We have seen the leader and it is ourselves, our units, and UPCEA
We are all aware of the challenge President Obama has presented, with the call to move the United States into a position of global leadership with the highest proportion of college graduates in the world. The Lumina Foundation (http://www.luminafoundation.org/) has supported multiple projects assisting states in examining and developing policies and procedures for higher education that will make access to higher education more seamless.
In addition, many of our own institutions are also examining our own policies and procedures to make higher education programs more accessible and affordable.
These are clearly opportunities for our units to provide leadership not only for our institutions but also for our states and for UPCEA to play a leadership role nationally.
After all, our units act as the connection between our institutions and adult students. We are the academic units that are responsible for Adult Degree Programs, responsible for providing student services for adult students, and serve as the greatest advocate for adult students on our campuses.
Two new reports:
“Degree Completion Beyond Institutional Borders” http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/10/degree_completion_beyond_borders.html)
and “Easy Come, EZ-GO”
These demonstrate yet more opportunities for ourselves, our units, and UPCEA to provide leadership.
Both of these reports call for developing mechanisms to assess student learning that takes place outside the classroom, making learning experiences more portable, and moving from state to multi-state policies and procedures that allow students educational opportunities not restricted by state borders.
It strikes me that once again it is ourselves and our units that have been wrestling with these challenges for years — whether it is the fact that we offer degree programs that have no state or national boundaries; whether it be the leadership our colleagues have provided for developing multi-state programs; or whether it is the leadership and advocacy role we play for adult students on our campus. In addition, it is the opportune moment for UPCEA to be in a leadership role as all of higher education attempts to respond to the President Obama’s challenge of making the US more competitive through degrees.
Like you and your units, UPCEA must find ways to “be at the table” and to provide leadership.