WHAT IN THE 🌎
MIGHT HAPPEN TO U.S.
HIGHER EDUCATION?
MITCHELL STEVENS, STANFORD UNIVERSITY
30 NOVEMBER 2016
Why North Dakota?
Why beautiful?
Why “sticker price” vs. ”net price”?
Why football and lacrosse and field
hockey…
Why resi...
THIS MORNING
• A schematic picture of epochal change in US higher education
between 1945 – present (per Stevens & Gebre-Me...
20TH CENTURY HIGHER EDUCATION
• Product of the Cold War:
• Massive investment in science/technology through universities
•...
sov∙er∙eign∙ty (n):
the authority of an entity
to govern itself
Schools were sovereign over operations; faculty were sover...
21ST CENTURY US HIGHER EDUCATION
• Capitalism globally accomplished; US in ambiguous ideological relation to the
world
• N...
Studying a regional postsecondary ecosystem
(Kirst & Scott forthcoming)
Never forget: Most workers are spatially sticky
TECH CONTINUOUSLY REQUIRES NEW
SKILLS/WORKERS
Note: used with permission from Silicon Valley Competitiveness and Innovatio...
Postsecondary enrollment has not grown substantially since 1980
0
50,000
100,000
150,000
200,000
250,000
300,000
1970 1980...
EVEN THOUGH THE ACADEMICALLY ELIGIBLE SHARE OF HIGH
SCHOOL GRADUATES IS GROWING
Note: Used with permission from the Public...
Few traditional colleges operate in the region’s exurbs
Source: Original data gathered for Kirst, Scott, & Colleagues (for...
THOUGHT EXPERIMENT:
WHAT SHOULD THE LEGACY
SOVEREIGNS DO?
Stanford Instructional Television Network 1969 -
OPEN QUESTIONS
• Will the legacy brands be asked to demonstrate value, performance,
responsibility?
• Will new postseconda...
ITHAKA The Next Wave 2016: Mitchell Stevens - What in the World Might Happen in US Higher Education?
ITHAKA The Next Wave 2016: Mitchell Stevens - What in the World Might Happen in US Higher Education?
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ITHAKA The Next Wave 2016: Mitchell Stevens - What in the World Might Happen in US Higher Education?

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Mitchell Stevens, associate professor and director of Stanford University's Center for Advanced Research in Online Learning, looks at the forces changing the higher education landscape in the US and proposes a potential way forward in California where there is a need for more capacity at colleges and universities as well as stronger alignment with what employers need.

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  • Examining this seven-county region through a multi-method research design, our objectives are to examine:

    how the higher education ecology of the Bay Area has changed over time, from 1970 to the present day (1970 on – period of development for Silicon Valley)

    the extent to which broad-access colleges and universities adapted to the region’s broader demographic and economic shifts; and

    the ways in which broad-access colleges and Bay Area industries are linked, mechanisms through which these connections occur, and strategies on the part of both sectors to ensure adequate preparation of today’s students

    *We focus on four disciplinary areas salient to this region: engineering, computer science, biology, and business.
  • In terms of enrollment, the number of students attending two-year public community colleges rose sharply between 1970 and 1980.

    These colleges presently enroll about twice as much as all the other types of postsecondary institutions.

    Again, while for-profits are fewer in numbers, they have seen increased enrollment.


  • ITHAKA The Next Wave 2016: Mitchell Stevens - What in the World Might Happen in US Higher Education?

    1. 1. WHAT IN THE 🌎 MIGHT HAPPEN TO U.S. HIGHER EDUCATION? MITCHELL STEVENS, STANFORD UNIVERSITY 30 NOVEMBER 2016
    2. 2. Why North Dakota? Why beautiful? Why “sticker price” vs. ”net price”? Why football and lacrosse and field hockey… Why residential? Why tax-exempt?
    3. 3. THIS MORNING • A schematic picture of epochal change in US higher education between 1945 – present (per Stevens & Gebre-Medhin 2016) • An overview of findings from a just-completed field study of postsecondary educational provision in a single region (Kirst & Scott forthcoming) • Thought experiment: what would you do if you were a legacy brand?
    4. 4. 20TH CENTURY HIGHER EDUCATION • Product of the Cold War: • Massive investment in science/technology through universities • College attendance as reward of military service & quasi-right of citizenship • Part of a general effort to aggrandize US democratic capitalism worldwide • Higher education was substantially a project of government • Opportunity cost of college = lost wages • Minimal regulatory oversight of productivity especially on instructional side • College happened in particular times and places • Schools were sovereign over operations; faculty were sovereign over ”their” classrooms
    5. 5. sov∙er∙eign∙ty (n): the authority of an entity to govern itself Schools were sovereign over operations; faculty were sovereign over ”their” classroo
    6. 6. 21ST CENTURY US HIGHER EDUCATION • Capitalism globally accomplished; US in ambiguous ideological relation to the world • Non-growth of public investment in higher education + ever-increasing enrollments • Steadily rising cost of college in excess of inflation; underwritten by government loans • Opportunity costs of college now routinely include debt • Instructional provision is not bound by time and place • Measurement revolution has come to higher education • Uncertainty about state and federal-government regulation and funding of higher education
    7. 7. Studying a regional postsecondary ecosystem (Kirst & Scott forthcoming) Never forget: Most workers are spatially sticky
    8. 8. TECH CONTINUOUSLY REQUIRES NEW SKILLS/WORKERS Note: used with permission from Silicon Valley Competitiveness and Innovation Project (2015)
    9. 9. Postsecondary enrollment has not grown substantially since 1980 0 50,000 100,000 150,000 200,000 250,000 300,000 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 Enrollment Year 4-year Public 4-year Nonprofit 4-year For-profit 2-Year Public 2-year Nonprofit 2-year For-profit Source: Kirst, Scott, and Biag (2016) calculations using IPEDS data.
    10. 10. EVEN THOUGH THE ACADEMICALLY ELIGIBLE SHARE OF HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES IS GROWING Note: Used with permission from the Public Policy Institute of California; Jackson, Bohn and Johnson (2016) Sources: University of California, California State University, California Department of Education
    11. 11. Few traditional colleges operate in the region’s exurbs Source: Original data gathered for Kirst, Scott, & Colleagues (forthcoming)
    12. 12. THOUGHT EXPERIMENT: WHAT SHOULD THE LEGACY SOVEREIGNS DO?
    13. 13. Stanford Instructional Television Network 1969 -
    14. 14. OPEN QUESTIONS • Will the legacy brands be asked to demonstrate value, performance, responsibility? • Will new postsecondary providers be expected to measure/perform at certain levels stay in business and/or receive government subsidy? • Will the legacy brands be able to extend their sovereignty to the new versions of themselves that they already are creating (e.g. Coursera certs, MIT micros)? • Will there by any pressure to reform or replace accreditation with another governance apparatus? • Remember: HEA will eventually need to be reauthorized; FERPA..ED…FTC?

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