Apologies for my absence from the blog... I was at the SACS conference learning about the upcoming process of reaffirming our accreditation, and I neglected to set up some entries to post while I was away!
I just saw an interesting piece in Inside Higher Ed about a recent report by the College Board about how we could improve education by 2025 to keep the U.S. competitive. One of the key points was a goal for 55% of Americans aged 25-34 to hold at least an Associate's Degree by 2025. Reaching that goal would require a 1% increase every year--which means we at the community college have got our work cut out for us! It's one thing to bring students in, but it requires different sorts of work, attention, and student services to get that many more students each year to graduate with a credential.
And although the piece does not mention distance learning or other technology-based solutions, they will surely have to play a major role if we're going to meet this goal. Many of these students will be working and will need flexibility while they complete their courses. And, we simply don't have the classroom space to hold enough face-to-face classes for that many more students to complete degrees over the coming 17 years.
As always, it is an exciting and challenging time to be in higher education!