Beyond the Post: 1/8/21

Beyond Academics asks to hear your thoughts, comments, and opinions on the topics we’ve covered throughout the week. Let’s keep the conversation about Higher Education going.

BA Featured

Listen to Beyond Academics members Joe Abraham and Joel Mathew on The Scott Becker Business and Private Equity Podcast as they discuss what motivates BA and how we are actively transforming Higher Ed.

Our Posts

BA’s Top 10 Predictions for Higher Ed in 2021

Though 2020 is over, Higher Ed still has a lot of work to do. We must continue to adapt and transform—as we should be doing every year—to create a better future for students of today and beyond. Take a look at our top 10 Higher Ed predictions for 2021.

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Video: Flexible Learning Options” by Maricopa Community Colleges

Maricopa Community Colleges recently posted this videos outlining their flexible learning options which include online (asynchronous), live online (synchronous), in-person, and hybrid (a combination of in-person and online).

Schools like Maricopa that have adapted their classrooms to better accommodate students are leading the way in higher education. Though creating a campus that works for everyone is still something we need to work toward, offering a variety of learning options is a huge step in the right direction. But we still have some questions.

BA Bold Thoughts:

  • This is great in theory, but how do we execute this in reality?
  • Maricopa lists “campus life” as something all their students (even the online ones) will have access to. What is campus life and how does it translate to digital, asynchronous learning?
  • What technology will be required to allow classrooms to exist on multiple platforms and operate smoothly?

Let us know your thoughts and answers to these questions.

Watch the video >>>

Excerpt: 8 things that could derail innovation at your company—and how to avoid them” by Alex Salkever, Ismail Amla, and Vivek Wadhwa via Fast Company

Replace the word “company” with “university” and these 8 things still apply.

In this excerpt, the authors talk about “ambidextrous leadership,” which gives resources to internal innovations and start-ups without “being eaten or crippled by legacy business units.” In order to transform, universities must give their institution the funding and space to actually innovate.

BA Bold Thoughts:

  • Innovative ideas are not enough, they require action, funding, and support.
  • The entire institution must be willing to change and willing to compromise in order to allow essential transformations.

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Beyond the Post: 12/8/20

Beyond Academics asks to hear your thoughts, comments, and opinions on the topics we’ve covered throughout the week. Let’s keep the conversation about Higher Education going.

Thanks for Listening!

We’re excited to share that we have reached over 100 downloads for The FutureX Podcast! We are glad to know that you’re interested in the future of Higher Ed. If you like what you hear, make sure you share the podcast. Together, we can transform the future of higher education.

Listen to our most recent episode, with special guest Dr. Paul J. LeBlanc, president of SNHU, on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Google Podcasts.

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“The 5 Biggest Lessons We’ve Learned About How Coronavirus Spreads on Campus” by Francie Diep for The Chronicle of Higher Education

As the threat of COVID-19 continues, we are learning more about how the virus spreads on campuses. With this new information, we can take more targeted safety precautions and hopefully reduce the infection rate of students and faculty who still attend classes in person.

BA Bold Thoughts:

  • Classrooms are not major spreaders, but social gatherings outside of school. With little control over social gatherings off-campus, is it wise to continue in-person classes?
  • How is your organization dealing with the spread of the virus on campus? What about off-campus?

Let us know your thoughts and answers to these questions.

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Doubts About Going to College by Scott Jaschik for Inside Higher Ed

“More than one-third of prospective college students are reconsidering higher education in light of the coronavirus pandemic.”

BA Bold Thoughts:

  • Does remote learning offer enough value to students?
  • Younger students are less likely to find value in online learning, how can we shift this way of thinking? At Beyond Academics, we think the answer is creating a stronger inline culture.

Let us know your thoughts and answers to these questions.

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Tell Us Your Thoughts

Comment on this post, reach out on LinkedIn, or submit your take on any of these topics via email. We want to talk with you about the future of Higher Ed.

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Beyond the Post: 10/23/20

Beyond Academics asks to hear your thoughts, comments, and opinions on the topics we’ve covered throughout the week. Let’s keep the conversation about Higher Education going.

BA Is On YouTube!

Beyond Academic has two YouTube channels: Beyond Academics and the recently launched FutureX Podcast.

Watch the latest videos from Beyond Academics, or listen to Joe Abraham on the FutureX podcast as he interviews the top leaders in higher education.

Matt Alex Discusses the Value of Microlearning

Joe Abraham Interviews Dr. Paul J. LeBlanc, President of SNHU

Be sure to subscribe to both of these channels to stay up-to-date with the latest in Higher Ed from Beyond Academics.

Other Posts

“Who Should Take College-Level Courses?” by Elisabeth A. Barnett, Elizabeth Kopko, Dan Cullinan, and Clive R. Belfield for CAPR

Are standardized tests a good way to determine if a student can succeed in college-level Math and English courses?

Virtually all schools use placement test to evaluate if a student is ready for college level math or English courses. 68% of community college students and 40% of students at public four-year colleges take at least one of these developmental courses. Many students are assigned to multiple levels of math and English developmental courses—which further delay their entry into full college work. The more developmental courses they have, the less likely they are to complete their degree.

The  Center for the Analysis of Postsecondary Readiness (CAPR)  completed a study at seven community colleges in the State University of New York System (SUNY) to determine if using a multi-criteria approach to place students in college-level or developmental courses were more likely to complete college-level work. The results were interesting:

  • Using multiple criteria,  placement in college-level English jumped 34 percentage points, from 46 to 80 percent of students.
  • Students who placed into college-level courses because of multiple measures were 8–10% more likely to complete college-level math or English course within three semesters.
  • Students who were placed into developmental courses were 8–10 percentage points less likely to complete college-level math or English course within three semesters.

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“Where Are Most International Students? Stranded Here, Needing Colleges’ Help” by Karin Fischer for The Chronicle of Higher Education

There has been a lot of focus on the drop in enrollment of foreign students in American universities. However, according to the Institute of International Education 9 of 10 foreign students who were enrolled in American universities at the time COVID lockdowns started are still in the US, stranded.

BA Bold Thoughts:

  • How can Higher Ed best accommodate and aid these students who are stranded in the US due to the pandemic?
  • What part does Higher Ed play in the national scheme of getting COVID-19 under control and thereby allowing these students to return to their families?

Let us know your thoughts and answers to these questions.

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Tell Us Your Thoughts

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Beyond the Post: 10/16/20

Beyond Academics asks to hear your thoughts, comments, and opinions on the topics we’ve covered throughout the week. Let’s keep the conversation about Higher Education going.

Matt Alex Talks Microlearning

Matt Alex, talks about microlearning and the new competition of Google and Amazon in the world of e-learning. Higher Ed provides the necessary social skills for people entering the workforce, but colleges and universities can also benefit from introducing microlearning into their curriculum.

Has your organization considered, or even introduced, microlearning options as part of the curriculum? If so, we’d love to hear about them!

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“A Community College Reopens. At What Cost?” by Madeline St. Amour for Inside Higher Ed

Miami Dade College doesn’t rely on room and board and is located in a COVID-19 hotspot. So why are they reopening despite pushback from faculty and students? Their vice president, Lenore Rodicio, says it’s because “students have different preferences for how to learn.”

  • 73% of students, or 1,762, said they preferred face-to-face instruction.
  • In a more recent study, 51% said they have a preference for face-to-face instruction.
  • 600 out of 700 faculty are teaching remotely.

BA Bold Thoughts:

Should flexibility replace safety, especially in a place where COVID-19 cases are still very high? If not, when is the right time to reopen? (COVID hotspot or not.)

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“A Generation Defined by the Pandemic” by Greta Anderson for Inside Higher Ed

This article outlines how students are feeling about the fall semester and what they have found to be the most challenging thing about attending class during a pandemic.

BA Bold Thoughts:

Students in 2020 are feeling isolated, stressed, and are experiences feeling of self doubt. How can we as Higher Ed leaders ease these concerns?

  • We must create a campus affinity for digital learning so that students feel they are not in this alone.
  • We must optimize the digital campus so that students can continue to learn in the way they learn best.
  • We must create real value for digital campuses that go beyond what is offered at physical campuses: this includes more classes, more specialized classes, and learning that promotes both Human-Centric Values and real-world skills.

Read the full post >>>

Tell Us Your Thoughts

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Beyond the Post: 10/9/2020

Beyond Academics asks to hear your thoughts, comments, and opinions on the topics we’ve covered throughout the week. Let’s keep the conversation about Higher Education going.

The FutureX Podcast

Tune in to the second episode of The FutureX Podcast. In this episode, host Joe Abraham interviews Dr. Paul J. LeBlanc, President of Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). Forbes Magazine has listed him as one of its 15 “Classroom Revolutionaries” and one of the “most influential people in higher education.”

What Higher Ed’s role is in preparing students for the future of work? What does the future of learning look like? What role does an entrepreneurial mindset play in Higher Ed? How does the word “consensus” fit into times of existential change?

As always, sound off in the comments or send us an email. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Other Posts

“4 Steps To Turn Makeshift Digital Transformation Into Long-Term Success” by Tomoko Yokoi for Forbes

This week, Forbes posted an excellent article on how to turn your quick digital response to COVID into long term success.

BA Bold Thoughts:

Institutions need to take these steps:

  • Empower a well-funded team focused on digital transformation. This will shorten the decision cycle and cut through bureaucracy.
  • Set up a process to capture great ideas from within your institution as well as from your students, alumni, and the local community.
  • Create a “Rapid Test and Learn” environment. The mantra “fail fast and fail often” can waste precious time and resources when the life of your institution may be at stake. It is better to create a “test-and-learn” environment that supports hypothesis-driven experiments and tests, coupled with a rapid turnaround of the results.
  • Think about how your short-term response will support you over a long period of time. Ask questions like: “Is the short-term solution flexible enough to accommodate changes in an evolving technical environment?” “What is the purpose of our overall digital transformation?”

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“3 Biggest Reasons Why a Company’s Digital Transformation Fails” by Mike Stahnke for The Next Web

This article compliments the above article from Forbes. When transforming to digital, here are some things you should avoid doing.

BA Bold Thoughts:

  • Digital has a connotation of being cold, unfeeling, and not human, but it’s 2020 and that’s not the case.
  • Digital culture is more important than the technicalities of learning online. You have to create campus affinity.
  • Higher education must be willing to make the necessary changes to truly adapt and transform. Ingrained traditions cannot stand in the way of making a successful digital shift.

Read the full post >>>

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Beyond the Post: 9/25/2020

Beyond Academics asks to hear your thoughts, comments, and opinions on the topics we’ve covered throughout the week. Let’s keep the conversation about Higher Education going.

BA Featured

On September 20, Matt Alex and Joel Mathew of Beyond Academics were featured on the radio show Get Down To Business with Shalom Klein. During the show, Matt, Joel, and Shalom discuss the extreme need of innovation, entrepreneurship, and more student-centric values in higher education.

As always, comment below or send us an email. We’d love to hear your thoughts on what we discussed during the show.

Higher Ed in the Press

Strategic Education, Inc. and Noodle Partners Unite to Provide Employers with Access to a Variety of Education and Upskilling Programs from the Nation’s Leading Universities” press release via Business Wire

The ability for professionals to return to university alongside their career does not have to be the rarity that it is today. With the right innovations and technologies like this one, returning to higher education will become more accessible for people already in the workforce.

“The new WorkforceEdge platform will streamline employers’ access to a network of top educational programs and provide full administration of employee education benefits.”

Read the full press release >>>

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“Vouchers Over Virus: How the Department of Education Prioritized Private School Vouchers Over Responding to COVID-19” by Neil Campbell for Center for American Progress

There is a trend in higher education (and primary education, too) of not putting their students first and focusing on revenue. Not only does this hinder the safety of student, it also hinders their potential for better learning.

“Rather than urging schools to follow reopening advice from health experts, the Education Department wasted critical months this summer fighting unsuccessful legal battles to divert additional money to private schools…”

Read the full post >>>

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Beyond the Post: 9/11/2020

Beyond Academics asks to hear your thoughts, comments, and opinions on the topics we’ve covered throughout the week. Let’s keep the conversation about Higher Education going.

Our Posts

“An Entrepreneurial Approach to the Higher Ed Solution” by Joe Abraham

Joe Abraham, serial entrepreneur, writes about the importance of viewing higher education through a business lens. Innovation, transparency, and humility are all crucial in fixing a broken system and serving the customer (student) better. Is your organization innovating? Or are you just re-paving old roads?

“Okay Higher Ed, Now What?” by John Thompson-Haas

There is no return to the way things were pre-COVID. Higher Ed must adapt to the new world, change their process, and create student-centric value. In this article, JTH poses some important questions. Do you have the answers?

Other Posts

“Where Does Higher Education Go Next?” by David Rosowsky for Forbes

The pandemic has forced higher education organizations to transform—

“The upside: change was needed and perhaps long overdue. The downside: it’s expensive and not everyone will be successful.”

BA Bold Thoughts:

While it will be expensive, it will be more costly if schools don’t shift.

Opportunities to transform:

  1. Create value by designing an institution that is more “Fit for Purpose” for who you serve
  2. Develop digital culture that’s welcoming, productive, and efficient
  3. Use online presence to differentiate and scale to a broader market

All three of these opportunities are not only very attainable but critical. Schools must recognize the value.

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“Designing the Future of Liberal Education” by Steven Mintz for Inside Higher Ed

Is the best way to save liberal education to radically reimagine it? This article talks about the heightened emphasis on applied or experimental learning. The goal is to identify a path in life and develop sense of purpose and opportunity.

“We mustn’t kill liberal education in order to save it, but we must also recognize that it is under genuine threat and that if it fails to adapt, it will only become even more marginal and peripheral.”

BA Bold Thoughts:

  • Liberal Education needs to rewrite the narrative, framing itself as a viable way to prepare for the workforce.
  • For Liberal Education to survive, must it prioritize the practical? If so, when do the previous topics of importance—ethics, art appreciation, history, logic, rhetoric—become overrun by utilitarian needs?

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“The Pandemic and Community College Enrollment” by Iris Palmer for New America

There is a lot of uncertainty during this time, especially for the demographics that make up the majority of community college students. As a result, there has been a considerable drop in enrollment.

“We shouldn’t just be concerned about colleges but also about the people who will need to seek training to rejoin the labor market.”

BA Bold Thoughts:

  • Community colleges are essential to strengthening the post-pandemic economy.
  • Community colleges must do everything they can to accommodate students in the new world, and change their models to be more student-centric.

Read the full post >>>

Tell Us Your Thoughts

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Beyond the Post: 9/4/2020

Beyond Academics asks to hear your thoughts, comments, and opinions on the topics we’ve covered throughout the week. Let’s keep the conversation about Higher Education going.

Our Posts

“Higher Ed: What Are You Paying For?” by Matt Alex

In this article, Matt Alex talks about creating value in a campus that is primarily digital. We want to know your thoughts. Where is the value in a digital campus? Are students still going to be willing to pay for the university name? What justifies tuition costs, especially now?

“The End of Sneakernet” by John Thompson-Haas

John Thompson- Haas explains how the old administrative processes of colleges and universities, the “sneakernet” cannot sustain the shift to digital learning. How is your organization evolving their systems to accommodate both faculty and students? (That is if they’re updating their systems at all.)

“Who Is the Man in the Lobby?” by Matt Alex

We must begin holding ourselves accountable for the future of Higher Ed. We need to create true value for students and stop being a part of lobby transformations. Are you the man in the lobby? How are you adding actual value to your organization?

“What A Prospective College Student Is Looking For: A Hybrid Experience” by Sureya Alex, College Prospect

Today’s students are not only capable of hybrid learning, they crave it. The comfort, independence, and preparation that go along with hybrid learning are of great value to prospective students. Does your organization offer true hybrid learning? Or is it just traditional learning with an online add-on that fails to meet expectations?

Other Posts

“Colleges Should Go Back to School on Remote Learning” from Inside Higher Ed.

This article by Ryan Craig sums up how higher ed institutions continue to fail to focus on the right initiatives.

BA Bold Thoughts:

  • Schools continue to teach in the traditional model (live lecture) without evolving to a true digital learning culture… “exacerbating inequality, with underrepresented minority and low-income students facing even more roadblocks to engagement and persistence.”
  • Schools will say they tried to improve online learning but they invested so much time on the prescriptive academic year and hosting students on campus that lost focus on the medium that creates their value now.
  • Remaining Status Quo will never produce better outcomes for students and faculty. It’s time to focus on initiatives like creating an online culture that rivals Netflix. This will produce exponential growth and value.

Read the full blog >>>

“Will COVID-19 Revive Faculty Power?” from The Chronicle of Higher Education

While the pandemic has almost shuttered traditional learning, it has now shined a huge light on the opportunities that showcase the true asset of an institution, that is the faculty and the knowledge they disseminate.

BA Bold Thoughts: 4 Opportunities for Faculty

  1. Become Digital – Being digital is more than zoom, it is creating culture of learning and engagement.
  2. Use Modern Learning Platforms – to teach to all the 5 learning chemistries of digital natives.
  3. Unbundling Content – will shed light on amazing content that can be absorbed on demand and could tailor academic paths.
  4. Educational Market place – iTunes has empowered music, app stores have empowered developers, educational marketplaces will empower knowledge disseminators to create amazing artifacts for their educational domain. This will also foster peer to peer collaborations & allow access to all students.

Read the full blog >>>

“All Majors Allowed” by Kate Szumanski

This is a great article to justify why campuses have to reimagine the Future of the Academic Enterprise. While yes, businesses have to hire liberal arts majors, it’s as important for universities and colleges to create cross disciplinary academic paths.

BA Bold Thought

Liberal Arts majors run many of the top tech companies. It’s time to rename these majors and design and instill them with various cross-disciplinary topics, like AI, Blockchain, Future of Work, Google, Design Thinking, just to name a few.

Read the full blog >>>

Tell Us Your Thoughts

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