Online Learning Update

October 31, 2015

Rethinking college: Disruptive innovation, not reform, is needed

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:02 am

by Stuart M. Butler, Brookings

To make college more affordable for low-income students we need to rethink what “college” means. The system needs much more than tweaks in financing or regulation; it requires an entirely different business model. Today, a student typically moves away from home for some years and chooses from a limited set of courses at a costly brick-and-mortar institution. Imagine instead a “general contractor” model of college, in which the contractor assembles a collection of courses from different places and delivers them in different ways. The contractor’s (college’s) role in this model is assembly and quality control, rather than running an institution. This model would also allow for much greater customization, with degrees better tailored to the student’s interests and needs—as well as their home and employment situation.

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