Change is the only constant in life, so it should be no surprise that the state of higher education as evolved as will continue to evolve. This week’s readings, Making Reforms Happen 2015 and The State of Higher Education 2014, touched on this subject. The reading covers changing reforms, policies and perceived changes that must happen in order for higher education to evolve and be inclusive of the all the changes that are occurring in the world.

The report does an excellent job of covering the importance of policy assessment. It states that effective policies have proper implementation and there was follow up by the proper channels. Follow up allows those that implemented it to see that the policies are in fact working or if in the case it is not, what steps to follow to rectify this. Some of the biggest examples are the implementation of online course study, and the movements higher education institutions have taken to welcome non-traditional college students to their rosters. Over the last couple of decades, higher education has made rapid changes and the report has suggested changes in the following areas:  cost, funding, research value, and assessment.

This week we took an in-depth look at our own higher educational structure as opposed to an international overall scope. Right in the beginning of the report (p.4) we have a layout on how to develop frameworks that will evaluate assessments in school systems. These frameworks focus on primary and secondary education, then goes on to say how they affect higher education. Which is great, there is a large disconnect between secondary education and higher education, on the surface this doesn’t necessarily seem like the case, but when you look at many students or question them they will say they didn’t have any or much support when it comes to higher education preparation. These assessments can help to fix these issues.

Here in America, education may seem like a big deal. Majority of (if not all) candidates running for something, be it councilmen, senator or president, even down to housewives competition to be the head of the PTA, all promise to make changes to or improve the current state of education, but oftentimes there isn’t much change, or it’s not a positive one. During the 60’s there was segregation in America, presidents of the time worked to either keep or get rid of segregation depending on what they felt was best for the country and how the people reacted, the ever famous “No Child Left Behind” act that was created by former President Bush, that affected many inner-city schools negatively, many are still trying to overcome the adverse effects, and all the changes that are occurring currently under President Obama’s administration. These policies and reforms have improved and strengthened the state of education, but as also damaged the state. Policies and reforms that lead to the changes to the parent plus loans that caused HBCUs to lose over $300 million dollars in grant and loan money. But with the ever-changing state of education and our resourcefulness here in America, these reforms and policy changes that might have hindered us, has only made us stronger in a sense and we have/are finding ways to come out ahead of the disasters, but many are doing school faster than others.

Carter, J. L. (2013). PLUS Loan Crisis a Blessing in Disguise for National HBCU Agenda. Retrieved March 21, 2016, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jarrett-l-carter/plus-loan-crisis-a-blessi_b_3782738.html

Posted in W1

5 thoughts on “W7 – Change is the Only Constant

  1. Although change is what the report states should be happening I also feel as though it is not happening as quick as it can be in higher education. As per my previous classes including the history of higher education, the higher education system has barely changed since the 1900s. and that is plenty of time to make major changes and move forward since higher education is technically supposed to make more intelligent and capable participants in today’s society. Yet there is always something stopping progression which is funds. Which is also displayed in k-12, not much funding is going towards education, which is considered a second home to most people because they spend majority of their time in these institutions shaping to be part of society

  2. Hi!

    I agree that often improvement of the current state of education is oftentimes overlooked. In my own opinion I believe the U.S government has done a good job in accommodating students of diverse backgrounds. State policies, institutional policies, and other economic factors have affected the pursuit of education for a student, which also adds on additional loan debt and default. Most financial aid policies and reforms are meant to serve as an incentive for students to graduate. Before 2013 for example the Pell grant did not have limits and students can receive grants even over the actual credits needed to graduate (now students only have six years). In this generation, funding in higher ed has become a source of income rather than the motivator for educational attainment. The U.S government and State need to provide better reform policies within the labor market and other factors that hinder students after graduating.

    1. Hi Danielle,
      Thanks for your thoughtful post! I love the conversation thread here discussing our current state of higher education and wanted to give my two cents. I agree that while there has been great effort in changing the current landscape of higher education in America, there are still many challenges to overcome. Personally, I believe that a lot of the changes the American people wish to see may not be possible without a complete overhaul of our system. Unlike other countries, America’s democracy promotes many other organizations to help control the direction our institutions are going. Unlike having a ministry of education, we are so decentralized. I think that this can have both positives and negatives. I also feel that just as highschool is made available to all Americans, so should college, but I open the conversation here to how we can actually achieve this. That is the question!
      Best,
      Melissa Parsowith

  3. Hi Danielle,

    We all agree that change is the only constant, and I think it is also a necessity. In this constantly evolving world we live in, it would be very difficult to live without changes in any industry, including education (primary, secondary or higher education). To give an example, look at Cuba, that was closed down from the rest of the world today, and now after being re-opened they still live as if it is 1960s. Thus, in my opinion, change is a necessity. However, we need to choose the right/positive change.
    In general, people don’t like change, they like comfort and stability. As a result, there will always be someone routing for the change or against it, and every leader that comes to this country, state, school, or higher ed institution will have their view that everyone will have to implement. What we need in this country for higher education is collaboration. It seems like most of the people up top are making the decision, while those who are supposed to implement and deal with the changes have no say. For example, the common core state standard initiative was created to improve and elevate educational standards, however what it didn’t take into consideration is teacher’s opinion on how the classes should be teach for best outcomes of learning. I know many school teachers who are think preparing kids for standard testing is not the most effective way of primary school system and it also takes away from teachers’ desire for creativity and making school a little bit more interesting for kids of that age than studying for tests.
    Higher education in this situation is not an exception, SAT standards and other tests that institutions create to improve their rankings are not necessarily the best indicators of what the students are capable of. However, in search a big education system as in the United States, it is difficult to control every new initiative and stop any new change. We will probably continue to see new policies and reforms come and go and often hurt some students while experimenting with new changes.

    Natallia

  4. Hi Danielle,
    Great post. And I agree about what is the right positive change? No one really knows this until the change goes through and we get passed the aches and pains of the change. I like your line about the United States being able to bounce back when we do make mistakes. I do not believe polices are put in place to create disaster situations, but I do believe that it impossible to think of every situation and that the results of many changes are not seen for years to come, whether good or bad. Some of our worse rated Presidents at the time of their office, went down in history as being the greatest.
    Deb

Leave a Reply