• Experts say that within the next 10 to 15 years, the college experience will become rapidly unbundled. Lecture halls will disappear, the role of the professor will transform, and technology will help make a college education much more attainable than it is today, and much more valuable. Indeed, a number of institutions may shut down. But those that survive will be innovative and efficient.

    tags: college highered new models elearning education3.0

    • Experts say that within the next 10 to 15 years, the college experience will become rapidly unbundled. Lecture halls will disappear, the role of the professor will transform, and technology will help make a college education much more attainable than it is today, and much more valuable. Indeed, a number of institutions may shut down. But those that survive will be innovative and efficient.

    • Indeed, in one survey, 60% of employers complained that job applicants lack interpersonal and communication skills.

    • Schools are already responding to the demand for this kind of education with programs aimed specifically at giving students tangible skills that are applicable in the workplace.

    • The program launched two years ago with 200 students and is projected to have 5,000 students in the coming year, Alssid says. As of last year, more than 350 U.S. institutions were dabbling in similar competency-based models.

    • To stay relevant, colleges have to respond to the demands of the workplace. The College for America exclusively admits students through their employers (though Alssid says they may eventually "go retail"), meaning the tuition costs are often covered by the companies in return for a worker trained in a specific skill set that’s in high demand. These kinds of partnerships are becoming more and more common.

    • "We think there’s a real value net worth being created by these more direct partnerships with the employers, and that has the ability to supercede the importance of the brand-name recognition or even accreditation," says Michelle Weise, a senior research fellow at the Clayton Christensen Institute specializing in disruptive innovation in higher education.

    • Students still see value in being exposed to new people and new ideas, and creating a network of valuable connections. But they won’t attend for four years. Introductory 101 courses can be covered quickly (and affordably) by massive open online classes (MOOCs) or bootcamps.

    • Once students have that information under their belt, they’ll come to the physical campus for a more hands-on experiential learning that can’t be taught online. "The explosion of all the different things that aren’t universities, their presence in the learning ecosystem, will both force and allow universities to recenter themselves around the kind of learning that can’t take place in other kinds of settings," says Randall Bass, vice provost for education and professor of English at Georgetown University.

    • The result will be a mix-and-match education. Perhaps a year’s worth of online courses, maybe two years on campus, another in a bootcamp environment. "I think the future of education will be one where we see a blend, with some part of a campus experience and an online experience," says Alssid.

    • Schooling will become more interdisciplinary. Instead of a degree in biology, emerging fields will combine biology and global health, or neuroscience and entrepreneurship. "The concept of the major will erode into something that looks like an overall portfolio with a bunch of microcredentials that speak to a whole range of strengths," says Bass.

    • A project-based college environment will look more like a kindergarten classroom than a lecture hall, with small groups and a teacher who acts as a guide. "It will be much more focused on skills of mentorship, or helping to be the sort of lead peer instructor on project sites where they’re bringing expertise in the way that the doctor might bring to a whole office of medical staff," says Bass.

    • Many professors know the changes are coming and are trying to prepare. Minerva, for example, has seen 1,000 faculty inquiries in its first year. "I literally cannot tell you the number of ultra-elite school presidents, deans, professors come up to us and say, ‘We cannot wait until your success forces us to change,’" Nelson says.

    • There Will Be Casualties

        

      "Some places won’t make it, a lot of smaller places will merge or disappear because value proposition won’t be there," Bass says. There may be debt strikes, bankruptcies, consolidations, and closings. The change will be swift and fierce, but for the better. "These are important institutions," Nelson says. "We cannot as a society afford to lose the university. It is in everybody’s interest to preserve them, assuming they reform."

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