Posted by: crudbasher | September 27, 2010

The Coming Armageddon in Private Liberal Arts Higher Education | Life Back West

Transformation in Higher Education?  – Check.
Stormfront of change coming?  – Check
Online learning?  – Check

This is a nice article about the coming storm of change in Higher Education.  I think summarizes the main factors about who will survive the coming storm of change.

I would make a few changes and additions to the list.

1.  Rankings won’t make as much difference as you might think.  Reputation online will count a lot more to prospective students.  College students in 10 years will have grown up with social networks. Reputation will make a huge difference to them.
2.  Many schools have a huge physical infrastructure.  It’s possible of course to divest of such things, but I think many colleges won’t be able to do it mentally.  Also, if you don’t have many physical students, you don’t need a football team.

I’m not sure about the geographic protection though.

Anyone have any thoughts on this?

  • Nice summary of factors that will have colleges survive the stormfront.

    tags: education stormfront list highered

    • For alumni and students of private liberal arts colleges, schools that number in the hundreds across the United States, it’s a time time though before the perfect storm wave of tidal change hits; a wave that will obliterate much of a part of higher education that’s been with the nation since its founding. Most of these schools, like the bison that were thick as they roamed the North American plains, will be gone the next time you look, reserved like their buffalo counterparts to a few scattered locations and folklore memory.
    • The warning sirens have been clanging, most visibly in the Chronicle of Higher Education. This summer’s piece – Are Colleges Worth the Price of Admission? – lays out the case that most schools are simply not providing value for their cost. Private liberal arts institutions, which tend to be at the high end of the cost range, are no exception.
    • Any number of serious schools (UC Berkeley is one) are heading down the path of granting full-on undergraduate degrees via online learning. When that happens the financial math, time, and ease will lead to a host of other schools to follow the model or seriously risk being slammed.
    • Sometimes you know the what but not the how as in what will cause some private liberal arts to survive versus how will some schools make it? This is one of those times, and here’s my sense of the few types of liberal arts colleges that will be around in 25 years.
    • here’s who I think will survive the upcoming onslaught:
    • School’s that provide access to education and training that no one else provides.
    • Schools that consistently effectively leverage engaged alums in the world of careers.
    • Schools that are highly rated.
    • Schools that have some geographic protection

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.



  1. I agree, ranking won’t be as important as the online presence with kids who have grown up with social media….I suppose that will be a sort of ranking all it’s own.

    • I have noticed that kids are less and less likely to rely on “official sources” for things like this. Just because a school ranks high on some list doesn’t mean they have a good World of Warcraft team. 😉

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