Monday, September 23, 2019

Higher Ed's Existential Crisis

SEPTEMBER 23, 2019 | written by Steve Ulrich
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1. Higher Ed's Existential Crisis

Higher education institutions are buckling in the face of demographic shifts, the arrival of automation, declining enrollment, political headwinds and faltering faith in the system, Alison Snyder and Kim Hart of Axios write.
  • Today's student isn't necessarily the "first-time, full-time" one that higher education is currently constructed around, says Julie Peller of Higher Learning Advocates.
  • Instead, 37% are over the age of 25 and they often attend classes part-time while they juggle at least one job.
  • Nearly a quarter are parents, requiring the higher education system to serve across generations and situations of students.
  • They can be picking classes based on babysitter and bus schedules rather than who is the best professor, says Peller.
  • While more people of color and students from low-income families are attending college than 30 years ago, there is a striking gap in completion rates.
Higher ed is struggling to prepare students for today's — let alone tomorrow's — economy.
Rising tuition prices and student debt (to the tune of $1.6 trillion across 45 million Americans) are sparking questions about the tradeoffs of higher education.
All of this is crashing down on the higher education system, which now has to figure out a new way to serve students — and society.
  • They're deploying AI and other technologies to try to prevent students from falling through the cracks of the system.
  • States are stepping up: This week New Mexico announced a plan to make tuition to state schools free for all residents.
  • Corporations are stepping in: They're getting involved in designing curricula and alternative credentialing programs that aim to place students in jobs.
The bottom line: Our idea of what college is and who it should serve has changed, but the institution has not caught up.
>> Quotable: "Universities were designed to last, not change." — Bridget Burns, executive director, the University Innovation Alliance

>> Quotable II: For the University of Oregon's Michael Tobin, rising costs lead to existential questions like: "Is college really worth it? If I may not be able to get a job?"

Go Deeper with Axios Deep Dive

2. Pressure Grows for Admissions Leaders

Last year, in response to suggestions of admissions counselors, Inside Higher Ed changed the question it asked of admissions directors about when they filled their class. In addition to asking if they had filled their class by May 1 (the traditional date), we asked if they had filled the class by June 1. Only the public doctoral universities category showed a majority filling their classes by May 1, and asking about June 1 resulted in majorities for private institutions.
This year we asked if admissions leaders filled their classes by July 1 (in addition to the earlier deadlines). Administrators at a majority of institutions answered no.
That's one of the findings of the 2019 Inside Higher Ed Survey of College and University Admissions Officials, conducted by Gallup.

>> Reality Check: 52 percent of private bachelor's institutions did not meet their admission goal by July 1, while 46 percent of private doctoral/master's institutions did not hit their mark by that date.

>> Varsity Blues: 17 percent said that the scandal had hurt the image of the colleges involved "a great deal" and 43 percent said it had hurt them a "fair amount." But when it came to their own institutions, less than 1 percent said it had affected them a great deal and only 2 percent said it had affected them a fair amount. Sixty-five percent of them agreed or strongly agreed that "the indictments revealed that applicants admitted as athletes have too many advantages over other applicants."

>> Money Woes: Debt continues to frustrate admissions leaders. Asked if they are losing applicants due to worries about student debt, 81 percent said yes. The figure was 91 percent for admissions leaders from private colleges and 72 percent for those from public institutions.

>> Be Smart: Only 7 percent of admissions directors believe that parents "of prospective students understand the value of a liberal arts education." Less than 5 percent said that students understand the value of a liberal arts education.

>> Keep Reading, courtesy of
3. A Pioneer

"Kelsey Koelzer has been a pioneer before.
An African-American woman in ice hockey, she cut her teeth and several other body parts in boys leagues, then became a first-team all-American at Princeton and the National Women’s Hockey League’s top overall draft choice.

Now Koelzer, 24, will break more ground as the first coach of Arcadia University’s new women’s ice-hockey program, which along with a men’s team will begin play in the 2021-22 season.
“To be able to provide more girls an opportunity to play at the college level should be amazing,” Koelzer said. “Hockey helped me get a degree from the best school in the country.”"

>> Between The Lines: In a Philadelphia-area saturated with similarly sized colleges, all of them fighting for a shrinking number of local high-schoolers, Arcadia’s decision was indicative of a relatively new small-college paradigm – sports attract applications.

>> What They're Saying: “Athletics diversify the offerings on campus, create school spirit. Hockey, in our minds, allows us to try to win the Philadelphia market, but also to reach out to New England, the Midwest, even Canada. We can really expand our geographical footprint. And that really helps when you’re a small fish in a very deep pond.” - Brian Granata, Arcadia director of athletics

>> The Big Picture: “You didn’t really see many minorities in hockey when I was coming up,” Koelzer said. “And as far as minority women, I probably saw three or four in 15 years. It was definitely uncommon. That’s why I’m so excited about this job. It’s all about exposure. Now these young girls will have an example to look up to."

- courtesy of the Philadelphia Inquirer
    4. Weekend Review

    Field Hockey - NFHCA
    1. Middlebury (d. Hamilton, 5-1)
    2. Rowan (idle)
    3. Tufts (d. #20 Colby, 3-2)
    4. Salisbury (lost at #5 TCNJ, 4-2)
    5. College of New Jersey (d. #4 Salisbury, 4-2)
    6. Vassar (d. Ramapo, 4-0)
    7. Bowdoin (d. Wesleyan, 3-1)
    8. Johns Hopkins (d. Bryn Mawr, 5-1)
    9. Franklin & Marshall (d. Muhlenberg, 3-0)
    10. Montclair State (d. Gwynedd Mercy, 3-2)

    Football -
    1. Mary Hardin-Baylor (d. Belhaven, 23-13)
    2. Mount Union (d. Baldwin Wallace, 45-7)
    3. UW-Whitewater (d. St. Xavier, 28-20)
    4. Saint John's (d. Gustavus Adolphus, 33-21)
    5. North Central (d. #24 Washington-St. Louis, 46-13)
    6. St. Thomas (d. Hamline, 74-14)
    7. Hardin-Simmons (d. Howard Payne, 63-20)
    8. Muhlenberg (d. #25 Susquehanna, 24-17, OT)
    9. Bethel (idle)
    10. Whitworth (lost at Chapman, 37-30)

    Soccer (M) - United Soccer Coaches
    1. Tufts (d. Colby, 4-0)
    2. SUNY Oneonta (d. RIT, 3-1)
    3. Johns Hopkins (lost to Haverford, 1-0)
    4. Amherst (tied #15 Connecticut College, 1-1)
    5. John Carroll (tied at Carnegie Mellon, 1-1)
    6. Chicago (tie) (d. #9 Loras, 2-1)
    7. Washington and Lee (tie) (d. Bridgewater, 4-0; tied at Christopher Newport, 1-1)
    8. Hardin-Simmons (idle)
    9. Loras (lost to #6 Chicago, 2-1)
    10. SUNY Cortland (tied at #21 Ithaca, 2-2)

    Soccer (W) - United Soccer Coaches
    1. William Smith (lost at Rochester, 1-0)
    2. Messiah (d. Denison, 4-0)
    3. Middlebury (tied Hamilton, 1-1)
    4. Christopher Newport (d. Mary Hardin-Baylor, 2-0; d. #23 Trinity, Texas, 2-0)
    5. Wheaton, Ill. (d. Loras, 3-0)
    6. Johns Hopkins (d. Bryn Mawr, 6-0)
    7. Amherst (lost to Connecticut College, 1-0; d. New England College, 8-0)
    8. St. Thomas (lost at Illinois Wesleyan, 2-1; d. Carthage, 5-1)
    9. Washington-St. Louis (d. Fontbonne, 2-0)
    10. College of New Jersey (d. Rutgers-Newark, 6-0)

    Volleyball - AVCA
    1. Calvin (d. Bluffton, 3-0; d. Trine, 3-0)
    2. Emory (d. Brandeis, 3-0; d. Rochester, 3-0; d. #12 Carnegie Mellon, 3-0)
    3. Claremont-M-S (d. Redlands, 3-0)
    4. Johnson & Wales, R.I. (idle)
    5. Berry (lost to Birmingham-Southern, 3-2; d. Millsaps, 3-0; d. Covenant, 3-0)
    6. Chicago (d. NYU, 3-0; d. Case Western, 3-0; d. Washington-St. Louis, 3-0)
    7. Juniata (d. Eastern, 3-0)
    8. Saint Benedict (idle)
    9. Trinity, Texas (d. Austin, 3-1; d. Texas Lutheran, 3-2; d. JWU-Denver, 3-0)
    10. Carthage (d. Concordia, Wis., 3-1; d. Finlandia, 3-0; d. Rose-Hulman, 3-0)

    5.  Comings ... 

    and Goings ... 

    6.  Play of the Day

    Granted ... we're celebrating an anniversary of this play. But somehow I missed this one a year ago and it's worthy of seeing again.

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