3 critical parts of HEA reauthorization

Online, higher-ed organizations offer guiding principles for evolving the HEA for 21st Century learners

hea-reauthFairness, innovation, and accountability are the three guiding principles Congress should use as it reviews the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) in light the use of technology and online platforms for learning.

The Online Learning Consortium (OLC), the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) and the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) have released recommendations for Congress to consider as it readies for HEA reauthorization.

“Current law and regulation trail innovation,” said Russ Poulin, director, policy and analysis, WCET. “While technology-mediated education greatly expands opportunities in higher education, the current federal regulatory system was designed for the traditional students of the past who were educated in a static setting that is very different from the reality experienced by the vast majority of postsecondary students today.”…Read More

Full-time college enrollment may not work for all

Research indicates that colleges may want to evaluate credit-per-semester requirements

college-completionFindings from an effort to benchmark the persistence patterns of non-first-time (NFT) college students indicate that NFT students are less likely to drop out and more likely to complete an associate degree if they combine full-time and part-time enrollment. The findings could renew discussions about the efficacy of mandatory “15 credit per semester” policies at 2-year programs.

The benchmarking initiative is a cooperative effort between the ACE, InsideTrack, NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA), and the National Student Clearinghouse. It is designed to begin addressing the lack of publicly available data on the success of adults returning to college.

“Returning students are typically balancing work, family and other commitments that ebb and flow in intensity over the course of their academic career,” says Dave Jarrat, vice president of marketing at InsideTrack. “Mixing part-time and full-time enrollment enables these students to persist through the inevitable fluctuations in their life obligations.”…Read More

Data shows widening gap in higher-ed technology adoption

EDUCAUSE research finds IT’s role in higher education has reached a critical point

higher-technologyResearch from higher education technology association EDUCAUSE shows that in 2015, colleges and universities will need to evolve to address very real challenges of IT security, cost, and productivity, as well as providing user support for the “new normal” that covers mobile, cloud, online education, and BYOD environments.

“The pace of change for higher education information technology is increasing–not slowing–and on many fronts. Trends that have previously dominated thought leadership and motivated early adopters are now cascading into the mainstream,” said Susan Grajek, vice president of data, research, and analytics at EDUCAUSE.

“What is concerning is that we are seeing the gap widening between the forward-thinking early adopters and the growing number of institutions that cannot keep up with the pace of change. More and more institutions are falling behind when it comes to implementing and leveraging technology to solve large-scale problems and address strategic issues, like using cloud technologies to standardize business processes on campus and analytics to predict and address student outcomes.”…Read More

EDUCAUSE selects new president and CEO

Board of Directors announces selection following a six-month search

educause-leadershipThe EDUCAUSE Board of Directors on January 20 announced the selection of Dr. John O’Brien as the next president and CEO of the higher education technology association, which serves more than 2,400 member colleges, universities, and corporations globally. O’Brien will succeed Dr. Diana G. Oblinger, who will now retire May 31, 2015 after serving in the role since January 2008.

“I am honored to join EDUCAUSE as president and CEO,” said O’Brien. “The opportunity presented by EDUCAUSE—as the premier leader in the dynamic, growing, and ever-changing environment of higher education—is extraordinarily compelling. Higher education is at a crucial inflection point, and technology will make a significant difference in the years ahead, ” O’Brien noted. “By convening and advancing the work of its members, the association is uniquely positioned to help the higher education community more fully realize the strategic importance of IT on campus and beyond.”

Currently, O’Brien serves as the senior vice chancellor for academic and student affairs for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU), the fifth largest higher education system in the country. An accomplished leader, O’Brien previously served as president of North Hennepin Community College, chief academic officer and acting president of Century College, and associate vice chancellor of instructional technology at MnSCU.…Read More