ERIC Number: EJ1114851
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Responding to the Challenge of Sustainability
Jones, Dennis P.; Johnstone, Sally M.
Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, v48 n4 p27-33 2016
With very few exceptions colleges and universities of all types--2-year and 4-year, public and private-- are feeling the fiscal pinch. They are caught in the vise of rising expectations and constrained revenues. Public institutions are operating in an environment in which state-level policy-makers press for increasing numbers of graduates, especially in certain high priority fields. Students in all institutions are seeking more "relevant" academic programs (those that lead to good jobs), class schedules compatible with their work schedules, amenities that enhance their on campus experience, and competitive student aid packages. Employers are seeking graduates who can not only learn on the job but don't require training to do so in the first place--graduates come to the job with the specific skills needed to be immediate contributors. There are centuries of inertia behind the way most institutions of higher education function. There are equally long traditions about shared governance and involvement in decisions that directly affect the academic heart of the institution. This doesn't mean change is impossible, but it does mean that change must be well considered. It must result in approaches to instruction that are not only economically viable but educationally sound. The ability to assess alternatives before commitments to a particular approach are made can reduce some of the difficulties associated with change. This is especially true if these alternatives can be investigated openly and the consequences for fiscal viability made quickly apparent. The model briefly described in this article allows this type of exploration to occur.
Descriptors: Expectation, State Policy, College Graduates, Student Financial Aid, Two Year Colleges, Universities, Educational Finance, Job Skills, Academic Education, Higher Education, Sustainability, Employers, Governance, Decision Making, Teaching Methods, Models, Educational Change, Heuristics, Costs, Income, Resource Allocation, Management Systems
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Washington
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A