The panelists discussed an innovative program, Global Freshman Academy, which allows students to take classes and not pay for them until after they get their grade. If they don’t pass, they don’t pay.
Williams wondered aloud if students are taking advantage of programs already in place to serve them, programs that help to “normalize their fears and anxieties.â€ He also questioned the terms used to describe certain students. “We use language that approaches them as if they’re something that needs to be fixed, for example, ‘at-risk.’â€
Alssid described an exciting innovation at College for America: each student gets a learning coach. Who wouldn’t benefit from personalized coaching, especially students who’ve been underserved? Barber said bluntly that the traditional model disenfranchises certain populations, but that new, innovative models–like learning coaches–are giving people hope.
Williams, as if in anticipation of the panel on business and higher education, said that business enterprises must combine with knowledge enterprises. “States are not going to invest greater funds,â€ he predicted. State support of higher education has been declining since the Great Recession. A report from the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association described the low state support as “the new normal.â€
Click here for more information about the National Higher Education Summit.