California Leading a Transformation of Higher Education

In How California’s Online Education Pilot Will End College As We Know It

Gregory Ferenstein (Tuesday, January 15th, 2013) made six prediction about the end of college as we know it today…

“If I had to predict how the fallout of this pilot will go, here’s my timeline:
1. Pilot succeeds, expands to more universities and classes
2. Part-time faculty get laid off, more community colleges are shuttered, extracurricular college services are closed, and humanities and arts departments are dissolved for lack of enrollment (science enrollment increases–yay!?)
3. Graduate programs dry up, once master’s and PhD students realize there are no teaching jobs. Fewer graduate students means fewer teaching assistants and, therefore, fewer classes
4. Competency-based measures begin to find the online students perform on par with, if not better than, campus-based students. Major accredited state college systems offer fully online university degrees, then shutter more and more college campuses
5. A few Ivy League universities begin to control most of the online content, as universities all over the world converge toward the classes that produce the highest success rates
6. In the near future, learning on a college campus returns to its elite roots, where a much smaller percentage of students are personally mentored by research and expert faculty”

Pretty grim… or imagine a more exciting role for faculty than ever before in history…

Carlos Baradello Academic Global Immersion


Returning to Ferenstein’s grim predictions,  which should be read carefully and critically to understand the logic being applied to reach these predictions, versus others…

Ferenstein’s predictions are based on a logic of university as “knowledge transfer mission” only – leaving out the growing role of “knowledge creation” (research) and “knowledge application” (entrepreneurship) and “knowledge integration” (over coming silo effect to create better systems thinkers), as well as several other key roles of universities in local communities. The disruption of one business model is likely to accelerate the institutional evolution and growth of other business models. Carlos Baradello’s blog post illustrates a much more engaged role for faculty and students in the future, where the wisdom and experience of faculty expand the horizons of students..

Carlos Baradello’s blog post is more consonant with the logic one sees in Phil Auerswald “The Coming Prosperity”

Reality probably lies somewhere in the middle.

A MOOC for Kickstarter can help accelerate the transformation in a positive way – shifting from “knowledge transfer” (teaching coach) to more “knowledge application” (entrepreneurship coach) for faculty and student teams. When one thinks about the students getting jobs or starting companies after graduation – the MOOC for Kickstarter could become a valuable resume-builder and launch pad for the student teams. Of course, MOOCs for all kinds of things beside Kickstarter will be coming to help the transformation of student outcomes upon graduation, and to help faculty shift to a new value creation point in their relationship to each other and students — also see these…

Also see:
Student Competitions
Sustainable Regions
Service System Analytics

And for the pioneer faculty and students…


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  1. Pingback: Universities becoming the startup engines of their regions | Service Science

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