Author Archive | Dr. Karan Powell

high cost college degree Karan Powell

What Is the Solution to the High Cost of a College Degree?

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently featured a new venture that will offer free courses for college credit as part of a “freshman year for free” initiative. Last April, the state of New York announced that it would make college “tuition-free” for the middle-class at both two- and four-year colleges. In early August, Rhode Island, in turn, announced free community college. US News and World Report in 2012 reported on 12 colleges who exchange tuition for some sort of service and were cited as “tuition- free” institutions. And lastly, BestColleges.com recently reported the top 10 best colleges with free tuition. 

In a time of increased focus on affordability and completion, the questions that need to be addressed include: Is college really free? Who will pay for it? What is the value of college to students? To society?

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high cost college degree Karan Powell

What Is the Value of a College Degree Today?

Tis the season for traditional colleges to begin their fall terms. Students across the country and around the world will begin college for the first time. Some will be returning for yet another time, hoping to complete a program of study or degree after time away or following prior, incomplete attempts for personal and/or professional reasons. This consideration notwithstanding, the question remains among those deciding whether or not to attend college: What is the value of a college degree today? In this post and the subsequent one, I will further explore and pose an answer to this question.

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high cost college degree Karan Powell

The Importance of Time for Renewal, Relaxation, and “Disconnecting”

Summer is halfway over! Leaders and team members across the nation are finding and creating time for vacations, for staycations, and/or just time for rest and relaxation. Throughout my lifetime, I have made time for a week or a few days here or there. Rarely do I recall being away for more than one workweek plus the ensuing weekends. This summer was different.

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high cost college degree Karan Powell

Customers and Service First: Customer Service Lessons Learned from Disney

Having just returned from a Disney cruise, I am intimately aware of Disney care and the experience of being “their guest,” as Lumière sings in a song from Beauty and the Beast. My recent Disney cruise is the experience I will focus on in this post and since this is not my first cruise with Disney, I am confident in these reflections as every cruise has provided the same quality experience. I am reflecting on this experience not so much to tell a Disney story, but rather in an effort to identify what contributes to this experience and discuss how/whether this experience can that be translated to higher education and our experience in serving students.

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Reflections on the June 2017 University Professional and Continuing Education Summit for Online Leadership

The future was the focus at the recent UPCEA Summit. Kicking off the conference was the Leadership Roundtable where chief online learning officers gather for a half-day to reflect strategically on both the current and future state of online education. This year author Jeff Selingo, visiting scholar at Georgia Tech's Center for 21st Century Universities and special advisor to the Arizona State-Georgetown University Academy for Innovative Higher Education Leadership, and Bridget Burns, executive director, University Innovation Alliance, provided insights into the ways universities need to think about the future. Their guidance included, “starting with the future and what it will be” vs. simply asking, “what can we do?” According to the panelists, envisioning a future of who/what we want to be and what we want to achieve unlocks creativity and reduces the problem-solving that inevitably finds its way into future and strategic planning. This dynamic was demonstrated by means of a vendor-facilitated scenario planning exercise conducted during the session.

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Preparing Students for the Workplace

At the recent Eduventures Summit in Boston, we were asked to reflect upon a question in preparation for the for-profit leadership panel but it was never addressed, even though it may well be among the most important: How are we preparing our students for the workplace?

Today’s employers are seeking skills and mindsets in new employees that few institutions seem able to provide their graduates. Is this gap widening? Narrowing? Why, or why not? How do we, as institutions of higher education, respond to this skills gap? Are degrees the only solution? Is there a shorter-term credential at perhaps a lower cost? And how do these choices impact the business model of higher education?  

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