Christ Centered Survival
After reading a number of recent articles and posts about the imminent demise of higher education as we know it. I felt it was important to identify why at least my institution will survive. I do agree that the forces of change brought on by the Internet, technology and the economic downturn have and will cause dramatic change to higher education as we have known it. The recent article in the Chronicle by Mark Parry: Colleges Will Be ‘Torn Apart’ by Internet, Law Professor Predicts is recap of an article in the Washington Post by Zephyr Teachout: A Virtual Revolution Is Brewing for Colleges. Ms Teachout mostly pitches the fact that economic realities will force higher education to change mostly in favor of a less expensive and more flexible online delivery model. And of course another recent article by Steve Lohr in the New York Times, Study Finds That Online Education Beats the Classroom, confirms that “On average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction.”
Yes, Yes, Yes, I agree, I understand, but should I over-react and push for something like hitching our online wagon to a subsidiary of the Apollo Group? No, what I see as the key to survival for Private Higher Education is the experiential component. Of course that is the number one argument typically thrown up by academics who want to preserve this perfect collegial world. And it is a valid argument, but one that is weakening. Academic experience is important but it is the type of academic community experience that will justify the traditional college value. And I believe that is why our University’s Christ Centered approach is the reason we will survive. Combining traditional collegial experience with solid academics in a community built on love for one another creates the lifelong value that redefines a college degree. And just to clarify, this experience is also be realized in our Hybrid Learning Programs.