A new higher education reference work that includes a chapter written by Hollins University President Mary Dana Hinton and the Lumina Foundation’s Debra Humphreys has been honored by the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA).
New Models of Higher Education: Unbundled, Rebundled, Customized, and DIY, edited by Aaron M. Brower and Ryan J. Specht-Boardman of the University of Wisconsin, has received the UPCEA’s Philip E. Frandson Award for Literature. The award recognizes “excellence in achievement for literature written about the theory or practice of professional, continuing, and/or online education.”
“This is the top literature award in our field, awarded by a committee of peers after a national competitive review,” Brower and Specht-Boardman said.
“Students already ‘DIY’ and build an unbundled education and training path for themselves, demonstrating a clever and productive approach to lifelong learning,” IGI Global, the book’s publisher, explained. “New Models of Higher Education…views this as the future of higher education: students mixing and matching education and training throughout their careers to reach personal and professional goals.”
The publisher added, “Covering a wide range of topics such as assessment, personal success, and education paradigms, the book considers the practical ways in which institutions of higher education, education technology companies, and workplaces can better respond to, and enable, this new way in which education and training are engaged and consumed.”
In their chapter, “Seeking Equity, Quality, and Purpose as Higher Education Transforms: Liberal Arts Colleges Respond,” Hinton and Humphreys discuss methods to further goals associated with equity and educational quality. They analyze key developments in who today’s students are, what is known about teaching and learning that promotes equitable student success, and the changing global economy and workplace. With that assessment as their foundation, they suggest a possible new path for reform in liberal arts colleges that makes use of both “unbundling traditional models of teaching and learning” and “rebundling student supports and educational pathway guidance to facilitate student success,” fostering experiences shown to enhance quality and equity.
“Higher education has become more aware of entrenched inequities and pedagogical shortcomings,” they noted. “What we have called for in this chapter [is] reimagining how we offer programs and how we can better prioritize expanded outreach to students and communities. We have attempted to illustrate how colleges and universities can pursue both excellence and equity in these efforts.”
The authors expressed confidence that “higher education institutions have the capacity to change. They must rethink their models and offerings so they can meet all students where they are in their learning and so they can help meet the needs of the workplace. At the same time, higher education has the responsibility to provide high-quality educational programs to those who have historically been excluded from higher education.”
Hinton and Humphreys concluded, “This is a critical moment for higher education to be responsive. The sustainability of our missions, our institutions, our students, and our democracy hang in the balance.”
Brower and Specht-Boardman praised Hinton, Humphreys, and the book’s other authors. “Your chapters in this volume are being recognized by higher education leaders as an important contribution to the literature in the field of online and professional education. We hope that each of you feels a part of this great work, and proud to have this incredible national recognition.”
The Frandson Award will be showcased at several upcoming UPCEA meetings.