The Atlantic has published its 5 Higher-Education Trends for 2014, highlighting the hugely growing desire for online degree programs as well as careers and technical education.
The American Commentary magazine listed the trends to watch this year as:
- Career and Technical Education
- Student-Loan Outrage
- Data-Privacy Concerns
- Teacher Effectiveness
- Earning College Credit for What You Know
Regarding college credit it is reported that state governments, foundation funders and the Obama administration are all in favor of reducing the time it takes for students to graduate. The proposal to do this consists of advancing students based on mastery and supplying students with work experience credits.
The former of these two ideas is commonly known as “competency-based learning” and is at its most advantageous when used online. The online strategy allows students to work at a pace that best suits the individual and is a strategy that has so far worked wonders at the Western Governors’ University with those enrolled online earning their bachelor’s degrees up to two years quicker than the national average.
When it comes to the category labeled “Student-Loan Outrage,” the figures speak for themselves. Students can expect to see student-loan debt as high as $49,000 for a four-year degree, with the blame lying at rising college prices, according to 41% of students polled by the Harvard Institute of Politics.
Data-privacy concerns regarding the general public may have come to the forefront in the wake of the Edward Snowden/Prism scandal, but in the education field the name most-often associated with how student data is managed was InBloom. The data repository site, backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is currently being taken to court by 12 parents seeking a restraining order prohibiting the cloud-based database from sharing individual students performances, attendance and suspensions.
Entering a new year brings with it reflection and, occasionally, anxiety about what the future has in store. When it comes to teachers, the buzzword for 2014 appears to be “effectiveness” with a discussion over teacher evaluation and student test performance coming to a head.