I've been studying six colleges and universities for the last three years. Each has been working for five-ten years with some success to improve quality, equitable access, and affordability, simultaneously.
Each institution wants to attain such gains on an institutional scale, and in ways likely to thrive into the future. So each has treated barriers to transformation as malleable, not fixed:
- Many years ago, Georgia State began reorganizing so that a variety of administrative and academic units could work together smoothly to improve graduation rates while maintaining or improving quality. [The link in this bullet, and in those below, lead to more information about the institution's pursuit of 3fold gains.]
- Governors State University has built close, long-term working relationships with area community colleges to increase transfer rates and prepare students for its challenging upper division academic program.
- Southern New Hampshire University's College for America, an online project-based curriculum, educates working adults within their workplaces; the university-business partnerships help keep education grounded, motivating, and supportive.
- Guttman Community College was founded to support a variety of kinds of experiential learning. Its scheduling system enables class meetings so long that, in the middle of class, students can spread out into the city, do brief fieldwork assignments, and return for an immediate discussion of their findings. Doing without academic departments has helped faculty collaborate across disciplinary lines.
- The University of Central Oklahoma has implemented a Student Transformative Learning Record (STLR- pronounced stellar). In this ePortfolio, students can post achievements from courses, extracurriculars, and other experiences. They reflect on those experiences and describe how those experiences document their growing expertise and developing values in six crucial dimensions.
- The University of Central Florida got in on the ground floor of online learning, committing in the 1990s to train and actively support every faculty member teaching online. Rapid growth of online programs has enabled major savings in plant, maintenance, and operations. Meanwhile, a substantial fraction of all full-time faculty have received extensive education in how to teach well online and, indirectly, on campus.
That's a little taste of what has emerged from these six institutional case histories. In early 2020, Quality, Access, Affordability: Pursuing 3Fold Gains in Higher Education will be published by Stylus.