Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Disruptive Innovation in Higher Ed - 'bout time

I seem to be channeling the Center for American progress a lot lately. In this case it is a report from Clayton Christensen, Michael Horn, Louis Soars and Louis Caldera on Disrupting College

I come at this from two viewpoints - a frustrated parent of two college students and as a person working in the for-profit university side of things. As a parent, this report is too late to help my daughters - but I can only hope that schools and politicians listen to the recommendations to help future parents. As a for-profit university leader, this is great news for those trying to disrupt the status quo.

The issues from the report -
  • We cannot find the right people to fill jobs even though the country is facing its highest unemployment rates in a generation
  • Higher ed - financial crisis, no focus on outcomes or graduation, not serving minorities, prestige focused on research, not educating students.
"Yet changing circumstances mandate that we shift the focus of higher education policy away from how to enable more students to afford higher education to how we can make a quality postsecondary education affordable."

"Online learning appears to be this technology enabler for higher education"
Growth in online learning in higher education
  • 2003:  10% of students
  • 2008:  25% of students
  • 2009:  30% of students
  • 2014:  50% of students predicted by the authors
The problem with the current system is the focus on divergent goals of research, teaching and preparation for life and careers.  This is not a model for success.  However, the disruptive innovation of online, for-profit college and universities are focused on teaching - but need to focus more on increasing opportunities for life and careers

Take a look at the report - and let's hope this innovation gets even more disruptive for our higher education system!