Higher Education is battling challenges from all sides. It’s like a hit song that’s fallen out of rotation. Shrinking high school populations are driving enrollments down. The rapidly changing needs of the workforce are sending colleges and universities scrambling to make their programs relevant. Students are hesitant to attend college because of high student loan debt. Non-college entities like Google are exerting external pressure by offering credential competition. And this was before a global pandemic! The tune has to change for higher education to keep up with the beat.
Higher Education is facing a defining moment.
Will it be a tone-deaf, clunky new album or a maestro’s opus moment? In the last 12 months, we’ve seen jobs disappear. Millions of them aren’t coming back. On top of that, less than a third of college students believe they’ll even get the job they’re studying for. The result? According to the American Council on Education, declines in enrollment and the response to Covid-19 have cost universities and colleges more than $120 billion. It’s a figure that continues to rise.
Higher Education is at a crossroads. And it has far-reaching implications.
As Jose Ortiz Jr., CEO of the NYC Employment and Training Coalition, says, “The economic imperative this presents is that we will continue to have a declining workforce here in the States if we are not doing the necessary work from a K-16 perspective, from a workforce development perspective, in order to remain competitive.” Mic drop.
Adults need re-skilling to meet the demands of the new economy. Honestly, they needed it yesterday. Non-traditional students don’t want to wait six months for a semester to start. They want to start learning the skills they need for that next (better) job now. There isn’t time to waste.
Students need to re-enter the job market in 6-12 months, not 2-4 years. Educational institutions need to offer flexible education options to make that happen. This is where remixing your curriculum comes in.
How can Higher Education adjust?
Some institutions are already feeling the beat that the students are dancing to, and they’re adjusting to the latest tunes.
For example, Unity College in Maine moved to eight five-week terms. They offer the terms year-round. Students can take one or two courses at a time, and they can take them online or on campus. They’ve also introduced new distance education programs in Animal Science, Environmental Health and Safety, and Environmental Health and Wellness. They’ve since welcomed their biggest-ever entering class.
The good news? Your educational institution already has a wealth of expertise and curriculum. You can draw from that to create new certificates, badges, and nuanced degrees. Take the greatest hits of your curriculum and remix them to the beat of the student’s needs. If you can mine what you already have, you can quickly market new options for students.
Here are some possible top hit remixes:
- Create a project management digital badge an associate degree student can earn in their first year. You can do this by offering traditional classes like Intro to Business, Office Computer Basics, and Communications. Pair those with two new online courses in Project Management and Project Management Software. The end result? A credential they can use in the workplace.
- A student on the way to a Business degree can earn a certificate in Social Media Marketing. Mix your traditional courses like Intro to Marketing, Social Media Management, Intro to Sociology, Intro to Psychology, and Statistics together with Project Management. You can even add an internship in Social Media at a local company.
Enter the curriculum remix.
Want to get started with a curriculum remix? It can be a fast process. You’ll already be tuned in to the beat if you already have a good understanding of what curriculum your institution delivers. Check out our infographic that outlines the process for remixing curriculum for a new certificate:
Ready to break down the albums and rebuild some hit tracks that meet student’s varied learning needs? Let’s tune into what’s possible. Like a DJ getting all their records out, you need to know what songs you have now in your albums before making a remix out of them. In CourseTune, once you have your courses added, you can easily mix and match them to create innovative programs and certifications that attract students and support their diverse needs.
We know students don’t all dance to the exact same beat. By offering an array of different paths to credentials, your school can keep student enrollment rates high and help your students stay dancing towards their goals. Higher Education’s rigid structures sound like scratched records to today’s diverse student population. Flexibility in access, options, and course delivery will help your institution stay relevant and keep your registrations stable. Get tuned in with CourseTune and remix your curriculum.
Ready to let the beat drop on your curriculum remix?
What’s holding your institution back from creating a toe-tapping, gotta-move, tuned curriculum that will keep bringing in new listeners? CourseTune delivers one place to design, manage, and plan your curriculum. Our unique visual curriculum maps equip you with a common platform. One that helps faculty, staff, and leadership focus on the big picture while revealing how learning objectives, competencies, and accreditation criteria impact student outcomes. CourseTune supplies you with the communication and workflow tools that promote collaboration and unlock innovation across your institution.