The college atmosphere and structure is consistently changing. Current policies may be a thing of the past tomorrow. State institutions like New York have already made the transition to free tuition and other colleges are constantly trying to add or take away policies to improve their institutions while every college student sits at the edge of their seat. It’s impossible to know the exact fate of the future of higher education but organizations like the Educause Review and The Pew Research Center have their ideas about what the future might look like for students. Here are a few ways your college education could change in the next few years.
A more drastic change to satisfy our dystopian fears would be that in the next two decades, professors may be replaced by machines. Technology is advancing at an alarming rate. Students can power through an essay solely with their smart phone or earn money through a printing service nowadays. The Higher Education gives the example of artificial intelligence “discovering” Newton’s second law, and ROSS training IBM’s Watson cognitive computer to do paralegal work. Professors have far more value than the lectures they give, but some areas of study may change due to technology.
However, the rise of online classes and potential for robotic teachers has the ability to diminish students’ sociability. According to Fast Company, colleges will begin to focus more on the skill sets of individuals more than the credit hours they take. Employers expect more from incoming employees than they once had in the past.
Fast Company found that, “in one survey, 60% of employers complained that job applicants lack interpersonal and communication skills.”
In this case, colleges will be forced to become more adaptive, to adhere to the needs of industry professionals as opposed to traditional or newfound teaching strategy.
Additionally, the “traditional student” as described by the Educause Review, will change in the future. Majority of students are now above the age of 25 and work full-time, once taboo, but now the reality that not everyone has to finish a degree in a standard four year plan.
In regards to traditional students changing, one of the final guarantees for the future of higher education, already showing in today’s school systems, is the change in demographics. The majority of students for most of history on college campuses have been white and male. According to U.S. News, now the shift in demographics shows that the majority will soon be first-generation Hispanic students. This means that colleges will have to begin to change their admissions process, broaden financial aid packages, and provide remediation to underprivileged schools. In the 2014 academic year, the nine-school University of California system, “admitted more Latino students (29 percent) than whites (27 percent),” notes U.S. News. Similar changes will occur within the gender learning gap and the increase of other minority students.
Many things are changing in the future of higher education and it’s nice to be in the know.
Brought to you by Freenters, this has been a steamy hot plate of food for thought.