Trend #1: MOOCs, MOOCs, and more MOOCs
The recent rise and rapid expansion of massive open online courses (MOOCs) is testing assumptions about how college credits are awarded. Heralded by many as a harbinger of unprecedented change in higher education, MOOCs and other experiments with online pedagogy are beginning to thrive as students seek cost-effective access and convenient delivery. Coursera already has 3 million users from around the world, and courses for free from 62 leading colleges and universities.
The American Council on Education has determined that some MOOCs are similar enough to traditional college courses that they should be eligible for transfer credit. How will your institution handle MOOCs presented for credit?
Trend #2: The credit buffet
"Swirling┬" is increasingly becoming a part of students' long-term plans for affordable degree completion -- via transfer, dual enrollment in high school, or concurrent enrollment for convenience.
Consider these facts from a recent study by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center:
- 23.6% of traditional-age students who began in 2006 and completed a degree did so at an institution other than the one where they started.
- 33% of all college students who began in 2006 transferred at least once within five years.
- 14.4% of the first-time students who started at a four-year institution in the fall of 2005 subsequently "reverse transferred," enrolling at a two-year institution outside of summer months.
What does the expanding course buffet mean for your institution and the students you serve?
Trend #3: Accountability
Public policy makers at both the state and federal levels are calling for stronger accountability systems. National data on retention and graduation is frequently consulted to provide a basis for accountability reports about institutional performance leading to student success. This data has strengths and weaknesses: it provides information about student enrollment (as measured in credits accumulated) and attrition, but it doesn™t reveal much about actual learning.
What it does do well, however, is highlight the growing number of students who take courses from more than one institution. Regardless of their eventual educational outcomes, many of these students currently are counted institutionally as failures. Add to this the growing pressures in higher education to graduate more students and avoid duplication of credit, and you have a recipe for intervention.
How is your institution preparing to demonstrate accountability more effectively?
If you want to learn more about these and other trends in higher education that impact transfer students and your institution, make plans now to attend AACRAO Transfer in July.
By: AACRAO Connect