在线教育新媒体

    如今越来越多的成年人寻求继续教育,众多培训中心、在线或移动端课程公司纷纷加入分一杯羹,有人因此担心传统高等院校将无法应对这一挑战。

    美国高等教育创新机构EntangledSolutions的专栏作家MichaelB. Horn却提出了截然不同的观点。

    “开设继续教育课程的院校应利用这一宝贵财富打造各自的创新中心,不仅为成人学员也为所有的学生提供更好的机会,” Horn先生表示。

    继续教育项目,不论函授还是以其他形式,都可随时试验以学生为中心的各种学习模式,创新课程形式以增收,同时搭建起与企业合作的桥梁。

    绝大多数继续教育项目相对传统高校课程享有更多的“自治权”。它们需要积极响应行业和客户需求,且通常具备“创业思维”,这对引领突破性创新至关重要。

    早在1912年,美国威斯康星州的函授教育倡导人Charles McCarthy就自豪地描述了当时这一新兴教育模式相对传统高等教育的“贵族般”优势。他将威斯康星州函授教育分部的成功一定程度上归功于该机构独特的师资、管理和自由支配的拨款。

    但各高校必须充分利用这一“自治权”,否则将有可能被层出不穷的其他课程学校赶超。不仅要将继续教育作为整体创新战略的关键部分,还要增加对其战略投资,甚至不惜取代部分传统高校课程。

    继续教育也是当今按需学习模式的一个形式。美国科罗拉多大学博尔德继续教育学校就提供了“滚动式报名”的自主在线课程——学生可随时开始或结束学习,时间跨度从两周到半年不等。芝加哥罗耀拉大学的继续和专业学习学院甚至为学员提供了丰厚的学费补贴。同时学员还可以申请州政府和联邦资助。

    近年来,以学员实力提升为导向的教育模式已成一大趋势。美国教育部近期直接审核并批准了几个教育项目,其中之一就由继续教育学院发起,这绝不仅仅是巧合。

    随着高校将全球生源视为保持收入、提升国际影响力的一大关键,继续教育也将目光投向海外。海外成人留学生特别青睐时短价廉的非学位课程。加州大学圣塔克鲁兹分校就提供了面向全球30多个国家的国际课程,并给留学生提供在当地公司实习和可选实训的机会。

    总而言之,继续教育处于令人欣羡的位置,Horn先生呼吁各大高校抓住时机并相应增加投资。

    MichaelB. Horn提出的未来继续教育十大趋势:

    继续教育项目将促进按需学习发展

    继续教育学院将创新学生资助方式

    继续教育项目将采取学员实力提升为导向的课程模式

    继续教育行业将出现新的主流文凭体系

    继续教育学院将大力提升学员职业服务

    继续教育学院将携手企业定制员工培训项目

    美国继续教育项目将服务更多全球学员

    继续教育学院将熟练掌握社会宣传和工作流程转换优化

    继续教育学院将促进各高校改革

    继续教育学院将培养战略性公私行业合作伙伴关系

    Why Continuing Education Programs Are Poised to Become Hubs of Innovation

    As more adults than ever before enroll in postsecondary education programs and a variety of players—from bootcamps to online and mobile course providers—offer options tailored to match adults’ work and family circumstance, traditional colleges and universities have struggled to keep pace.

    Yet there’s no reason why traditional schools can’t catch up. Those with a continuing education program have a valuable asset they should leverage as their hub of innovation to improve opportunities not just for adults but for all students.

    Because of their mission and relative autonomy on university campuses, continuing education programs—in the form of extension schools and schools of continuing and professional education—are well-positioned to experiment with different student-centered learning models, create innovative programs that generate new revenue streams, and build bridges with industry partners.

    Continuing education programs arose in the 19th century to meet the critical workforce and social needs of the time. As my Entangled Solutions colleagues Amber Laxton, Yury Lifshits and I write in a new report, 10 Trends Ahead for Continuing Education, continuing education programs are an ideal place to not only test new ideas, but also launch new programs. Most continuing education programs remain relatively autonomous from the existing processes and priorities that govern the traditional university.

    In particular, continuing education programs are less regulated, more responsive to industry and consumer needs, have less restrictive budget policies and procurement systems, operate under lower political pressure, and are often infused with the “startup mentality” that is critical for responding to and pioneering disruptive innovations.

    Indeed, this autonomy has been a distinctive feature since their beginnings. In Wisconsin in 1912, Charles McCarthy, the founder of the Legislative Reference Library and a strong advocate of Extension education, wrote glowingly of his experiences with the Wisconsin Extension Division and deliberately contrasted it with the “aristocratic” tendencies of traditional higher education. As a history of the University of Wisconsin-Extension relates, “McCarthy credited the Division’s success, in part, to its distinctive features: a faculty, an administration, and an appropriation of its own.”

    But universities must take full advantage of this autonomy or risk being overtaken by the emerging number of alternative education providers. Universities must view their continuing education schools as a key part of their overall innovation strategy—such that these programs are empowered not only to innovate on the side, but to leverage strategic investments and grow, even if that means displacing traditional university programs in some cases.

    In the report we discuss ten trends and opportunities that will define the leading continuing education programs of the future—from supporting on-demand learning to offering creative financing options, from adopting competency-based learning models to partnering with companies to create custom employee training programs, improve career services, and even establish a new credentialing system.

    The good news is that many continuing education programs are building on their legacies and stepping up.

    MOOCs are not the only ones that offer on-demand learning today. The Colorado University-Boulder Continuing Education offers traditional online self-paced programs with rolling registration; students can begin at any time and complete programs in as little as two weeks or as much as six months.

    The School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS) at Loyola University Chicago is innovating in the arena of creative financing options, as it offers a generous tuition-matching program that doubles the financial contribution committed through employer tuition assistance programs. The SCPS Fellows Program matches an employer’s tuition contribution up to $5,250 per academic year for qualifying students. In addition to funds awarded through the program, students may also apply for state and federal aid.

    Competency-based education has become a hot trend in recent years, and it is no coincidence that one of the few direct assessment programs that the Department of Education has approved is at a continuing education school. The University of Wisconsin Flexible Option offers a competency-based program that focuses on learning, not class time. It allows students to start when they want, move through the program at their own pace, earn credit for what they already know, and advance in the program as they master competencies.

    And just as universities have seen international students as a key way to maintain revenues and bolster their global brand, so too will continuing education programs find future growth overseas. Adult international students, in particular, are attracted to non-degree programs because they are cheaper and shorter. They offer comprehensive visa support, particularly for Optional Practical Training (OPT) opportunities, which have increased in importance as the H1B route has become more competitive. UC Santa Cruz Extension’s international program, for example, offers full-time certificate programs to students from over 30 countries. With a new permanent presence in Silicon Valley, UCSC Extension connects its international students with internships and OPT opportunities at local companies. The program is also opening a new training center to provide English language instruction to non-native speakers and language learners.

    Even as universities work through turbulent times, continuing education programs sit in an enviable position on their campuses. There’s a growing constituency of adult learners hungry to acquire new skills through new programs, which gives schools a license to innovate. Now it’s time for universities to seize that initiative and invest accordingly in the efforts at their continuing education programs.

    编译自: Why ContinuingEducation Programs Are Poised to Become Hubs of Innovation

    https://www.edsurge.com/news/2016-08-30-why-continuing-education-programs-are-poised-to-become-hubs-of-innovation

    来源:Image Credit: Catarina Belova / Shutterstock.com

    本文编译:中教全媒体 程亚会

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