Career and Technical Education (CTE), competency-based learning, digital badging, credentialing, and coding bootcamps are becoming some of the fastest-growing, and oft-discussed, learning pathways in higher education—mainly due to the promise of entry in today’s increasingly selective job market. But do these non-traditional on-ramps to postsecondary ed always lead to successful implementations within institutions; and are students really getting their investments’ worth? In this month’s Symposium, two higher education experts—one specializing in education research and one in policy analysis—discuss the overarching benefits of alternative higher-ed pathways, as well as the roadblocks and pitfalls to their success.

– Meris Stansbury, Editor
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  • 3 alternative pathways primed to disrupt Higher Education

    These pathways will bolster higher education, but incumbent institutions will have a tough time adapting them due to stagnant business models that aren’t set up for support.

    Driven by technology and globalization, the pace of economic transformation is more rapid than ever. As competition for jobs increases globally, the premium for education has never been higher. Adult learners are flocking back to higher education in droves and seeking new skills to approach an ever-changing job market. These learners now make up a

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  • Too many higher education on-ramps lead to dead-ends

    The resistance to creating more pathways to the BA is one of the least appreciated factors driving our stubbornly low degree attainment rates.

    Despite growing enrollments in higher education over the last three decades and large investments aimed at improving college access, our degree completion rate has grown only modestly. From 2000 to 2015, enrollments in higher education increased by 28 percent, but the percentage of Americans with a bachelor’s degree grew by just 5 percent. While the

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