The needs of students and industry continue to evolve, and higher education must innovate to better prepare students for success in the new reality, Southern New Hampshire University President Paul LeBlanc told an audience at Campus Technology 2015. The 22nd annual higher education technology conference took place July 27–30 in Boston.
During his keynote, LeBlanc said today’s students juggle competing demands for their time, attention and finances, and the work environment they face after graduation has grown increasingly difficult to navigate. He cited recent data from the Pew Research Center that indicates only 11 percent of employers think graduates are ready to enter the workforce; that figure stands in stark contrast to the 75 percent of university provosts who took the opposite view.
In the face of those truths, colleges and universities must adjust their priorities and shift their focus to online, competency-based education, which offers students greater flexibility while still equipping them with the skills they need to succeed in the modern workplace.
“Today, 500 institutions are moving to competency-based education, and they are not-for-profit,” LeBlanc said. “There’s a lot of opportunity. There are new models of delivery, a lot of potential partners.”