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Micheal Thompson

The higher ed model is not broke the education model is broke.
We think the way to a better future is thru Higher education, yet we down play technical ed in this country. Vo Tech is for the poor kid who can not go to college. So now we have college students who can not read or write and vo tech kids making $50 an hour computer programming.

Go figure

Dr. Rita Martinez-Purson

How adept higher education is in response to its environment will be the major factor in determining its future.

For example, universities are often slow in responding to business need, and in fact are hesitant to embrace the lexicon of workforce development -- thus leading to being left out of federal and state workforce development efforts and funding. Continuing Education programs in universities can help bridge the gap where fast-response workforce development is needed -- creating broader worlds of learning opportunities.

Bob Podgorski

I suggest that one of the missed opportunity links is in the area of self directed programs. The "Y" Generation seems adament about being in control of their destiny and participating in decisions effecting them - good for them. However, it will potentially place them in direct conflict with stedfast academic programming models. There are 70 Million generation "Y" coming along. We need to be responsive to our newest cohort customer. Academia has the expertise to effectively integrate programming with needs - and to mold the model without sacrificing quality. This has the potential for new and exciting degree areas not yet thought of or offered. It brings academia more fully into the socialogical changes coming.

kassia

jane,
I think what is most frightening is the debt that students are taking away as their graduation acheivement - as much as $40,000 with an undergrad liberal arts degree from a public institution!

Jane MacKillop

One of the greatest inequities is the amount spent on a community college education ($9,000) vs what is spent on a 4 year college education ($29,000) at a public senior college. We need to fund community colleges at more realistic levels. Community colleges educate over half of undergraduates enrolled in higher education and their students deserve a larger slice of the pie.

kassia

I would say the system is in major transformation and we may not recognize the "old brick and mortar" when it is over - the internet and communication technology have made information accessible to many - we no longer have limited access to information and expertise - geographic setting does not mean one cannot access learning/information/connection to the world. I think the role of the teachers is being reshaped to facilitate learning - reclaim that "critical thinking" so important when navigating volumes of information....I would ask who you think the real cutting edge institutions are? TED anyone?

Richard Widdicombe

While many aspects of traditional university instruction can be improved utilizing electronic techniques, improved instructional methods and the use of remote access, nevertheless, much of the main learning that takes place for undergraduates (and to a certain extent graduates in particular schools) occurs in a social setting.

It is quite true, that it is often not what you know, but who you know -- and who you network with in the future, that will help you succeed.

In fact, much of classroom learning and facts are soon forgotten or not used. It is the methods of finding information, knowing how to evaluate and applying analytical skills that payoff for the student as alumnus.

Additionally, bringing mentors, and like minded people together helps with the synergy of a learning situation.

Erik

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the endowments at most colleges are rather modest. Schools such as Harvard, MIT, and Yale substantially skew that $300 billion figure.

The comment that over half of higher education expenditures are not related to learning may be true, but I'd say more than half the college experience is not related to formal instruction. The real value to higher education is in the pairing of formal instruction with the social development enhanced by living in the dorms and joining athletic, social, and academic clubs. Are there ways in which institutions could improve? Absolutely. Is the system broken? I'd say no.

Phil Houseal

Hear Hear! Colleges are supposed to BE the cutting edge of learning, slicing through ignorance and leading the way into the unknown. Why, then, are administrative practices often relics of the Middle Ages? Our local school district is prevented from offering certain community college courses simple because we rest on the wrong side of a county line. It would take literally an act of congress to make any exception. Stop building castles; tear down those walls, and move content to the web. The real innovation is coming from community education programs, where we have fewer restrictions and sometimes more creative thinking.

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