Interview with Goldie Blumenstyk, author of a special report sponsored by the Chronicle of Higher Education, The Adult Student: The Population Colleges—and the Nation—Can’t Ignore. As one of the nation’s most respected education journalists, Blumenstyk, Senior Writer at The Chronicle, has covered a wide range of topics, including distance education, the Internet boom and bust, state politics, university governance, and fundraising.
The following clips are from an interview that took place at Georgetown University on February 23, 2018.
What are some innovative trends in educating adult students?
Goldie Blumenstyk discusses how students get sidetracked over the course of their education and how developing programs that cater to adult schedules offers an opportunity for them to complete their degrees and advance their careers.
How are Arizona State and Southern New Hampshire innovative in their approaches to educating working adults?
By teaming up with Starbucks, Arizona State University has developed an innovative route to reaching adult students. Southern New Hampshire has also partnered with corporations to enable their students to attend college.
How do traditional institutions benefit from serving adult students?
Goldie Blumenstyk considers how higher education institutions approach the adult student market and why universities have a responsibility to think beyond profitability.
Are you optimistic about future possibilities to address inequality?
Blumenstyk discusses the complexities of how higher education affects the economy on a personal and macro level. Blumenstyk argues that higher education needs to be more forgiving for those who have previously stumbled in their education.
What factors are driving up the cost of higher education?
Blumenstyk breaks down how infrastructure and services have contributed to the increased cost of higher education. She also considers factors that may help expand accessibility.
What are the changing demographics in higher education and how should institutions adapt?
Blumenstyk talks about where populations are growing and how higher education demographics are expected to change in the coming years.
How do institutions evolve to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse population? Minority and low-income students of all ages continue to face steep challenges in higher education, Blumenstyk discusses these obstacles, including food insecurity, and considers what obligation higher education has to provide social services to support their students.
How is the government responding to the changing national landscape?
Blumenstyk weighs various solutions to the challenges of higher education, including vocational schools, apprenticeship programs, issues of the cost of a degree and shorter, less expensive credentials.
Is the momentum for competency-based education growing?
Blumenstyk discusses competency-based programs, badges, and alternative credentials. To be useful, a credential must be tied to a demonstrable set of skills, but there is not yet a common framework to make sense of emerging credentials.
What is the perspective of employers on competency-based programs?
Employers often complain about what recent college graduates lack. But employers have not done a good job in identifying the skills and knowledge that they would like employees to have. Systems need to be built that would allow for employers and higher learning institutions to have deep conversations about these needs.
How are private foundations impacting education today?
A great deal of the innovation in higher education today owes its beginning to the work of foundations, including educational think tanks, the Lumina Foundation and the Gates Foundation. Such institutions have an influence that permeates current thinking about higher education, from credentialing to community college pathways.
How do universities in the U. S. compare to those abroad?
Blumenstyk outlines major differences in the cultures of higher education. Institutions in the United States offer a complete social network for those in school and spend large amounts of money supporting “the athletic-industrial complex.” Abroad, higher education focuses on educational programs and costs are often minimal due to government funding.