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Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
The debate about the need for change in America's K-12 education system has been raging for decades. Teachers, parents, administrators and government leaders alike have been grappling with how to transform a system that has been failing too many students for too long, according to a recent Center for Education Policy study. Until recently, the higher education system, on the other hand, has been largely left out of this public conversation. Yet, there has been a significant evolution taking place in higher education institutions across the country. This transformation has been led by smaller, lesser-known and often private universities, for-profits and community colleges. These schools have been exploring new models of providing higher education that extend far beyond the traditional college courses that have been the mainstay of the postsecondary educational experience for centuries. They have been embracing technology as a means of offering highly interactive, quality education over the Internet. It is only recently that the more elite, well-known schools have started experimenting with these more innovative education models. Their entry into the online learning space brings needed attention, brand and recognition to what is happening in today's higher education arena. But they are barely scratching the surface of the real power and promise of today's online learning models. The educators' challenge today is to not only prepare students for today's business realities, but also for tomorrow's possibilities. It is their obligation to respond to these changes by exploring innovative models of teaching and learning, and to continue working together to better meet students' needs.