. Soon the media, student groups and educational research units will start publishing assessments of MOOC courses that will feed into quality rankings.

    Meanwhile, it is risky to assume that university brand is a surrogate for course quality.

    Research universities, which have little previous experience of online teaching, dominate the MOOCs offerings and this is evident in the outdated behaviourist pedagogy most in evidence. Most MOOCs are little more than OER with test material added.

    MOOCs and the new dynamics of higher education

    MOOCs are just one manifestation of the emerging trends explored at UNESCO’s 2009 World Conference, on the “New Dynamics of Higher Education”.

    Online learning and various new providers are responding to a major global development, the massification or universalisation of higher education that is creating huge and unmet demand in the developing world.

    Compared to the earlier 1998 UNESCO higher education conference, the international spread of quality assurance was a major discussion item in 2009. Quality assurance agencies have multiplied into most jurisdictions.

    However, speaking at that time, CHEA President Judith Eaton described this trend as "the spread of the familiar", concerned that there was not enough variety in approaches to quality assurance around the world.

    The universalisation of higher education will require quality assurance to face many new challenges, and one definition of quality will not fit all.

    Open education

    MOOCs and the related phenomenon of OER are just two new developments that challenge traditional approaches to quality assurance. How does one determine the quality of OER, given that their main purpose is to evolve as people adapt, modify and reuse them?

    The 2012 Paris OER Declaration, in one of its recommendations, called on states to: “Promote quality assurance and peer review of OER. Encourage the development of mechanisms for the assessment and certification of learning outcomes achieved through OER.”

    This is easier said than done, but the focus on assessment, certification and learning outcomes is right. If in doubt, quality assurance should always focus on what students are gaining from their study.

    Competency based-education

    In this respect, the expansion of competency-based education is an important development, which inspired a thoughtful talk at CHEA by Paul LeBlanc of the Southern New Hampshire University.

    Another contribution, by Sunny Lee of Mozilla, showed that open badges are an effective way of certifying competency-based learning. Quality assurance must adapt to such new methods of communicating learning outcomes.

    Disaggregating accreditation, unbundling QA?

    Accreditation and quality assurance are now facing a world where the teaching-learning process is increasingly disaggregated. The processes of teaching and certification used to be integrated in the same institution, but now there are a multitude of providers, some public, some private, some for profit, looking after different parts of the student experience.

    Do accreditation and quality assurance also need to unbundle their work? Barbara Brittingham noted that when institutions incorporate into their awards significant credit obtained or certified elsewhere, accreditation must take an interest in these other providers.

    This will certainly apply to credit from MOOCs, where it is likely that bodies other than those offering the MOOCs – either other higher education institutions or consortia like OERu – will award credit and help students to progress towards a degree.

    The main objective of the CHEA International Quality Group is to review the changing needs for quality assurance as they emerge internationally. MOOCs provide a striking example of the challenge.

    http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20130206180425691]]>
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    University of Texas at Arlington Sets Enrollment Record http://www.randybest.com/university-of-texas-at-arlington-sets-enrollment-record http://www.randybest.com/university-of-texas-at-arlington-sets-enrollment-record#comments Fri, 08 Feb 2013 21:28:35 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=615 Continue reading ]]>

    University of Texas at Arlington Sets Enrollment Record

    BY Patrick M. Walker

    Enrollment at the University of Texas at Arlington has hit an all-time high this spring, according to unofficial numbers, but thousands of those students may never set foot on campus.

    Many of the university's 33,806 students -- a 304-student jump from the university's previous record set a year ago and a 35 percent increase since 2008 -- are enrolled in its online programs.

    The College of Nursing, for example, hit a new peak of 7,995 students this spring, more than four times its fall 2008 level. Of those, 5,575 students, or about 70 percent, are enrolled in online degree programs in partnership with more than 350 healthcare institutions across Texas and beyond.

    The increasingly popular online offerings, along with a massive building boom on campus and the growing prestige of many of its academic programs, are making UT Arlington the first choice for many students, said Ronald L. Elsenbaumer, provost and vice president for academic affairs.

    "This is not the institution it was 10 years ago," Elsenbaumer said. "If anybody who hadn't been here in five or 10 years walked the campus today, they would probably say, 'I don't recognize this place.'"

    Hayli Ballentine, a sophomore history major from Flower Mound, is in her first semester at UT Arlington. A 2006 high school graduate, she is resuming her studies after taking time off to work. The choices came down to the University of North Texas in Denton and UT Arlington.

    The latter won out, she said, because it "was a little easier for me to get to."

    As Ballentine relaxed and studied in the E.H. Hereford University Center on Tuesday afternoon, thousands of her fellow students were scattered around the world.

    Since UT Arlington's online programs -- which, unlike traditional courses, offer staggered start dates -- solidified beginning in 2009, the university has seen a shift in its peak enrollment from fall to spring, Elsenbaumer said.

    The enrollment growth this spring is being driven by gains in business, nursing, engineering, science and social work. In many cases the students are military veterans returning from combat zones who want to study the same type of job they had overseas, university spokeswoman Kristin Sullivan said.

    The nursing college's program was developed by outgoing Dean Elizabeth C. Poster, who is stepping down this spring and returning to her faculty position in 2014. The college boasts a 94 percent graduation rate.

    More than 90 percent of nursing students pass state licensing exams on their first attempt, and more than 95 percent of master's level nurse practitioner graduates pass national certification exams.

    The School of Social Work saw the biggest percentage increase this spring, growing 13.5 percent to 1,437 students. Sullivan said many students have indicated that they want to be trained in a new career and that they want it to be one in which they can make a difference in people's lives.

    Traditional programs also continue to be a draw. Dennis Marquart, 35, is about halfway toward a doctorate in business management that he hopes will lead to a job as a college professor.

    "I knew of some of the professors here," he said as a reason for his choosing UT Arlington. "It seems to be a rigorous program."

    UT Arlington wasn't the only public higher education institution to report a boost in enrollment this spring.

    The University of North Texas in Denton also reported enrollment gains based on 12th-class-day figures, which don't become official until verified by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. UNT has 33,715 students, up 210 from a year ago.

    Tarrant County College's spring student headcount is up 1.2 percent, with a total unduplicated credit enrollment of 46,750 on its five campuses, each of which also marked individual gains.

    http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/02/05/4602711/university-of-texas-at-arlington.html#article#storylink=cpy

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    Arkansas Universities Expand Online Degree Programs http://www.randybest.com/arkansas-universities-expand-online-degree-programs http://www.randybest.com/arkansas-universities-expand-online-degree-programs#comments Fri, 08 Feb 2013 17:38:15 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=611 Continue reading ]]>

    Arkansas Universities Expand Online Degree Programs

    By Kevin Hudson

    The University of Arkansas System (UA System) has partnered with a global online learning company to expand the degree offerings of its institutions.

    Academic Partnerships (AP) was selected to deliver the UA System's undergraduate and graduate degree programs online. The company was chosen for its expertise in online delivery of instruction, along with the global marketing and recruiting capabilities to extend the UA System's brand and increase access to higher education for qualified students in Arkansas and beyond, according to a company release.

    "Today's technology allows students to access our high quality curriculum through dynamic and innovative digital environments," said Donald Bobbitt, president of the University of Arkansas System, in the release. "We are excited to work with Academic Partnerships--a company with an excellent track record and a commitment to quality--as it assists us in achieving the System's expansion of online academic offerings while maintaining the University's rigorous, robust academic standards."

    AP's track record includes partnerships with more than 40 public institutions that have expanded access and scaled the delivery of their online degree programs. The company has also assisted more than 750 professors in converting more than 1,500 traditional courses into an electronic delivery format, along with aiding the recruitment of students into online degree programs for its partners in the United States and the world.

    The UA System enrolls more than 70,000 students, employs more than 17,000 employees, and has a total budget exceeding $2 billion. The system includes five four-year universities, five community colleges, an academic health sciences university, a presidential graduate school, a mathematics and sciences high school, and units related to agriculture, archeology, and criminal justice.

    Academic Partnerships is based in Dallas and partners with universities to deliver full degree programs online. The company was founded in 2007 by entrepreneur Randy Best, an 18-year veteran of developing learning solutions to improve education. Academic Partnerships helps universities increase access to education by providing the technology, student recruitment, and faculty support necessary to serve online students.

    For more information about the University of Arkansas System, visit uasys.edu. Go to academicpartnerships.com to learn more about Academic Partnerships.

    http://campustechnology.com/articles/2013/02/06/arkansas-universities-expand-online-degree-programs.aspx?admgarea=news

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    Former UNESCO Higher Education Chief Stamenka Uvalic-Trumbic Joins Academic Partnerships as Senior Advisor http://www.randybest.com/former-unesco-higher-education-chief-stamenka-uvalic-trumbic-joins-academic-partnerships-as-senior-advisor http://www.randybest.com/former-unesco-higher-education-chief-stamenka-uvalic-trumbic-joins-academic-partnerships-as-senior-advisor#comments Thu, 07 Feb 2013 15:37:51 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=599 Continue reading ]]> Press Release: Former UNESCO Higher Education Chief Stamenka Uvalic-Trumbic Joins Academic Partnerships as Senior Advisor

    Feb. 7, 2013
    Academic Partnerships (AP), one of the largest representatives of public universities' online learning in the United States, today announced that Ms. Stamenka Uvalic-Trumbic will join the company as a senior advisor. Former Chief of the Higher Education Section of the United Nations Organization for Education, Science, and Culture (UNESCO), Ms. Uvalic-Trumbic is an international leader in education reform, innovation, quality assurance, and accreditation who brings more than 20 years of higher education experience to Academic Partnerships.

    "I have long been an active participant in the growth of international higher education," said Stamenka Uvalic-Trumbic. "In collaboration with Academic Partnerships, I have the opportunity to work with innovative universities that are seeking to make higher education more accessible to students around the world."

    "We are excited to welcome someone with Stamenka's extensive knowledge and experience in the higher education space to our team," said Randy Best, founder and chairman of Academic Partnerships. "Stamenka's higher education background in numerous countries brings a broad perspective to Academic Partnerships as we work to serve universities on a global basis."

    Ms. Uvalic-Trumbic's first senior role in higher education was as Secretary-General of the Association of Universities in Yugoslavia. In the early 1990s, she joined UNESCO's European Centre for Higher Education in Bucharest with the goal of enhancing the quality of higher education throughout a more integrated Europe. Ms. Uvalic-Trumbic was quickly promoted to lead the unit managing higher education at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris. Her major achievements include developing the 2005 UNESCO-OECD Guidelines for Quality Provision in Cross-Border Higher Education; launching the Global Forum on International Quality Assurance, Accreditation, and the Recognition of Qualifications; and implementing the UNESCO-World Bank partnership for capacity-building in quality assurance for developing countries.

    Inspired by her work with innovative providers in a world with huge unmet demand for higher education, Ms. Uvalic-Trumbic collaborated on the A Tectonic Shift in Higher Education paper with education pioneer and Academic Partnerships Senior Advisor Sir John Daniel and Asha Kanwar.

    Ms. Uvalic-Trumbic was voted International Higher Education Professional of the Year 2009 by her peers in the International Community of Higher Education. That same year, as UNESCO's Executive Secretary, she was centrally involved in the organization of the 2009 World Conference on Higher Education. The conference was attended by more than 2,000 ministers, officials, and institutions from countries all over the world.

    Ms. Uvalic-Trumbic continues to be a consultant to UNESCO on issues related to the Recognition of Degrees and Qualifications in Higher Education. In the past year, she was a Senior Consultant to the Commonwealth of Learning in a project that resulted in the 2012 UNESCO Paris Declaration on Open Educational Resources adopted by acclamation. She is the Education Master with the DeTao Masters Academy in China and was recently named Senior Consultant to the U.S. Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) for the creation of its International quality group.

    Ms. Uvalic-Trumbic studied at the Universities of Belgrade and the Sorbonne.

    Academic Partnerships has a successful track record of helping universities expand access and scale the delivery of their high quality online degree programs. AP has assisted more than 750 professors convert more than 1,500 traditional courses into an electronic delivery format and recruited thousands of students into online degree programs for its U.S. and international partners.

    About Academic Partnerships

    Academic Partnerships (AP) helps universities convert their traditional degree programs into an online format, recruits qualified students and supports enrolled students through graduation. Serving more than 40 public institutions, AP is one of the largest representatives of public universities' online learning in the United States. The company was founded by social entrepreneur Randy Best, an 18-year veteran of developing innovative learning solutions to improve education. AP is guided by the principle that the opportunities presented through distance learning make higher education more accessible and achievable for students in the U.S. and globally. For more information, please visit www.academicpartnerships.com.

    Contact:

    Jaquelyn M. Scharnick
    Academic Partnerships
    +1.214.438.4144
    jaquelyn.scharnick@academicpartnerships.com

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    Academic Partnerships Now Accepting Proposals for Round One of 2013 Research Grant Program http://www.randybest.com/academic-partnerships-now-accepting-proposals-for-round-one-of-2013-research-grant-program http://www.randybest.com/academic-partnerships-now-accepting-proposals-for-round-one-of-2013-research-grant-program#comments Wed, 06 Feb 2013 15:21:48 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=597 Continue reading ]]> Press Release: Academic Partnerships Now Accepting Proposals for Round One of 2013 Research Grant Program

    Feb. 6, 2013
    Academic Partnerships (AP), one of the largest representatives of public universities offering online learning in the United States, today announced that it is currently accepting proposals for Round One of its 2013 Research Grant Program, which supports faculty research on the impact and effectiveness of online learning. Proposals are being accepted through Feb. 28, 2013.

    The Academic Partnerships Research Grant Program, which has committed to providing $100,000 in funding in 2013, offers faculty members working in online courses within the AP partnership the opportunity to win grants to foster research that could increase understanding about the power of online learning. Priority funding for longitudinal research will be provided in recognition of those proposals that include:

    • Research on quality assurance as a system in higher education
    • Data points related to student retention
    • Data points related to improvement of student learning outcomes
    • Aspects regarding Quality Matters' (QM) impact on student learning outcomes, student retention, improving instruction, or forming teaching practices if the applicant's institution is a subscriber to QM
    • A focus on the any of the following:
      • Evaluation of emerging technologies, tools, and concepts and effectiveness in online education (e.g., xMOOCs, cMOOCs, gamification, competency based evaluation, etc.)
      • Effectiveness of a quality assurance process in online education
      • New or effective ideas for online course design

    Proposals are being accepted online at http://facultyecommons.com/academic-partnerships-faculty-research-grant-application-form/.

    Awardees will be informed in writing by March 31, 2013 and announced on Faculty eCommons, an AP-sponsored site supporting online faculty around the world, shortly thereafter. Funds will be disseminated over the duration of the project and will be paid to the institution's grant or equivalent office.

    The second round of the program will commence this summer.

    Academic Partnerships has a successful track record of helping universities expand access and scale the delivery of their high quality online degree programs. AP has assisted more than 750 professors convert more than 1,500 traditional courses into an electronic delivery format and recruited thousands of students into online degree programs for its U.S. and international partners.

    About Academic Partnerships

    Academic Partnerships (AP) helps universities convert their traditional degree programs into an online format, recruits qualified students and supports enrolled students through graduation. Serving more than 40 state institutions, AP is one of the largest representatives of public universities' online learning in the United States. The company was founded by social entrepreneur Randy Best, an 18-year veteran of developing innovative learning solutions to improve education. AP is guided by the principle that the opportunities presented through distance learning make higher education more accessible and achievable for students in the U.S. and globally. For more information, please visit www.academicpartnerships.com.

    Contact:
    Jaquelyn M. Scharnick
    Academic Partnerships
    +1.214.438.4144
    jaquelyn.scharnick@academicpartnerships.com

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    Academic Partnerships Selected by University of Arkansas System to Expand Degree Programs Online http://www.randybest.com/academic-partnerships-selected-by-university-of-arkansas-system-to-expand-degree-programs-online http://www.randybest.com/academic-partnerships-selected-by-university-of-arkansas-system-to-expand-degree-programs-online#comments Tue, 05 Feb 2013 16:38:53 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=593 Continue reading ]]> Press Release: Academic Partnerships Selected by University of Arkansas System to Expand Degree Programs Online

    Jan. 5, 2013
    The University of Arkansas System (UA System) today announced that it will be collaborating with Academic Partnerships (AP) to deliver undergraduate and graduate degree programs online. Academic Partnerships, one of the largest representatives of public universities online learning in the United States, will use its expertise in online delivery of instruction and its global marketing and recruiting capabilities to extend the UA System's brand and increase access to higher education for qualified students in Arkansas and beyond.

    The UA System includes five four-year universities, five community colleges, an academic health sciences university, a presidential graduate school, a mathematics and sciences high school and units related to agriculture, archeology and criminal justice. The partnership will give UA System institutions the opportunity to work with Academic Partnerships to deliver new and existing online courses and programs.

    "Today's technology allows students to access our high quality curriculum through dynamic and innovative digital environments," said Dr. Donald R. Bobbitt, President of the University of Arkansas System. "We are excited to work with Academic Partnerships—a company with an excellent track record and a commitment to quality—as it assists us in achieving the System's expansion of online academic offerings while maintaining the University's rigorous, robust academic standards."

    "The University of Arkansas System has a very creative and progressive vision for using technology to scale its quality, reach underserved populations and compete for the top students around the world," said Randy Best, founder and chairman of Academic Partnerships. "The System is anxious to meet the expectations and needs of 21st century educational consumers by being an innovator in online learning."

    Academic Partnerships has helped more than 40 public universities expand access and scale the delivery of their high quality online degree programs. AP has assisted more than 750 professors convert more than 1,500 traditional courses into an electronic delivery format and recruited thousands of students into online degree programs for its U.S. and international partners.

    About the University of Arkansas

    Since its inception, the University of Arkansas System has developed a tradition of excellence that includes the state's 1871 flagship, land-grant research university; Arkansas's premier institution for medical education, treatment and research; a major metropolitan university; an 1890 land-grant university; two regional universities serving southern and western Arkansas; five community colleges; two schools of law; a presidential school; a residential math and science high school; and divisions of agriculture, archeology and criminal justice. The individual entities of the UA System maintain cooperative strength as well as diverse offerings that exhibit unmatched economic and social impact to the state.

    The UA System provides communities in Arkansas with access to academic and professional opportunities, develops intellectual growth and cultural awareness in its students and provides knowledge and research skills to an ever-changing society. The system enrolls more than 70,000 students, employs over 17,000 employees, and has a total budget of over $2 billion. An intrinsic part of the texture and fabric of Arkansas, the UA System is a driving force in the state's economic, educational and cultural advancement.

    About Academic Partnerships

    Dallas-based Academic Partnerships partners with universities to deliver students full degree programs online. The company was founded by social entrepreneur Randy Best, an 18-year veteran of developing innovative learning solutions to improve education. Academic Partnerships helps universities increase access to high-quality education by providing the technology, student recruitment and faculty support necessary to serve online students. Academic Partnerships is guided by the principle that the opportunities presented through distance learning make higher education more accessible and achievable for students in the U.S. and globally. For more information, please visit http://www.academicpartnerships.com.

    Contacts:

    University of Arkansas
    Ben Beaumont
    501-686-2951
    bbeaumont@clintonschool.uasys.edu

    Academic Partnerships
    Jaquelyn Scharnick
    214-438-4144
    jaquelyn.scharnick@academicpartnerships.com

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    MOOC2Degree Initiative Raises the For-Credit Profile of MOOCs http://www.randybest.com/mooc2degree-initiative-raises-the-for-credit-profile-of-moocs http://www.randybest.com/mooc2degree-initiative-raises-the-for-credit-profile-of-moocs#comments Mon, 04 Feb 2013 18:00:08 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=589 Continue reading ]]>

    MOOC2Degree Initiative Raises the For-Credit Profile of MOOCs

    Last week, Academic Partnerships introduced the MOOC2Degree program. Through this innovative effort, some of the public universities that Academic Partnerships works with are going to offer an initial course in a degree program as a free MOOC. Students who complete the course successfully will be eligible for full college credit for the course if they choose to enroll in the full degree program. This is an exciting step forward for the intriguing new world of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), bringing them a step closer to wider acceptance for college and university credit.

    Under this initiative, one of the initial course offerings in selected online degree programs from some major universities will be converted into a MOOC. “Each MOOC will be the same course with the same academic content, taught by the same instructors, as currently offered degree programs at participating universities,” according to the press release.

    I spoke briefly with Randy Best, Founder and Chairman of Academic Partnerships, about MOOC2Degree and he was particularly pleased that this initiative is making MOOCs more ‘inclusive’ than they have been thus far. Many of the MOOCs offered to date have been from the likes of Princeton and Stanford and other high profile private universities, but these new offerings are from public institutions. Best also expressed confidence that the completion rate for these offering will be higher than the low rates seen thus far from MOOCs (often in the 10 to 20% range at best). Since these courses are germane to specific degree programs, it would seem likely that students who enroll would be interested in moving on to the degree, and therefore be more invested in completing the course.

    Another intended benefit of this program is the potential to slightly lower the cost of attaining a degree, depending on each university’s approach to implementation of the MOOC2Degree program. While some may charge full cost to have the credit awarded, others may charge just a testing or proctoring fee for final exam.

    Academic Partnership’s has a strategic partnership with Canvas Network, which these universities can choose to use at no cost to offer MOOC2Degree courses. Some of university partners already have an existing LMS system and may choose to use that instead.

    Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen, broadly known as a scholar of disruptive innovation, see this evolution in MOOCs as an exciting step forward for the concept. “The foothold Academic Partnership’s initiative creates for students and universities is truly exciting. This is exactly the spot in a market where successful disruptions always take root.”

    http://www.emergingedtech.com/2013/01/mooc2degree-initiative-raises-the-for-credit-profile-of-moocs/

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    Wielding ‘Power Users’ http://www.randybest.com/wielding-power-users http://www.randybest.com/wielding-power-users#comments Wed, 30 Jan 2013 21:35:38 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=583 Continue reading ]]>

    Wielding 'Power Users'

    Nils De Jonghe is a busy student these days. Since the spring he has registered for 32 courses, the equivalent of a typical bachelor’s degree, and he aims to have completed nearly all of them by the end of next summer. And he is not receiving formal credit for any of them.

    In the world of MOOCs (massive open online courses) De Jonghe, 25, is what techies might call a “power user.” The Belgian grad student, who is also working on his thesis for a master’s degree in communication sciences at the University of Ghent, has completed four MOOCs so far. He has also dropped out of two, but still De Jonghe’s persistence is notable: Only about 12 percent of students complete a given Coursera course, and De Jonghe recently became one of only 2 percent of registered students to complete the final exam in what appears to have been a particularly harrowing course on Social Networking Analysis.

    He is scheduled to participate in another 26 courses -- a diverse array that includes courses on reasoning, storytelling, data analysis, astrobiology, nutrition, computer science, economics and gaming -- within the next nine months. He has also signed up for four courses through Canvas.net, another MOOC provider.

    He’s not sure if he will finish all of them. Nevertheless De Jonghe, perhaps more than any of Coursera’s 2 million other registrants, embodies the enthusiasm that has collected around this new species of online course. But with the company’s “certificates of accomplishment” bearing no well-defined value, and pathways to credit still very much under construction, the ability of Coursera and other MOOC providers to continue stoking the enthusiasm of their users turns on their ability to redeem their labors with rewards that are intangible yet compelling. And power users such as De Jonghe stand to play an increasingly important role in this process.

    MOOCs have generated a lot of buzz with their five-, sometimes six-digit registration figures. But equally they have drawn scorn from critics with their striking attrition rates. Conventional wisdom suggests that the fact that registration is simple and cost-free attracts a lot of casual participants who are not necessarily interested in completing an entire course.

    But user experience may also determine how many registrants stick around. And in a type of course that relies heavily on fruitful exchanges among students, how many registrants stick around may determine the quality of the user experience, says the company.

    “We’re trying to figure out what the best way is getting students involved in keeping the class running, alive,” says Norian Caporale-Berkowitz, a member of the course operations team at Coursera.

    Caporale-Berkowitz has been helping coordinate experiments in various MOOCs that seek to deputize certain students into the company’s instructional model. Professors have begun recruiting “community TAs” (teaching assistants) from its class rolls based on a combination of academic performance and activity in online discussion forums. “This has been piloted out only in a couple classes so far, and we're still working on figuring out what works best before rolling this out more broadly,” says Andrew Ng, one of the co-founders of Coursera.

    The company is still feeling out what should qualify students to be TAs and what sort of administrative privileges they should get. The models have differed across courses, says Caporale-Berkowitz, but the most promising so far has been in a course on Probabilistic Graphic Models, taught by Daphne Koller, one of Coursera’s co-founders. That course has been held twice; the second time around, Koller selected 18 high-performing participants from the previous iteration who had also been active on the forums and appointed them community TAs.

    In addition to an icon next to their posts in the discussion forums identifying them as TAs (as well as flags on discussion threads to which they have made contributions), those 18 students also had an exclusive channel to Coursera’s administrative team.

    The idea is to give these power users “the sense that they’re contributing and helping build this with us,” says Caporale-Berkowitz. And there could be more perks in the future, he says. The company could grant TAs special certificates of achievement indicating that they have learned the content well enough to help teach it. As for courses with a peer-grading component, feedback from users who have “shown proficiency in grading the way the professor might have graded” may get extra weight, says Caporale-Berkowitz.

    Assigning administrative status to selected outsiders is a common organizational principle of websites, such as Reddit and Wikipedia, that stake the value of their product at least partly on user-generated content. Coursera likes to boast that students who post questions to course discussion forums are likely to get a useful answer from another user in 20 minutes. The stakes of user participation are especially high in the company’s humanities courses, which use a peer grading system that relies on participants to score and give feedback on each other’s essays.

    De Jonghe, the Belgian power user, has not served as a TA and was unfamiliar with Coursera’s experiments. But he does agree that to some degree the company’s quality and success will be linked to its ability to wield the labors of its more committed users.

    “The platform could really use more people doing TA stuff from what I've seen,” he wrote in an e-mail. “Rarely do professors really interact on the forums, and I think it's perfectly understandable when they don't” -- so far there has been no indication that Coursera’s institutional partners have given participating faculty relief from their normal course loads, and either way, being a dynamic force at the head of a classroom of 50,000 students is a tall order for a lone instructor.

    For his part, De Jonghe says he would relish the chance to lend a hand. Over the course of several e-mails to Inside Higher Ed he described several bugs in the model -- particularly the peer grading system in a literature course he took over the summer -- and proposed a raft of suggestions for how the company and its institutional faculty might fix them.

    “I have e-mailed the staff a suggestion of giving students an option that lets them track all impending deadlines, along with information about the score penalties associated with each one,” De Jonghe wrote in October after getting docked for turning in late work in one of his MOOCs, “but have not heard back from them, nor do I really expect they will contact me."

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    Universities to offer free online courses with credit, let us try before we learn http://www.randybest.com/universities-to-offer-free-online-courses-with-credit-let-us-try-before-we-learn http://www.randybest.com/universities-to-offer-free-online-courses-with-credit-let-us-try-before-we-learn#comments Fri, 25 Jan 2013 03:21:50 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=561 Continue reading ]]>

    Universities to offer free online courses with credit, let us try before we learn

    It's not really practical to give universities a meaningful test drive. Not without ample amounts of money and time to throw at a practice semester, at least. It's about to become comparatively trivial. Arizona State, the University of Cincinnati and 38 other institutions are teaming up with Academic Partnerships to offer the first course from certain online degrees for free -- and, more importantly, to make it count as credit. Money only matters to participants (and Academic Partnerships) if they move on to the full program. Prospective students will have to wait until the spring to sign up for what's ultimately a freemium education, but patience could be a virtue if it means understanding the workload before committing to what may be years of higher learning.

    http://www.engadget.com/2013/01/24/universities-to-offer-free-online-courses-with-credit/

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    MOOCs – The Perfect Storm http://www.randybest.com/moocs-the-perfect-storm http://www.randybest.com/moocs-the-perfect-storm#comments Fri, 25 Jan 2013 03:21:02 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=558 Continue reading ]]>

    MOOCs - The Perfect Storm

    The New York Times announced this week that forty public US universities are teaming up with the company Academic Partnerships to offer free online courses which lead to the award of credit towards degree programmes. This move, proposed as a 'free sample' to entice more prospective students onto courses is aimed mostly at professionals such as educators or those working in health services. The new offering, called MOOC2Degree, is the latest incarnation of the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) and comes weeks after 12 top UK Universities announced that they were going into partnership with the Open University to create FutureLearn, a new initiative to create UK based MOOCs.

    But none of this is new. Since 1971, the Open University has been engaging students in distance learning using the best available technologies (then TV programmes with bearded presenters writing on dusty blackboards) and since then although the mode of delivery has been enhanced by the internet since the 1990s, the model remains the same. As learning technologies have developed in the 21st Century more traditional face to face Universities have begun to offer online courses for credit to fee paying students. This has been against a background of spiralling fees, which some sources in the US put at a 500% increase since the mid 1980's. While this increase is not quite mirrored in the UK, the hike to a top rate of £27,000 for a degree from the best UK institutions has made many prospective students and their parents question whether a degree is worth the money. Put that together with stalled labour market with a scarcity of graduate jobs and Higher Education faces an uncertain financial future in the new Higher Education 'marketplace' created by the coalition government.

    Another element of the MOOC 'perfect storm' is the technologies. There are three essential elements in this. The first is the hyperlink, the ability to make a piece of text or image on a computer screen link out to something else, and for this to happen infinite times, means that reading using a digital medium is not just about print on screen , it allows each reader, or student, to take a unique route through the media. The second is social media and Web 2.0 - which allows everyone to both read and write with the idea that everyone else, potentially at least, can read it. We've all become publishers. Finally when mobile technologies are added into this mix, and I mean small, light touch screen devices with fruity names which can be used on the train, at 3am when feeding the baby or in the park during a lunch hour mean that connectivity to interactive learning and publishing is finally an anytime anywhere thing.

    So put together these technological affordances with the higher education market place and drop it all into a global context and whoosh .... There is your perfect MOOC storm.

    Even though the idea of a MOOC is new to some, the genre is already evolving. While MIT offers its MITx suite of courses which hold true to the original MOOC formula which is closer to the idea of a knowledge network constructed by its users, Coursea offer more free courses which are closer to the 'credit for free' model which Academic Partnerships have proposed. Given all of this, might it be worth prospective students waiting a year or two to see if, instead of spending £27,000 on a degree they can study for one free? I doubt it. A reduction in the cost of mass higher education does not seem to be in the interests of many institutions, or even the students if they still want their higher education to be taught by the leading researchers in their field. However the MOOC is quite definitely here to stay so we'd better prepare to ride out that storm.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/helena-gillespie/moocs-the-perfect-storm_b_2540633.html

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    MOOCs for Credit from State Universities: MOOC2Degree from Academic Partnerships http://www.randybest.com/moocs-for-credit-from-state-universities-mooc2degree-from-academic-partnerships http://www.randybest.com/moocs-for-credit-from-state-universities-mooc2degree-from-academic-partnerships#comments Wed, 23 Jan 2013 21:55:04 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=524 Continue reading ]]>

    MOOCs for Credit from State Universities: MOOC2Degree from Academic Partnerships

    An Academic Partnerships program called MOOC2Degree takes existing programs that offered online (but not as MOOCs) and are fully accredited through their host institutions, and makes the first course into a MOOC — open to all and free, but awarding credit to those who complete successfully. MOOC2Degree Website Chronicle of Higher Education article “MOOCs for [...]

    http://etmooc.org/hub/tag/moocs-for-credit/

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    USU to offer online master’s program in human resources http://www.randybest.com/usu-to-offer-online-masters-program-in-human-resources http://www.randybest.com/usu-to-offer-online-masters-program-in-human-resources#comments Thu, 03 Jan 2013 15:31:01 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=469 Continue reading ]]>

    USU to offer online master's program in human resources

    Utah State University's Jon M. Huntsman School of Business this month will launch a new online Master of Science in Human Resources degree program. The program will offer 12, seven-week courses and is designed to help students living in rural areas advance their careers in human resources.

    "Utah State University has offered distance education for more than 25 years," said Douglas D. Anderson, dean of the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business. "By first utilizing a broadcast network and now through online platforms, USU is meeting the needs of Utah's students who are unable to attend an on-campus program."

    Dallas-based Academic Partnerships will provide the technology, marketing, student recruitment and faculty support for the business school's new program. Course materials will be delivered through Canvas learning management system.

    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/print/865569755/USU-to-offer-online-masters-program-in-human-resources.html

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    Utah State University to Launch New Master of Science in Human Resources Program Online http://www.randybest.com/utah-state-university-to-launch-new-master-of-science-in-human-resources-program-online http://www.randybest.com/utah-state-university-to-launch-new-master-of-science-in-human-resources-program-online#comments Thu, 20 Dec 2012 17:32:39 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=462 Continue reading ]]>

    Utah State University to Launch New Master of Science in Human Resources Program Online

    Utah State University's Jon M. Huntsman School of Business will next month launch a new online Master of Science in Human Resources (MSHR) degree program. The program, which will offer 12, seven-week courses, is designed to help students living in rural areas further their careers in human resources.

    "Utah State University has offered distance education for more than 25 years," said Douglas D. Anderson, dean of the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University, in a prepared statement. "By first utilizing a broadcast network and now through online platforms, USU is meeting the needs of Utah's students who are unable to attend an on-campus program. With the rapid advances in online instruction, we are now able to extend our reach even further to offer our MSHR degree to more students throughout Utah and beyond."

    Dallas, TX-based Academic Partnerships will provide the technology, marketing, student recruitment, and faculty support for the business school's new program. Course materials will be delivered through Canvas learning management system.

    The Huntsman School of Business, one of eight colleges at Utah State University, offers ten undergraduate degree and six graduate degree programs. The Logan, UT-based school is one of the oldest continuously running business colleges in the Western United States, according to the school's Web site.

    http://campustechnology.com/articles/2012/12/19/utah-state-university-to-launch-new-master-of-science-in-human-resources-program-online.aspx

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    Sir John Daniel: Openness Rather Than Scale is MOOC Contribution http://www.randybest.com/sir-john-daniel-openness-rather-than-scale-is-mooc-contribution http://www.randybest.com/sir-john-daniel-openness-rather-than-scale-is-mooc-contribution#comments Thu, 20 Dec 2012 16:26:09 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=456 Continue reading ]]>

    Sir John Daniel: Openness Rather Than Scale is MOOC Contribution

    "I'm delighted that openness has gotten to some very closed institutions," said Sir John Daniel. As the former CEO of Commonwealth of Learning and Vice-Chancellor of Open University, he knows a lot about higher education, open education resources (OER), and online learning.

    Sir John's recent paper, "Making Sense of MOOCs: Musings in a Maze of Myth, Paradox and Possibility," evaluates the impact and value of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). He concludes that it is not their scale that is the real revolution in higher education, but rather that universities with scarcity at the heart of their business models are embracing openness.

    Sir John referenced our recent World Education University story (about free college courses). He wondered, "Is accreditation on the way out?" He suggested that as more people earn credits from MOOCs and competency-based strategies, the less relevant traditional accreditation will become.

    But will MOOCs improve the quality of higher ed? Sir John thinks so. "The more people jump in the and the bigger it comes the more it becomes a pedagogy that institutions have to decide if they're going to get into this for real. It will cause the field will cause higher ed to think about what students learn." He noted that it "won't be long until all kinds of people begin making assessments of courses", and learning that results from courses people will have to decide what they mean by quality.

    Sir John sees MOOC as a confirmation and expansion of the early insight at Open University. He appreciates that universities are sharing their content at no charge. But on the narrower issue of IP he acknowledges that the "there's probably been some messy copyright issues" because, as noted by the Stanford Daily, MOOCs aren't really open. Universities like Stanford "allows the company to deliver the course but not to own it."

    While the paper says that "MOOCs will not do is address the challenge of expanding higher education in the developing world," Sir John is bullish on the expansion of high quality open content but he'd like to see it deployed locally with academic support systems (like edX and MassBay Community Colleges blended MOOCs and supports).

    Sir John isn't worried about low completion rates, at least not yet, "The time to start making judgements is about six months down the road." In the meantime, there's a lot of faith-based investing and bandwagon hopping going on.

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    Tareasplus Now on the iPad http://www.randybest.com/tareasplus-now-on-the-ipad http://www.randybest.com/tareasplus-now-on-the-ipad#comments Wed, 12 Dec 2012 15:55:46 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=449 Continue reading ]]> Tareasplus Now on the iPad

    Dec. 12, 2012
    Tareasplus, a San Francisco-based startup that has delivered more than 6 million video lessons to students throughout Latin America, today launches their education tutorials on the iPad, extending the reach of their educational platform to the 53M iPad users around the world.

    Tareasplus continues to take a leadership role in empowering students to learn anything from anywhere. They developed the iPad version in response to the rising demand for Spanish video tutorials in countries such as Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Argentina, all which have had 200 to 300% month-over-month traffic growth.

    Tareasplus has already successfully launched both an iPhone and Android app, which currently ranks as one of the top 20 downloaded educational apps in Latin America. The search function is also enhanced, with a more complete video description included with each video to aid students in finding just the right tutorial to support their education.

    "Our goal has always been to give more and more students the ability to learn math and science on their own time and to essentially 'unrestrict' the learning process. That's why we're thrilled to enter the iPad market so learners around the globe can master complex subjects at their own pace," said founder and CEO, Hernan Jaramillo.

    With the launch of their iPad app, Tareasplus continues to answer the universal demand for math and science instruction, delivering K-12 and early college students complete lessons in general math, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, physics, chemistry, calculus, differential equations, statistics and more. Tareasplus' library of more than 1600 free videos engage students with concise and comprehensive lessons, which answer the most sought-after questions in calculus (a subject covered across 300 videos), as well as topics such as Multiplying Fractions, Scientific Notation and Parabolic Motion.  This entire video library is now available on the iPad.

    "Our student users asked for it and we listened. We're thrilled to give students around the world a tool to better visualize complex problems and take learning with them wherever they go," said Jaramillo.

    About Tareasplus
    Tareasplus helps students at all age ranges learn math with quick and compelling video explanations in Spanish. The company is founded by math expert Roberto Cuartas and serial entrepreneur Hernan Jaramillo. Tareasplus is based in San Francisco and has offices in , Columbia. For more information, visit www.tareasplus.com.

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    Online courses can end higher education’s financial crisis http://www.randybest.com/online-courses-can-end-higher-educations-financial-crisis http://www.randybest.com/online-courses-can-end-higher-educations-financial-crisis#comments Mon, 10 Dec 2012 17:46:33 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=445 Continue reading ]]>

    Online courses can end higher education’s financial crisis

    Numerous articles and commentaries from inside and outside of academia are raising the alarm that American public higher education faces an unprecedented financial crisis.

    For years, state legislatures have been disinvesting in public colleges and universities. The result: rising debt, deferred maintenance for aging facilities, reductions in programs and course offerings, dismissals, elimination of many student and faculty services, and loss of talented faculty — many of whom haven’t received raises in years — to private universities.

    To try to offset these challenges, universities are raising tuition and fees to historically high levels. The cost of tuition alone has soared from 23 percent of median annual earnings in 2001 to 38 percent in 2010.

    Given the demands on state budgets, it is unlikely that funding for higher education will return to pre-2007 levels any time soon. In fact, analysts predict that financing levels will continue to decrease, to the point where a number of colleges and universities may be forced to close.

    In some states, campuses are being consolidated. In others, enrollments have been capped. With the average cost of providing one year of on-campus education at a public university now topping $32,000 and the average tuition covering only 20 percent of that, the problem is real and it isn’t going away.

    In addition, enrollments are declining for the first time in 15 years, student debt is topping $1 trillion, parents are questioning why their children are struggling to find jobs, and employers are complaining about the costs of retraining college graduates.

    Some universities are finding a way out of this morass through online classes. Growth in online education is now outpacing traditional enrollments. Why? Because it is well-suited to the needs of an increasing number of learners, extending access and allowing students to both work and study.

    In addition, learning measures for online students have matched or exceeded those for on-campus students. Although graduate programs have seen the largest growth in online learning, significant increases in online undergraduate programs are expected over the next decade. Unfortunately, many universities remain averse to such change and hold to tradition and a classical notion of education.

    In a recent hearing before state legislators, university officials questioned the value of moving online, testifying that there would be little, if any, savings from such a shift. These conclusions don’t hold up. Traditional university costs and services for students that a quality online education doesn’t require include: dormitories, student lounges and food courts; building maintenance, personnel and service vehicles; utilities; landscaping and campus beautification projects; mail service, supplies and procurement services.

    Such facilities and services consume as much as half of what it takes to send a student to college. Including such costs for online students in this type of comparison only serves to cloud the huge value proposition that web-based learning represents. The real numbers tell a different story: Online education holds the promise for universities to not only shrink their deficits but also extend their programs to a vast number of students, all at significantly lower costs.

    So what is the true incremental cost of serving an online student at a state university? A study by the University of Texas, comparing online versus on-campus instruction across 15 institutions serving more than 150,000 students, demonstrated a 30 percent to 50 percent cost savings for the web-based approach.

    On-campus tuition will continue to rise, to cover increasing costs for services and facilities. This, in turn, will further reduce enrollments, and campuses will become less diverse, accessible only to students from affluent families. Online education presents a huge opportunity to reverse these trends and improve the economic health of public colleges and universities.

    Those institutions that recognize this and move their programs online will succeed. They will ensure job security for their faculty, find themselves able to reduce tuition, and extend access to underserved and under-represented students who need education to advance in their jobs, raise a family and provide a quality education for their children.

    Online education isn’t a solution for all that ails our public universities, but it must be a major component in solving the financial crisis facing higher education.

    http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/opinion/commentary-online-courses-can-end-higher-education/nTPDT/

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    University of South Carolina System Collaborates with Academic Partnerships to Bring Degree Programs Online http://www.randybest.com/university-of-south-carolina-system-collaborates-with-academic-partnerships-to-bring-degree-programs-online http://www.randybest.com/university-of-south-carolina-system-collaborates-with-academic-partnerships-to-bring-degree-programs-online#comments Wed, 05 Dec 2012 16:52:25 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=439 Continue reading ]]> University of South Carolina System Collaborates with Academic Partnerships to Bring Degree Programs Online

    Dec. 5, 2012
    University of South Carolina is partnering with Academic Partnerships to move undergraduate and graduate degree programs from the system's flagship research institution in Columbia, as well as the senior and regional universities, online. Academic Partnerships' innovative learning technologies and its global marketing capability will be utilized to increase access to USC's high quality curriculum in collaboration with faculty from across the Systems' campuses.

    "I am excited that USC has chosen Academic Partnerships to help support its bold new initiatives in online learning," said Dr. Michael Amiridis, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost of the University of South Carolina<. "Academic Partnerships works only with public universities and possesses valuable expertise that will assist USC in the preparation and implementation of high-quality, state-of-the-art online programs delivered at affordable prices through the new Palmetto College and select graduate programs.  We look forward to working with our newest partner."   

    A Master's in Engineering Management will be one of the first degrees offered online through the new partnership. "Bringing our courses online is one of the many ways to cultivate the next generation of thinkers and meet the growing demand for engineers. I am thrilled with this latest wave of innovation at USC which continues to push the envelope," said Michael Sutton, a Carolina Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of South Carolina.

    In addition, Academic Partnerships will assist USC with the design and development of courses for Palmetto College, the university's new online, baccalaureate degree completion program scheduled to start in fall 2013.  Palmetto College will enable South Carolinians who have finished 60 hours of course work to complete a degree in several fields including business, criminal justice, education and nursing.  Students will take courses in an affordable, convenient and flexible online format while having the advantage of the university's extensive support system.

    "Academic Partnerships is anxious to provide the latest learning technologies, assuring that University of South Carolinas' campuses remain highly competitive and cutting edge as they serve 21st century students throughout the state and beyond," said Randy Best, Chairman of Academic Partnerships. "The System's interest in serving all qualified students through the utilization of technology will help its institutions flourish far into the future."

    Academic Partnerships has a successful track record of helping institutions of higher education expand their access and deliver quality and scalable online degree programs. AP's efforts have helped over 600 professors convert more than 1,000 traditional courses into an electronic delivery format and recruited more than 100,000 students into online degree programs with U.S. and international partners. 

    About the University of South Carolina
    The University of South Carolina develops leaders and inspires cutting-edge thinking and practical problem solving through innovation in learning, research and engagement. Founded in 1801, this vibrant and diverse community with 46,000 students on eight campuses, more than 300 degree programs – including law, engineering, public health and medicine – and 250,000 alumni, improves the lives of individuals and builds healthier, more educated communities in South Carolina and around the world. A recognized global leader in fuel cell research, USC has received the highest research designation awarded by the Carnegie Foundation.  In 2012, faculty generated more than $238 million in funding for research and sponsored awards.  Additionally, USC garners national recognition for its prestigious South Carolina Honors College and undergraduate and graduate International Business programs. Learn more at www.sc.edu.

    About Academic Partnerships 
    Dallas-based Academic Partnerships partners with public universities to deliver students full degree programs online. The company was founded by social entrepreneur, Randy Best, an 18-year veteran of developing innovative learning experiences to improve education. Academic Partnerships helps universities increase public access to high-quality education by providing the technology, marketing, student recruitment and faculty support necessary to serve online students. Academic Partnerships is guided by the principle that the opportunities presented through distance learning make higher education more accessible and achievable for students in the U.S. and globally. For more information, please visit http://www.academicpartnerships.com.

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    Online Learning Pioneer, Sir John Daniel, Joins Academic Partnerships as Senior Advisor http://www.randybest.com/online-learning-pioneer-sir-john-daniel-joins-academic-partnerships-as-senior-advisor http://www.randybest.com/online-learning-pioneer-sir-john-daniel-joins-academic-partnerships-as-senior-advisor#comments Wed, 05 Dec 2012 15:21:29 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=436 Continue reading ]]> Online Learning Pioneer, Sir John Daniel, Joins Academic Partnerships as Senior Advisor

    Dec. 4, 2012
    Academic Partnerships announces today that international online learning pioneer Sir John Daniel has joined the company as a Senior Advisor. Sir John Daniel will support Academic Partnerships' mission of assisting top universities worldwide to increase access to higher education through technology. Sir John Daniel is one of the world's eminent practitioners and thought leaders in open, distance and technology-mediated learning. He has had a profound influence on distance learning in higher education and received recognition on all continents for his accomplishments in the field, particularly as related to the use of technology to expand the scope, scale and quality of human learning.

    "We are pleased that Sir John Daniel will contribute his unrivaled accumulation of more than 40 years of international expertise to help our partner universities make excellent online education accessible to everyone, everywhere," said Randy Best, chairman and founder of Academic Partnerships.

    "Online teaching and learning is a wonderfully liberating development that is increasing access to education dramatically," said Sir John Daniel. "However, students want success as well as access so good online learning must be supported by online contact between students and teachers. Academic Partnerships provides this, which explains why it is has good completion rates compared to the horrendous drop-out rates in the first round of massive open online courses that assume all teaching and learning can be automated."

    Sir John's recent acclaimed paper, "Making Sense of MOOCs: Musings in a Maze of Myth, Paradox and Possibility," evaluates the impact and value of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). He concludes that it is not their scale that is the real revolution in higher education, but rather that universities with scarcity at the heart of their business models are embracing openness.

    Most recently, Sir John was the Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth of Learning. Prior to this role, he served as UNESCO's Assistant Director-General for Education. He also headed the British Open University for 11 years and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth for his service in higher education. He holds 31 honorary doctorates from universities in 17 countries and is responsible for 330 publications and books, including Mega-Universities and Knowledge Media: Technology Strategies for Higher Education and Mega-Schools, Technology and Teaching: Achieving Education for All.

    About Academic Partnerships  Dallas-based Academic Partnerships partners with universities to deliver students full degree programs online. The company was founded by social entrepreneur, Randy Best, an 18-year veteran of developing innovative learning solutions to improve education. Academic Partnerships helps universities increase access to high-quality education by providing the technology, student recruitment and faculty support necessary to serve online students. Academic Partnerships is guided by the principle that the opportunities presented through distance learning make higher education more accessible and achievable for students in the U.S. and globally. For more information, please visit http://www.academicpartnerships.com.

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    Academic Partnerships Names Bob Rae President and Chief Operating Officer http://www.randybest.com/academic-partnerships-names-bob-rae-president-and-chief-operating-officer http://www.randybest.com/academic-partnerships-names-bob-rae-president-and-chief-operating-officer#comments Wed, 05 Dec 2012 15:20:13 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=434 Continue reading ]]> Academic Partnerships Names Bob Rae President and Chief Operating Officer

    Dec. 3, 2012
    Academic Partnerships announced today that Bob Rae has joined the company as President and Chief Operating Officer.

    Academic Partnerships announced today that Bob Rae has joined the company as President and Chief Operating Officer. He has assumed responsibility for daily operations of Academic Partnerships, a leading higher education service provider to top universities around the world. Bob joins Randy Best, founder and chairman of Academic Partnerships, to support the firm’s rapid global expansion.

    Bob Rae brings more than 20 years of leadership experience in technology, marketing and process innovation.

    “Bob’s extensive background in managing rapidly growing businesses makes him the ideal leader to guide Academic Partnerships through the next period of its development,” said Randy Best. “Bob will also continue to expand the level of support we provide our university partners and their students.”

    Prior to joining Academic Partnerships, Bob Rae was an executive at Mosaic Sales Solutions, a leading marketing and merchandising service firm with more than 10,000 employees. Before joining Mosaic, he was the EVP of Operations and Technology at Securus Technologies, a niche software applications and telecommunications service provider. He also served in leadership roles at Fujitsu and Bell Atlantic.

    “I am excited to join the Academic Partnerships team at a time of truly unprecedented transformation in higher education,” Bob commented. “I look forward to applying my experience from the technology and service sectors and leading Academic Partnerships through this period of exceptional growth.”

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    Online Classes Mean No Dorm, Gym or Debt http://www.randybest.com/online-classes-mean-no-dorm-gym-or-debt http://www.randybest.com/online-classes-mean-no-dorm-gym-or-debt#comments Mon, 03 Dec 2012 16:02:01 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=429 Continue reading ]]>

    Online Classes Mean No Dorm, Gym or Debt

    Numerous articles and commentaries from inside and outside of academia are raising the alarm that American public higher education faces an unprecedented financial crisis.

    For years, state legislatures have been disinvesting in public colleges and universities, leaving campus administrators to struggle with how to make do with less. The result: rising debt, deferred maintenance for aging facilities, reductions in programs and course offerings, dismissals, elimination of many student and faculty services, and loss of talented faculty -- many of whom haven’t received pay increases in years -- to private universities.

    To try to offset some of these challenges, universities are raising tuition and fees to historically high levels. The cost of tuition alone has soared from 23 percent of median annual earnings in 2001 to 38 percent in 2010.

    Given the pressing demands on state budgets, it is unlikely that funding for higher education will return to pre-2007 levels anytime soon. In fact, analysts predict just the opposite: Financing levels will continue to decrease in the years ahead to the point where a number of colleges and universities may be forced to close.

    In some states, campuses are being consolidated. In others, enrollments have been capped. With the average cost of providing one year of on-campus education at a public university now topping $32,000 and the average tuition covering only 20 percent of that, the problem is real and it isn’t going away.

    Enrollment Shift

    In addition, enrollments are declining for the first time in 15 years, student debt is topping a trillion dollars, parents are questioning why their children are struggling to find jobs, and employers are complaining about the costs of retraining college graduates. Such conditions cannot continue.

    Some universities are finding a way out of this morass through online classes. Growth in online education is now outpacing traditional enrollments by a wide margin. Why? Because it is well-suited to the needs of an increasing number of learners, extending access and allowing students to both work and study.

    In addition, learning measures for online students have matched or exceeded those for on-campus students. Although graduate programs have seen the largest growth in online learning, significant increases in online undergraduate programs are expected over the next decade. Unfortunately, many universities remain averse to such change and hold to tradition and a classical notion of education.

    In a recent hearing before state legislators, university officials questioned the value of moving online, testifying that there would be little, if any, savings from such a shift. These conclusions simply don’t hold up. For example, traditional university costs and services for students that a quality online education doesn’t require include:

    -- Sports teams, playing fields, gyms and training facilities

    -- Dormitories, student lounges and food courts

    -- Building maintenance, personnel and service vehicles

    -- Utilities including phones, air conditioning and plumbing

    -- Landscaping and campus beautification projects

    -- Mail service, supplies and procurement services

    Such facilities and services consume as much as half of what it takes to send a student to college. Including such costs for online students in this type of comparison only serves to cloud the huge value proposition that Web-based learning represents. The real numbers tell a drastically different story: Online education holds the promise for universities to not only shrink their deficits but also extend their programs to a vast number of students, all at significantly lower costs.

    Significant Savings

    So what is the true incremental cost of serving an online student at a state university today? A study carried out by the University of Texas, comparing online versus on-campus instruction across 15 institutions serving more than 150,000 students, demonstrated a 30 percent to 50 percent cost savings for the Web-based approach. Given that students are asked to shoulder debt for services and amenities that are, objectively, nonessential to their education, people should take notice.

    On-campus tuition will continue to rise to cover increasing costs for services and facilities. This, in turn, will further reduce enrollments, and campuses will become less diverse, accessible only to students from affluent families. Online education presents a huge opportunity to reverse these trends and improve the economic health of public colleges and universities.

    Those institutions that recognize this and move their programs online will be successful and flourish. They will ensure job security for their faculty, find themselves able to reduce tuition, and extend access to underserved and under- represented students who need education to advance in their jobs, raise a family and provide a quality education for their own children.

    Online education isn’t a solution for all that ails our public universities, but it must be a major component in solving the financial crisis facing higher education.

    (Jeb Bush was governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007. Randy Best is founder and chairman of Academic Partnerships LLC, a company that designs online courses. The opinions expressed are their own.)

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    Instructure’s Canvas LMS now free to all Academic Partnership’s partner schools http://www.randybest.com/instructures-canvas-lms-now-free-to-all-academic-partnerships-partner-schools http://www.randybest.com/instructures-canvas-lms-now-free-to-all-academic-partnerships-partner-schools#comments Fri, 30 Nov 2012 20:04:11 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=424 Continue reading ]]>

    Instructure’s Canvas LMS now free to all Academic Partnership’s partner schools

    Academic Partnerships has announced a partnership with Instructure to allow for all of Academic Partnerships’ current and future university partners to utilize the Canvas platform free of charge, in all of Canvas’ available languages.

    With the recent announcement of the Canvas Network, institutions now have increased flexibility to define the structure of their online course offerings, whether in an open format like that of massive open online courses (MOOCs) or full, tuition-based degree programs. In turn, these enhanced Canvas capabilities will be extended to Academic Partnerships’ universities as they advance their online course delivery beyond a “one size fits all” model to a more flexible academic experience tailored to their students’ needs.

    “One of the most rapidly developing trends in higher education is the delivery of quality university instruction to students around the world,” said Randy Best, founder and chairman of Academic Partnerships. “Technology is fueling this advancement and we are thrilled to join efforts with Instructure to offer Canvas, the most advanced and intuitive learning platform available today, at no cost to our partner universities and their students.”

    This announcement comes on the heels of a dramatic change in higher education. Enrollment in online courses and degree programs are outstripping the growth of traditional on-campus instruction 10 to 1 (Sloan Consortium). Demand for online courses and degrees accessible via an advanced and flexible learning platform is growing at a rapid pace.

    “We’re joining up with Academic Partnerships at a time when students around the world have unprecedented access to the best professors, the best schools and the best programs online,” said Devlin Daley, co-founder and chief technology officer at Instructure. “Through the reach of Academic Partnerships’ partner universities, we’ll be able to bring our innovative learning platform and the Canvas Network to improve the educational experience for exponentially more students.”

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    Wright State University and Academic Partnerships Join Forces to Launch Degree http://www.randybest.com/wright-state-university-and-academic-partnerships-join-forces-to-launch-degree http://www.randybest.com/wright-state-university-and-academic-partnerships-join-forces-to-launch-degree#comments Fri, 30 Nov 2012 15:46:50 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=420 Continue reading ]]> Wright State University and Academic Partnerships Join Forces to Launch Degree

    Nov. 28, 2012
    Wright State University is teaming up with Academic Partnerships to make available online four of the university's leading graduate and post-graduate degrees in education, including the nationally recognized online Teacher Leader degree.

    Students can soon enroll in four post-graduate academic programs, three of which are new Wright State online offerings:

    * Master of Education-Teacher Leader * Master of Education-Principal * Education Specialist-Curriculum, Instruction & Professional Development * Education Specialist-Superintendent

    Wright State's Master of Education Teacher Leader program, which has been offered online since 2004, is ranked number one by U.S. News & World Report for its faculty credentials and training. This program is also listed on the Online Education Programs Honor Roll.

    "Wright State's programs will be delivered fully online in an asynchronous format, making new programs easily accessible to all educators, despite their busy schedules and commitments," said Interim Provost Thomas Sudkamp.

    Andrew Hsu, Dean of Wright State's Graduate School, added, "Students want quality, reputation and convenience. The quality and the reputation of Wright State's curriculum are well established, now it's convenience that we're adding to assist professional educators everywhere."

    "Academic Partnerships' expertise in distance learning will ensure that the online delivery of Wright State's curriculum retains its superior quality, offering students the most engaging and enriching online learning experience available today," said Randy Best, founder and chairman of Academic Partnerships.

    Academic Partnerships has a successful track record of assisting other leading universities expand their access and deliver quality and scalable online degree programs. The company's efforts have helped over 750 professors convert more than 1,500 traditional courses into an electronic delivery format and recruited more than 100,000 students into online degree programs with U.S. and international partners.

    The application deadline to enroll in Wright State University's upcoming programs is December 7, 2012. Classes commence on January 7, 2013. To learn more about the programs or to apply, please visit http://educationonline.wright.edu/.

    About Wright State UniversityA Carnegie-classified research university, Wright State University's main campus is 12 miles northeast of downtown Dayton, Ohio, near the historic landmarks where the Wright brothers taught the world to fly. The university operates a branch campus, Wright State University-Lake Campus, on the shores of Grand Lake St. Marys in Celina, Ohio. Wright State serves nearly 18,000 students and offers more than 190 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and professional degree programs through eight colleges and three schools, including Professional Psychology and the Boonshoft School of Medicine. For more information, please visit www.wright.edu.

    About Academic PartnershipsDallas-based Academic Partnerships partners with universities to deliver students full degree programs online. The company was founded by social entrepreneur Randy Best, an 18-year veteran of developing innovative learning solutions to improve education. Academic Partnerships helps universities increase access to high-quality education by providing the technology, student recruitment and faculty support necessary to serve online students. Academic Partnerships is guided by the principle that the opportunities presented through distance learning make higher education more accessible and achievable for students in the U.S. and globally. For more information, please visit http://www.academicpartnerships.com.

    SOURCE Academic Partnerships

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    Taking off: USC expands aerospace reach http://www.randybest.com/taking-off-usc-expands-aerospace-reach http://www.randybest.com/taking-off-usc-expands-aerospace-reach#comments Fri, 30 Nov 2012 15:44:31 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=416 Continue reading ]]> Taking off: USC expands aerospace reach

    Nov. 28, 2012
    The next big thing in aerospace just might originate from the University of South Carolina.

    USC President Harris Pastides recently announced a $5 million gift from South Carolina businesswoman and philanthropist Anita Zucker to provide support for innovation in aerospace education and workforce development.

    “I have had a long working relationship with the faculty members at USC and can attest firsthand to the impact of their research. It has proven to be a tremendous benefit to our engineers and helped to improve our products,” said Zucker, chairman and CEO of The InterTech Group, owner of PBI Performance Products. “The growth of South Carolina’s economy, especially in high-tech fields, is dependent upon the development of a highly educated workforce. I’m excited to be a part of supporting the expansion of aerospace education in our state and pleased to support the McNair Center as a leader in that endeavor.”

     

    Zucker’s donation will endow the Zucker Institute for Aerospace Innovation and the McNair Chair, a new professorship in USC’s McNair Center for Aerospace Innovation and Research.

    The McNair Chair has attracted an eminent scientist, Zafer Gürdal, from the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands to serve as technical director of the McNair Center.

    “Anita’s generosity and shared vision that South Carolina can advance the future of air and space flight has enabled us to recruit a world-renowned expert to lead our efforts,” Pastides said. “Dr. Gürdal is wellknown for having a rare combination of native intelligence, common sense, curiosity and interest in research. He has a great capacity for hard work and perhaps most important, the ability to lead and motivate others. He is a brilliant addition to the university’s stellar team of scientists.”

    A native of Turkey, Gürdal spent nearly 20 years on the faculty of Virginia Tech developing an internationally recognized research program, with particular expertise in designing and optimizing composite materials. Since 2004 he has headed a highly successful effort at Delft University to better align the aerospace program with what students need to succeed, both in academia and industry.

    “USC has a number of faculty members who are well recognized for their contributions in aerospace engineering related fields,” Gürdal said. “Unifying those activities under a unique McNair Chair umbrella and spearheading new initiatives with the faculty will be a highly rewarding experience.”

    Pastides also announced a new partnership that will give USC a truly global reach in aerospace education. Academic Partnerships, headquartered in Dallas, has been tapped to support two new online educational programs that USC is developing for aerospace training.

    The two new master’s programs—including the state of South Carolina’s first master’s degree in aerospace engineering—will come online in the spring. In his leadership role at the McNair Center, Gürdal will help oversee these programs as well as foster the development of two more aerospace related degree programs expected to begin enrolling students next fall.

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    Academic Partnerships and Instructure, Creator of Canvas, Form Strategic Partnership to Empower the Next Generation of Online Learning at Leading Universities http://www.randybest.com/academic-partnerships-and-instructure-creator-of-canvas-form-strategic-partnership-to-empower-the-next-generation-of-online-learning-at-leading-universities http://www.randybest.com/academic-partnerships-and-instructure-creator-of-canvas-form-strategic-partnership-to-empower-the-next-generation-of-online-learning-at-leading-universities#comments Thu, 29 Nov 2012 21:18:55 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=407 Continue reading ]]>

    Academic Partnerships and Instructure, Creator of Canvas, Form Strategic Partnership to Empower the Next Generation of Online Learning at Leading Universities

    Nov. 28, 2012
    Academic Partnerships, which offers comprehensive support to universities in the development and marketing of their superior online courses and degree programs, today announces a strategic partnership with Instructure, the company behind Canvas – a learning management system (LMS) used by 275 educational institutions. Through this strategic partnership, all of Academic Partnerships’ current and future university partners will be able to utilize the Canvas platform free of charge, in all of Canvas’ available languages, to help streamline the online delivery of high quality educational content.

    The alliance means that the ever growing number of students seeking online education will have access to Canvas’ widely lauded learning platform. Canvas is focused on enabling the individual student and teacher to transform the education experience by providing a learning platform with intuitive design, flexible pedagogy, integrated multimedia, deep social network integration and more. Instructure is constantly improving the Canvas platform by integrating feedback from students and teachers, building on the company’s philosophy that users are charting the future of learning. 

    With the recent announcement of the Canvas Network, institutions now have increased flexibility to define the structure of their online course offerings, whether in an open format like that of massive open online courses (MOOCs) or full, tuition-based degree programs. In turn, these enhanced Canvas capabilities will be extended to Academic Partnerships’ universities as they advance their online course delivery beyond a “one size fits all” model to a more flexible academic experience tailored to their students’ needs.  

    “One of the most rapidly developing trends in higher education is the delivery of quality university instruction to students around the world,” said Randy Best, founder and chairman of Academic Partnerships. “Technology is fueling this advancement and we are thrilled to join efforts with Instructure to offer Canvas, the most advanced and intuitive learning platform available today, at no cost to our partner universities and their students.”

    This announcement comes on the heels of a dramatic change in higher education. Enrollment in online courses and degree programs are outstripping the growth of traditional on-campus instruction 10 to 1 (Sloan Consortium). Demand for online courses and degrees accessible via an advanced and flexible learningplatform is growing at a rapid pace.

    “We’re joining up with Academic Partnerships at a time when students around the world have unprecedented access to the best professors, the best schools and the best programs online,” said Devlin Daley, co-founder and chief technology officer at Instructure. “Through the reach of Academic Partnerships’ partner universities, we’ll be able to bring our innovative learning platform and the Canvas Network to improve the educational experience for exponentially more students.”

    Academic Partnerships helpsuniversities remain highly competitive and cutting edge as they serve 21st century studentsthroughout their states and beyond. Through its partnerships with some 40 leading public institutions, Academic Partnership brings these universities’ high-quality degrees such as nursing, education and business online.

    About Instructure

    Instructure is a technology company committed to improving education. Instructure provides instructors and students modern tools and resources to empower the learningexperience. Founded by graduate students in collaboration with educational institutions, Instructure provides Canvas - the open, easy-to-use, cloud-native learning platform. For more information: www.instructure.com.

    About Academic Partnerships

    Dallas-based Academic Partnerships partners with universities to deliver students full degree programs online. The company was founded by social entrepreneur, Randy Best, an 18-year veteran of developing innovative learning solutions to improve education. Academic Partnerships helps universities increase access to high-quality education by providing the technology, student recruitment and faculty support necessary to serve online students. Academic Partnerships is guided by the principle that the opportunities presented through distance learning make higher education more accessible and achievable for students in the U.S. and globally. For more information, please visithttp://www.academicpartnerships.com.

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    Americans Support Higher Ed and Online Degrees, Poll Finds http://www.randybest.com/americans-support-higher-ed-and-online-degrees-poll-finds http://www.randybest.com/americans-support-higher-ed-and-online-degrees-poll-finds#comments Wed, 28 Nov 2012 16:25:57 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=403 Continue reading ]]>

    Americans Support Higher Ed and Online Degrees, Poll Finds

    A large majority of Americans who have attended college believe higher education is a good investment (83 percent) and key to achieving the American dream, according to the results of a national opinion poll Northeastern University released on Tuesday. But an equal proportion of all respondents, including those who had not attended college, said the U.S. higher education system needs to change in order to remain competitive with those of other countries. The poll also found that most Americans believe in the growing value of online degrees. Among respondents between the ages of 18 and 30, 68 percent said an online degree will be just as recognized and accepted among employers as a traditional degree will be in the next five to seven years.

    http://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2012/11/28/americans-support-higher-ed-and-online-degrees-poll-finds

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    TareasPlus ayuda a 1,2 millones de estudiantes al mes con sus tareas http://www.randybest.com/tareasplus-ayuda-a-12-millones-de-estudiantes-al-mes-con-sus-tareas http://www.randybest.com/tareasplus-ayuda-a-12-millones-de-estudiantes-al-mes-con-sus-tareas#comments Tue, 20 Nov 2012 20:19:17 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=386 Continue reading ]]>

    TareasPlus es un sitio web desarrollado por colombianos, que ayuda a estudiantes de primaria, secundaria y universidad a solucionar sus interrogantes relacionados con las matemáticas y las ciencias básicas a través de tutoriales educativos gratis en la Red.

    Al ingresar al sitio, los usuarios tienen la posibilidad de acceder a una biblioteca que contiene pequeños videos de matemáticas básicas, álgebra, geometría, trigonometría, física, química, cálculo, estadística y otros temas relacionados con las ciencias básicas.

    Los tutoriales suelen durar entre 10 y 25 minutos y están diseñados para complementar lo que los estudiantes están aprendiendo en sus clases. Según le contó a ENTER.CO Hernán Jaramillo, presidente y cofundador de la compañía, actualmente hay más de 1.134 tutoriales en TareasPlus y el sitio web recibe cerca de 1,2 millones de visitas al mes, cifra que ha venido aumentando recientemente.

    La idea de TareasPlus nació de la mente de dos antioqueños, Roberto Cuartas y Hernán Jaramillo, quienes en principio se asociaron para dar clases a estudiantes que tenían problema para entender los temas de matemáticas y ciencias básicas.

    Al ver que el tiempo no era su aliado, pues en una o dos horas de clase no podían solucionar todas las dudas de sus alumnos, los emprendedores decidieron llevar sus conocimientos a otra plataforma, dando vida a TareasPlus.com. “En la actualidad cada dos segundos un estudiante en Latinoamérica se conecta a ver nuestros videos”, dijo Jaramillo.

    Aunque es un proyecto colombiano, TareasPlus actualmente tiene su sede en Silicon Valley y se ha posicionado como la mejor y más completa iniciativa educativa digital de habla hispana. Incluso, la compañía logró conseguir una inversión extranjera de 2 millones de dólares por parte de Academic Partnerships, una organización que ayuda a las universidades públicas a extender su alcance a través de la tecnología.

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    Dr. Charles Green as Chief Academic Officer http://www.randybest.com/dr-charles-green-as-chief-academic-officer http://www.randybest.com/dr-charles-green-as-chief-academic-officer#comments Thu, 15 Nov 2012 16:07:22 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=322 Continue reading ]]> Press Release • Academic PartnershipsNames Dr. Charles Green as Chief Academic Officer

    November 13, 2012 • Academic Partnerships announced today that Dr. Charles Green has joined the company as Chief Academic Officer and Senior Vice President of Academic Services. In these roles, he will work to increase the effectiveness of online course delivery to further develop innovative learning solutions and foster student engagement.

    Most recently, Dr. Green served as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Teaching and Learning, as well as an Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. He was the primary contact for academic computing and information technology operations.

    "Dr. Green's expertise in teaching and learning will be tremendously valuable as we continue to work hand-in-hand with our partner universities to bring world-class education to students around the world," said Randy Best, founder and chairman of Academic Partnerships. "Throughout his career, Dr. Green has demonstrated a true commitment to quality learning and in doing so he has supported the next-generation of educators and students."

    Dr. Green brings nearly two decades of experience in both academic and administrative environments working to empower faculty and students in the use of information technologies for life-long learning. He is the recipient of several grants, the author of a number of peer-reviewed articles relating to teaching, learning, and technology, and is an invited speaker at national and international conferences.

    Dr. Green's commitment to modernizing and expanding the reach of education also extends to his work with the Walt Whitman Archive, a project that he dedicated many years to as Technical Director and as a founding member. The archive is an electronic research and teaching resource that aims to make Walt Whitman's work accessible to all.

    "As a lifetime educator, I am excited to be a part of an evolution in higher education that is giving students exceptional access to the best professors and the best schools through engaging online learning platforms," said Dr. Charles Green. "As the model of higher education begins to change, there are many opportunities to innovate and create programs that make education more accessible and available. With Academic Partnerships, I feel I have an incredible opportunity to leverage my experience to improve and extend learning online."

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    Academic Partnerships Awards $50,000 to Support Online Learning and Commits Additional $100,000 in Research Grants to Faculty in 2013 http://www.randybest.com/press-release http://www.randybest.com/press-release#comments Wed, 14 Nov 2012 17:41:51 +0000 Randybest1273 http://www.randybest.com/?p=316 Continue reading ]]>

    Press Release • Academic Partnerships Awards $50,000 to Support Online Learning and Commits Additional $100,000 in Research Grants to Faculty in 2013

    November 14, 2012
    Faculty eCommons, the newly launched community site supporting online faculty around the world, today announces their first set of research grant recipients. Faculty eCommons’ Research Grant Program, funded and administered through Academic Partnerships (AP), aims to support faculty research on the impact and effectiveness of online learning. Additionally, due to the high number of faculty applications in 2012 and the extraordinary surge in demand for online learning, AP announces that it is doubling its faculty research grants to $100,000 in 2013.

    Faculty eCommons is a one-of-a kind space for faculty to learn, collaborate and share research about effective online teaching and learning. The site was developed to respond to one of the most rapidly developing trends in higher education – the demand for online courses and degrees accessible via an advanced and flexible learning platform. A recent study by Sloan Consortium found that enrollment in online courses and degree programs are outstripping the growth of traditional on-campus instruction 10 to 1. The Faculty eCommons site empowers faculty with the best pedagogy and tools to create high quality online educational content.

    “The passion for learning innovation shown in the faculty applications was overwhelming and inspirational. We are proud to support this impressive group of professionals in their research, which will benefit students and educators online and off,” said Randy Best, founder and chairman of Academic Partnerships.

    The winning faculty proposals ranged from overarching research in online education (such as “Learning at the speed of light: Deep learning and accelerated online graduate courses”) to those geared to a specific degree (“A comparative analysis of demographic and academic success characteristics of 2,355 online RN to BSN students”). The 2012 research studies from each of the below grant recipients are currently available on the Faculty eCommons site.

    The complete listing of research grant recipients is as follows:

    • Dr. Po-Lin Pan of Arkansas State University

    • Dr. Olajide Agunloye, Dr. Samuel Hardy & Dr. Paulette Harris of Augusta State University

    • Dr. Krishnan Dandapani, Dr. Deanne Butchey & Dr. Edward Lawrence of Florida International University

    • Dr. Stefan Andrei of Lamar University

    • Dr. Ordene Edwards of Lamar University

    • Dr. Lynn Godkin & Dr. Vivek Natarajan of Lamar University

    • Dr. Pam Frampton & Anastasia M. Trekles of Purdue University Calumet

    • Dr. Casey Graham Brown of Texas A&M University Commerce

    • Dr. Maria Hinojosa & Dr. Rusty Waller of Texas A&M University Commerce

    • Dr. Raghu N. Singh of Texas A&M University Commerce

    • Dr. Kimberly Breuer of University of Texas at Arlington

    • Dr. Joohi Lee of University of Texas at Arlington

    • Dr. Beth Mancini & Jean Ashwill of University of Texas at Arlington

    • Dr. Dave Jackson, Dr. Joo Jung & Dr. David Sturges of University of Texas at Pan Am

    • Dr. Raj Desai of University of Texas at Permian Basin

    • Dr. Dian Jordan-Werhane of University of Texas at Permian Basin

    For 2013, $100,000 is available through the Academic Partnerships Research Grant Program. Award amounts range from $1,000 - $5,000 for individual or collaborative research studies. Proposals with an emphasis on online course quality are eligible for grant funding. For more information on applying for an online learning research grant, please visit: http://facultyecommons.com/faculty-research-grant-application/.

    About Faculty eCommons Developed by Academic Partnerships, Faculty eCommons is a social learning ecosystem for faculty across the globe to work together and better online education. The site offers industry research, guidance, best practices, and professional development, with a focus on national quality standards. Academic Partnerships has a strategic alliance with Sloan Consortium and a subscription to the Quality Matters™ program, which are available to AP Partner faculty. For more information, visit: http://facultyecommons.com.

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