College, Reinvented

The Chronicle of Higher Ed has a fairly new section of their publication that focuses on innovative ways to “fix” the college system. It’s called College, Reinvented.

…parents, students, employers, and pundits say higher education is fundamentally broken—inefficient, ineffective, overpriced, outdated, out of touch.  What would it take to reinvent college?

Here are just a few ideas presented thus far:

2 Tracks for Faculty: “[W]hat if the academic work force were made up primarily of two types of faculty members? One, a small proportion of tenure-track professors—those who earn doctoral degrees, do research, train graduate students, teach advanced seminars, and help administrators run the university. And two, a larger portion of full-time instructors, like Mr. Rizzo, who teach undergraduates, help advise them, keep up with developments in the field by reading and attending conferences, but do no research. Instead of earning Ph.D.’s, like those on the tenure track, instructors could stop with a master’s degree, as many in the adjunct teaching pool already do.” <Read more.>

2 Captains at the Helm of Each College: “[W]hat if there were not one president, but two people, with equal power, at the top of a college’s administrative pyramid? Radical as it may seem, a true copresidency has the potential to appease a broad range of campus stakeholders, who often disagree on the most important skills and traits a college leader should possess. The arrangement could also address the vexing reality that a college president cannot be in two places at once, while potentially adding diversity to a position that is dominated by aging white men who previously served as provosts.” <Read more.>

School at Age 3. No More 12th Grade: “[W]hat if all children during their very early years were given the tools to be successful in the school environment? They would be better able to make good choices, follow a productive path, and have greater chance of success in their college years.” <Read more.>

Grades Out, Badges In: “Grades shift students’ goals from learning to earning, because the stakes are so high when the result of an entire course is reduced to a single letter.” <Read more.>

And my favorite…An Old-School Notion: Writing Required: “Writing works exceedingly well as both a way to assess learning and a means of deepening that learning, according to experts who study its effects on students. Even faculty members whose disciplines are not commonly associated with writing think so.” <Read more.>