Pursuing Quality, Access, and Affordability A Field Guide to Improving Higher Education
Whether they recognize it or not, virtually all colleges and universities face three GrandChallenges:·Improve the learning outcomes of a higher education: A large majority of college graduates are weak in capabilities that faculty and employers both see as crucial.·Extend more equitable access to degrees: Too often, students from underserved groups and poor households either don’t enter college or else drop out without a degree. The latter group may be worse off economically than if they’d never attempted college.·Make academic programs more affordable (in money and time) for students and other important stakeholder groups: Many potential students believe they lack the money or time needed for academic success. Many faculty believe they don’t have time to make their courses and degree programs more effective. Many institutions believe they can’t afford to improve outcomes.These challenges are global. But, in a higher education system such as that in the United States, the primary response must be institutional. This book analyzes how, over the years, six pioneering colleges and universities have begun to make visible, cumulative progress on all three fronts.
Foreword—Jillian Kinzie Preface AcknowledgmentsPart One. Why Improve Quality, Equitable Access, and Affordability? And How? 1. What’s So Urgent? 2. Iron Triangles, Three Gains, and 3Fold Gains Part Two. 3Fold Gains Guided by a Single Paradigm 3. Georgia State University. Assembling a Constellation for 3Fold Gains 4. Governors State University. A 4-Year Educational Strategy 5. College for America. Project-Based, Individualized Learning 6. Three Competing Paradigms for Pursuing 3Fold Gains Part Three. Sustaining the Integrative Pursuit of 3Fold Gains 7. Guttman Community College. Designed for Integrative Education 8. University of Central Oklahoma. Transformative Learning Sparks Institutional Evolution 9. University of Central Florida. Using Online and Blended Strategies to Pursue 3Fold Gains Part Four. Aligning Initiatives Across Three Domains 10. Integrative Educational Strategies for 3Fold Gains 11. Organizational Foundations That Sustain Integrative Educational Strategies 12. Leveraging Interactions With the Wider World Part Five. Doing It 13. A Framework for Pursuing, Scaling, and Sustaining 3Fold Gains 14. Implementation. Beginning the Intentional Pursuit of 3Fold Gains 15. For 3Fold Gains on a National Scale, Change the Wider World, Too References About the Author Index
“Faculty members, deans, provosts and presidents who want to improve their institutions can all find valuable food for thought in these pages. Dr Ehrmann uses the example of several colleges and universities that have had notable success in improving the quality of education, affordability, and graduation rates while drawing on his own many years of experience to present a wealth of useful ideas about how to bring about real reform.”
300th Anniversary University Research Professor and former president, Harvard University
"Higher education has been headed toward a crisis of cost, quality and equity for decades. Institutions often attend to one issue but not the others, leaving the enterprise sorely lacking in a way forward. This book is one of the most important to be published in higher education in decades. It showcases institutions that have made progress on all three fronts. The book provides a beacon to lead other institutions into a sustainable and healthy future in which all students, faculty and staff thrive.
The vision for higher education outlined in this book is fundamentally different from how institutions have operated up until now. It requires institutional transformation which, although challenging, will ultimately give higher education the resiliency it needs to endure in coming decades. This book provides the principles, approaches, and case study examples to help institutions in this difficult but worthy work of change."
Adrianna Kezar, Wilbur Kieffer Endowed Professor and Dean's Professor of Leadership, Director of the Pullias Center for Higher Education
University of Southern California
"Dr. Ehrmann’s treatment of how to enhance student outcomes in higher education goes deep into the centrality of teaching and learning as a core function of the college. It also explores the emerging frontier of technology-enabled instruction and student services, data-driven decision-making, and remaking the academy for the next 100 years. It is a practical and thought-provoking work."
Louis Soares, Chief Learning & Innovation Officer
American Council on Education
"The problem: US higher education is teeming with initiatives that seek to improve access, or quality, or affordability But these efforts are typically siloed, fragmented, and under-performing, hindered as much by educators’ own sense of what can’t be done as by other impediments. The Ehrmann solution: An evidence-informed Integrative framework for campus change that knits all three priorities together and makes each a means to the other. Making superb use of case studies from broad access institutions, research evidence, and Ehrmann’s own lifetime of leadership in the digital revolution, Quality, Access and Affordability provides a persuasive, practical and long-view guide to implementing transformative educational change across an entire institution and ultimately, US higher education as a whole. Every educator who wants to make higher education more responsive and more empowering for today’s students will find this book both illuminating and immensely useful."
Carol Geary Schneider
Consultant, Lumina Foundation, and President Emerita Association of American Colleges & Universities
"I plan to use this as a textbook in our graduate program on learning, design, and technology! It offers great insights into academic transformation and its implications for academic outcomes, culture, and professional roles. For example, as the book illustrates, future leaders must be skilled at working across organizational boundaries; Ehrmann shows how they will need to bridge hidden clashes in assumptions, culture, and even terminology, e.g., common terms with two or more widely used, clashing definitions, terms such as 'teaching,' 'online course,' and 'transformation.'"
Director, Learning Design and Research at the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS), Curriculum Director & Professor for the Master of Arts in LDT Program at Georgetown University
"In Pursuing Quality, Access, and Affordability, Steve Ehrmann advances a compelling narrative on how higher education can be improved. Basing his analysis on six extensive institutional case studies, he outlines how it is possible for institutions to create what he terms “3fold gains” in educational quality, equitable access, and stakeholder affordability. These gains are achieved through Integrative learning-based constellations of mutually supportive educational strategies, organizational foundations, and interactions with the wider world. The book offers a cogent rationale for how such coordinated efforts can enhance quality, access and affordability on an institutional scale. As higher education prepares for a post-COVID educational landscape much changed by current challenges, now is the time for forward-thinking institutions to imagine this future. And Dr. Ehrmann’s careful study, based on actual experiences of institutions that have achieved success in these areas at the core of higher education’s mission and purpose, provides an excellent blueprint for success."
President, Ferris State University