Originally posted in our May 2023 Top of Mind Newsletter.
The future of higher education, especially as it relates to technology, is quite a hot topic these days. In this review of the now-former Temple University President Jason Wingard’s new book, The College Devaluation Crisis: Market Disruption, Diminishing ROI, and an Alternative Future of Learning, we see a thorough examination of the rise of new tech-based “reforms” and what they may or may not mean for existing institutional structures.
The piece offers us a perspective on the role of societal divestment in higher education in the development of these reforms, which is, at first glance, a bleak affair. However, it may not be the whole picture. Well-rounded liberal arts education has long been committed to teaching students to think critically, communicate and research thoroughly, and serve their fellow humans. Now, as we see a drive for more and more skills in the workplace, these previously mentioned “21st-Century” skills are the most sought-after of all.
This review’s author frames this push for “soft skills” as an irony of the fall of traditional academic structures and the rise of the micro-credentialing future, but what if it’s something more? What if this is a new opportunity to meet students where they are, adapting a system that keeps educators and students in smaller and smaller boxes?
As the review concludes, ” It’s up to us — not them — to decide what kind of higher-education system we want.” This is true regardless of which industry is helming new reforms.
Check out the article at the link below: