Innovation in higher education is positively influencing student learning outcomes. More institutions are providing students with academic, financial, logistical, and social support to ease their transition to and through college. This guidance has been especially useful when there are hurtles that prevent students from completing programs, like required remedial education. To support students throughout their academic careers, colleges and universities are considering how learning and coursework delivery methods work best for their students.
Innovation enriches academic experiences.
Colleges and universities across the country are utilizing strategies like technology-assisted learning, flipped classrooms, and project-based learning to ensure academic success. Through the use of innovative course formats in traditional, online, and hybrid courses, faculty are aiming to make classes more effective and engaging. Institutions are also reorganizing academic offerings to emphasize high-impact student scholarship outside the classroom, like planned first-year experiences, learning communities, undergraduate research, and internships. These cocurricular developments (and more can be found in the 2017 National Survey of Student Engagement) complement students’ academic work and lead to stronger learning outcomes.
Institutions are revising their transfer and course delivery policies.
Additionally, colleges and universities are reconsidering their credit transfer policies to simplify students’ transitions between institutions. These alterations encourage students to continue their studies, even when they face lengthy time to degree completion, excessive costs, or the need to retake courses. Institutions will support this effort in a myriad of ways, including expanding the use of prior-learning assessments, utilizing external credit recommendations, and providing competency-based education. These measures show that institutions are working towards accepting demonstrated knowledge and experiences that can count towards degree completion. The California State University System, for example, helps high school seniors bypass remedial coursework in college, and currently allows 62 percent of students to begin working toward their degrees on the first day. At the end of the day, colleges and universities are working to eliminate academic barriers to help students stay on track to graduate.
Institutions are helping students navigate academic requirements by restructuring their course delivery and credit and transfer policies. Before these efforts, many students were forced to take on debt or delay graduation—but introducing new, more convenient methods of learning and fulfilling credit requirements has allowed colleges and universities to better support students where they are, while accomplishing their educational missions.
The AGB Guardians Initiative encourages board members to become advocates for the value of higher education. Want to find out more about how colleges and universities are using innovation to enhance the educational experience? Check it out here.