The arrival of a new year brings with it the opportunity to reflect on that which occurred over the past twelve months and to look ahead at what awaits. For us in higher education, here is a list of issues that will be with us in 2015. Some are new. Others carryover from 2014. Each will likely require our time and attention.
- Reauthorization of the Higher Ed Act. Will incoming Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) chairman Senator Lamar Alexander (R) dismantle what Senator Harkin (D) built and “start all over,” as promised? Many hope yes. (See Andrew Kelly’s excellent piece.)
- Competency-Based Education (CBE). Unlike MOOCS, CBE – which leverages and builds on what an individual already knows – will not quickly fade. Still many questions to be resolved: What is it, who wants it, and who benefits? While CBE holds incredible promise, higher ed and employers must come together on common standards. The Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN) has made a start but much remains to be done.
- Skills Gap. Is there one? The New York Times says “no,” but how do we explain five million unfilled jobs with so many still looking for work? Could it be that some technologies are changing so fast that higher education can’t keep up?