Archive | Access and Affordability

Presidents Forum 2017 innovation Powell

Reflections on Presidents’ Forum 2017: Leadership and Innovation in a Time of Transition

Each October, the Presidents’ Forum convenes to “advance the recognition of innovative practice and excellence in online learning.” The Forum provides an opportunity for higher education leaders focused on alternative and online learning to meet and dialogue on strategic, innovation-related and regulatory issues. To say that these are interesting times for higher education, and especially online and alternative learning, would be an understatement, given the recent sessions here in Washington, D.C.

This year’s gathering focused on questions and perspectives related to innovation and the future. In this post and subsequent ones, I focus on key themes that emerged from the presentations and related dialogues: 1) our use of language and the need to re-define/clarify terms used in distance learning; 2) development of leaders for today and for the future to serve and advance our environment; and 3) emerging and rapidly evolving learning technology.

Continue Reading 0
NUTN network leadership Powell

Women in Leadership: Thoughts from NUTN 35

Participating on a panel of women leaders at the NUTN conference on October 11 in San Antonio provided the opportunity for reflection on our journey as leaders. The panel was facilitated by Dr. Pam Quinn, provost of the LeCroy Center, Dallas County Community College District. My co-panelists included Dr. Diane Melby, president of Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, and Dr. Adelina Silva, vice chancellor for student success, Alamo Community College District.

What an amazing group of women leaders! In addressing our personal pathways to leadership and the most important characteristics to achieve it, it was fascinating to hear the ways our stories intersected. Common themes included never setting out on a path for a particular position, i.e., who really grows up thinking “I will become a provost, president, or chancellor?” This is especially true for those of us who are first-generation college graduates.

Continue Reading 0
Thanksgiving 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?

Continue Reading 0
Thanksgiving 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.

Continue Reading 0

How APUS is Breaking the Iron Triangle of Access, Quality and Cost

In June, I attended the annual WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) Summit in Salt Lake City. Thought leaders and luminaries in both higher education and technology gathered to share ideas and reflect upon the future, especially in regard to how to develop a content strategy to sustain innovation in teaching and learning while aligning human capital and technology. I participated in a related panel, Do you fail at scale or do you pilot to tell? with Stacey VanderHeiden Guney from Aims Community College, Kara Monroe from Ivy Tech Community College, and Paul Thayer from Colorado State University, which was facilitated by Luke Dowden from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Continue Reading 0

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.

Continue Reading 0