Unique partnership eyes college credit, real-world outcomes

An innovative new partnership will let Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) students earn college credit and achieve real-world outcomes by completing free training modules through Trailhead, an online learning platform from Salesforce.

The modules and credits earned through the program will be applicable to tech jobs in an ever-increasingly digital economy, which Salesforce predicts will generate more than 3.3 million new jobs and $859 billion in new business revenue by 2022.

Related content: Teaching life skills is the latest trend in higher ed

Part of the impetus behind the partnership comes from the snowballing impact of crushing student loan debt. Giving students practical knowledge and equipping them with experience and employability skills will help them succeed in high-earning, in-demand jobs.


Top trends: Major predictions for 2019

Here are some of the most popular stories focusing on top trends and predictions for 2019:

1. These 10 hard and soft skills will be key in 2019
It’s not always easy to measure soft skills, but more and more, they’re proving crucial in an increasingly competitive workforce facing a shortage of highly-qualified workers, according to new data from LinkedIn.

2. 41 edtech predictions for higher ed in 2019
We asked 20 edtech executives to look into their crystal balls and share their thoughts about what will happen in 2019. In addition to the usual suspects—artificial intelligence (AI), active learning, and microcredentials—people predicted more nuanced uses of data (to handle campus security, for instance), chatbots to help with studying, and blockchain-enabled digital student IDs to improve security. Read on to see what’s in store for 2019

3. 10 more higher-ed predictions for 2019
41 predictions weren’t enough, so we asked a handful of additional edtech executives to share their insight about what will happen in 2019. Here’s what they had to say.


Are hybrid campuses higher ed’s future?

As “nontraditional” students–those who have work or family obligations or who did not enroll in higher education straight from high school–grow in numbers, institutions are finding new and unique ways to meet their needs. Hybrid campuses are one way to support these nontraditional student groups in their quest for higher education.

Hybrid campuses typically offer coaching, academic services, and courses designed to meet the gaps in student support that online students and working adults sometimes encounter.

Related content: Does your online program hit the right notes?

Strayer University just launched its twentieth hybrid campus, with more hybrid campuses slated in the coming year. These hybrid campuses are designed to provide working adults enrolled online with convenient access to drop-in services such as success coaches, admissions officers, and support staff.


4 reasons video in education is critical for the future

In the coming years, students say using video in education will play a large role in personalized and self-paced learning, along with helping prepare for success in the workforce, according to a new report.

Kaltura surveyed more than 1,400 international educators and students for the report, which explores the use of video in education today, the impact video is having on students’ learning progress, and how they anticipate the role of video in education will change in the future.

Related content: 4 easy ways to take video in education to the next level

Students voiced growing expectations for how video will be incorporated into the classroom, and 98 percent of survey respondents see video, and in particular, interactive video and video paths, as critical components in personalized and self-paced learning, some of the growing trends in education.


5 steps institutions can take to support student mental health

The majority of college students say they have experienced mental health issues on campus, putting the burden on higher-ed leaders to support student mental health and well-being, according to a new report.

Barnes and Noble Education surveyed 762 college students to understand how they handle and support mental and physical well-being. The results offer an opportunity for campus leaders to create initiatives for student mental health support.

Related content: 4 ways investing in student mental health pays back

Seventy-six percent of students say they have experienced mental health issues such as significant stress, anxiety, or depression. Among those students, 89 percent report high levels of stress, 86 percent experience anxiety, and 66 percent experience depression.


Mathematics initiative targets college readiness

A new initiative from the Charles A. Dana Center at The University of Texas at Austin aims to drastically improve students’ college readiness and success in mathematics by targeting the “junior to junior year” timeframe.

The new initiative, called Launch Years, looks to align K-12 schools and higher education and is supported by a $6.68 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Launch Years specifically looks to address barriers that keep many students–especially first-generation college students and those from low-income families–from progressing in their math courses between their junior year of high school and their junior year of college.

Related content: Does your campus have a mathematics concierge?

Launch Years rethinks current structures, policies, and practices that shape the mathematics experiences students have in those years, because they tend to be critical in preparing students for entry into college and guiding them through higher education pathways to degree attainment. Successfully progressing from high school through college math coursework is an obstacle for too many students.


Here’s how to foster engagement and improve elearning

Higher education is saturated with online programs from numerous colleges and universities. So, if a small private non-profit university was interested in expanding its online presence, how would it go about doing it? How would it differentiate itself from the myriad of choices that students wade through when they are interested in returning to school for a degree?

In 2010, California Baptist University faced these questions. Located in Riverside, California, California Baptist University (CBU) did not have much of a distance education presence, but was renowned for its high touch culture, academic quality, and engagement with students at its traditional campus. CBU made a decision to create a new division called Online & Professional Studies (OPS), to help address these challenges. Within three years, OPS was ranked #25 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for top online bachelor’s programs. In 2017, CBU OPS was ranked #8 across the nation.

Download this free white paper and learn how California Baptist University used engagement to become a top online university.


5 self-imposed barriers to student success

Everyone in higher education knows that student affairs staffer who goes out of their way to ensure every student request is fulfilled. Or the self-starter motivated by a personal passion for helping students overcome challenges. And, of course, there’s the department head who gladly tries any new process or protocol that might improve student success and outcomes.

At first glance, their characteristics seem like the ideal student support team–but looking closer, subtle warning signs lurk beneath the surface. That staff member who goes to any length to meet students’ needs might be undermining their long-term success. The self-starter’s autonomy could be standing in the way of a cohesive team dynamic. By the same token, the leader who readily switches from one priority to another may be unintentionally creating whiplash for their team.

Related content: Used properly, big data can drive student success

Sometimes we inadvertently create obstacles to student success through our own actions. Despite our best intentions, the best interests of the student can get lost. Identifying and addressing these obstacles can help colleges become more student-centric–enhancing student support as well as student success and outcomes. Here are five common pitfalls that colleges encounter as they undertake that difficult, but essential, task.


The critical role network performance monitoring plays on campus

Today’s colleges and universities are working hard to groom the leading IT pros, data scientists and network engineers of tomorrow, preparing them for a connected world and tech scene that’s already vastly different than it was only a half decade ago. But despite emphasizing the importance of following the scientific method, not all schools are practicing what they teach when it comes to managing the networks that increasingly support all facets of campus life.

Case in point: The recent network outage at Amherst College in Massachusetts that grounded pretty much the entire campus to a halt for an entire week back in February.

Related content: 5 reasons we upgraded our campus wi-fi

According to the student newspaper, a “perfect storm” of issues came together that impacted everything from laundry and student ID cards, to wi-fi and email access. After first going offline on a Monday, campus IT still didn’t have a clear answer or resolution for what had actually impacted the network by the following Friday.


Top trends: Online learning

Here are the most popular stories about online learning trends and resources within the past month.

1. 4 myths about accessibility and online learning
Those who are in higher education are probably tired of hearing about accessibility. But accessibility awareness is the key point to making courses accessible. Bringing this awareness to faculty on how they design a course had been an ongoing charge for those in higher education that work with course design.

2. From LMS to NGDLE: the acronyms of the future of online learning
As LMSs have advanced and new technologies are appearing in classrooms at the collegiate and PK-12 levels, the LMS is beginning to merge into the digital learning environment (DLE). The DLE encompasses not only the traditional domains of the LMS but expands to include greater personalization, advising, and more robust analytics.

3. 3 drivers of new online learning models
Online learning is on the verge of yet another revolution, in which students demand blended learning experiences, according to a whitepaper from Entangled Solutions. These learning models, which are a mix of online and face-to-face, in addition to other demands from a new generation of students, will require colleges and universities to rethink their online learning models.