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One of the most interesting aspects of Beloit College’s Mindset list is that the College has used these lists on an annual basis to get a better understanding of who their students are and where they are at. Student-centered learning is dependent upon knowing your student so this type of information is a very important and can help faculty, staff and administrators understand and address student expectations.
The following is a brief section of the list copied from the Beliot site:
Students heading into their first year of college this year are mostly 18 and were born in 1997.
Among those who have never been alive in their lifetimes are Princess Diana, Notorious B.I.G., Jacques Cousteau, and Mother Teresa.
Joining them in the world the year they were born were Dolly the sheep, The McCaughey septuplets, and Michael “Prince” Jackson Jr.
Since they have been on the planet:
1. Hybrid automobiles have always been mass produced.
2. Google has always been there, in its founding words, “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible.”
3. They have never licked a postage stamp.
4. Email has become the new “formal” communication, while texts and tweets remain enclaves for the casual.
5. Four foul-mouthed kids have always been playing in South Park.
6. Hong Kong has always been under Chinese rule.
7. They have grown up treating Wi-Fi as an entitlement.
8. The NCAA has always had a precise means to determine a national champion in college football.
9. The announcement of someone being the “first woman” to hold a position has only impressed their parents.
10. Charlton Heston is recognized for waving a rifle over his head as much as for waving his staff over the Red Sea.
In this Campus Technology John Waters presents the argument that nanodegrees also referred to as “micro” online certification programs are changing the educational pathways. If you take away the new terms of nanodegree or micro degree certification courses have been around education for well over 100 years so this idea isn’t that new.
What is new and exciting is the fact that Waters identifies the significance of people being able to show potential employers what they are able to do, create or build through some sort of a portfolio. The following affirmation from Cathy Sandeen, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin Colleges and University of Wisconsin-Extension that people without traditional four years degrees are showing employers what they can do:
A growing number of industries are open to the idea of employing people with portfolio backgrounds — that is, people without four-year degrees who have done different things and can show you what they’ve done,” she said. “We see it in tech industries, especially software development, but also in creative industries — Web design, graphic design, screen writing — jobs that have traditionally been open to people who have followed different sorts of educational pathways other than the traditional four-year degree. I think we’ll see more and more certification programs that may appeal to those industries.
I find Sandeen’s statement paradoxical. A growing number of industries are employing people without degrees who can show employers what they have done and can do – so Higher Ed should focus on certification programs for these people who are getting work based on their portfolios. This doens’t follow. Furthermore Sandeen and other quoted in the article to the fact that traditional degree students are either doing after degree certifications so that they can show some sort of experience or some are doing certification training while they are in their degrees to gain experience to be able to show potential employers that they can actually create something authentic. The common factor is that students are recognizing that they need to be able to show what they have been able to do, build or create and traditional education doesn’t give them this ability.
We have to acknowledge that Higher Ed is in the business is credentialing and if the traditional credentials (four year degree) have stopped mattering as much as they used to it may be time for High Ed to consider a different form of credential. Sandeen, Thurn and most other educators from the article are pointing to these new nano, micro, meso certificates as the new credential, but perhaps the new credential should be the portfolio. More specifically an eportfolio that can show what a person has created, their creative potential and their ability to learn how to learn.
You can now gage how long it will take you to read books and fit this into your schedule accordingly.
Go to http://www.howlongtoreadthis.com/index.php now…