Lumina President Says PSE Must Change to Accommodate Shifting Demographics

Source: The Hill via Academica | January 13, 2015

In an editorial published in The Hill, Lumina Foundation President Jamie Merisotis argues that PSE must adapt to meet changes in student demographics. Merisotis notes that today’s students are far more diverse than those in the past, and coming from a broader range of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, as well as being older and having more work experience. He also cites a study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research that shows that a quarter of all college students are raising dependent children, with half of those being single parents. Merisotis says that PSE leaders must “redesign education beyond high school” in order to improve attainment rates and close the talent gap. He calls for 3 specific shifts: first, he calls for changes to financial aid to maximize its impact, including incentives for students who make rapid progress and complete their degrees; second, he says that educators should measure student learning rather than classroom time, turning to a more competency-based approach to assessment; and finally, he calls for the “democratization of high-quality instruction” by making the knowledge and skills needed to obtain credentials more accessible.