Category Archives: Graduate Education

Link: University-Run Boot Camps Offer Students Marketable Skills — but Not Course Credit

Boot camps have become the activities of choice to build new skills through intensive, engaged training, especially in tech and information management fields, for individuals who do not want to commit to the longer – and often more expensive – graduate degree programs. Until recently, these have not been associated with formal colleges and universities. Northeastern University is deploying one of the first boot camp programs from a traditional university, called “Level”, as a non-credit, two-month long program on data analytics. Northeastern’s boot camp will run alongside of its existing graduate degree programs in urban informatics and information design and visualization.

Ellen Wexler. “University-Run Boot Camps Offer Students Marketable Skills — but Not Course Credit.” Chronicle of Higher Education. October 13, 2015.

Link and File: Partial Credit – The 2015 Survey of Faculty Attitudes on Technology

The most recent survey of faculty attitudes on technology produced for Inside Higher Ed details the 2015 responses to multiple aspects of educational technology use, online learning, and social media effects on academia. The responses come from 2,175 faculty members and 105 academic technology administrators.

Colleges and universities have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on technology they believe will improve student outcomes and simplify administrative tasks. Educational technology companies continue to demolish investment records on a quarterly basis. With all this money raised and spent under the guise of improving postsecondary education, the 2015 Inside Higher Ed Survey of Faculty Attitudes on Technology suggests that many instructors believe the gains in student learning justify the costs — even if the results are perhaps less significant than desired.

Link: The Use of Learning Contracts to Promote Student Success in Online Doctoral Programs

 

A research report produced by five faculty from NorthCentral University, a  fully online institution, exploring the effects of using learning contracts with students pursuing graduate degrees in their institution’s programs.

This quantitative study provides evidence of the benefits of learning contracts in online higher education. In this study, data were gathered from doctoral students who had completed all course work and comprehensive exams, but failed to make expected progress on dissertation. The students were given the opportunity to participate in a voluntary program requiring the execution of a learning contract.

Melanie Shaw, Diane Blyler, Jama Bradley, Scott Burrus, and Raymond Rodriguez. “The Use of Learning Contracts to Promote Student Success in Online Doctoral Programs.” Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, (University of West Georgia, Distance Education Center) Volume XVIII, Number 3, Fall 2015.

Link: Understanding the Changing Market for Professional Master’s Programs

Education Advisory Board (EAB), “Understanding the Changing Market for Professional Master’s Programs.” July 2015.

In both core disciplines and new niche fields, the key to capturing emerging market growth is customizing offerings not just to “working professionals” but to distinct segments within this group— career starters, career advancers, career changers, and career crossers—through features such as flexible delivery, stackable credentials, practical experience, accelerated format, interdisciplinary pathways, and professional development.

With the market for master’s degrees growing and changing, this segment is estimated to outpace all other degrees. The program focus will be on specific job skills that help students gain a new job or advance in an existing position.

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Link: Facing Flattening Enrollments? Alternate Student Pathways Might Help

David Godow, “Facing Flattening Enrollments? Alternate Student Pathways Might Help.” Education Advisory Board, October 2014.

Godow argues that enrollment growth can most sustainably be sourced from four previously underrepresented populations: international undergraduate students, community college transfers, adults returning to complete degrees, and professional master’s degree students. While institutions have historically shied away from targeting these populations due to the perception that such students have inadequate preparation for the university environment, developing targeted programming for these groups, including alternative paths to the degree, has proven successful.

Successful institutions have found that the different needs of these populations can often be met through “pathways” offering an alternative route to a degree. Pathways acknowledge that these students start from a different point and need a unique set of services and pedagogical approaches to be successful.

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