NEW YORK--()--It’s no wonder American higher education is facing a crisis. While low-income students can’t find a spot in their local community colleges for lack of funding, public four-year universities are spending staggering sums on luxurious residence halls, ever-bigger football stadiums, and obscure research institutes. We have cosseted our most advantaged students even as we deny access to the working adults who urgently need higher education to advance their careers and our economy.
“America is not going to lead the world in the 21st century the way it did in the 20th unless it can find a way to efficiently and effectively educate its population. Yet it's clear our current higher education system has strayed far from that goal.”
In CHANGE.EDU: REBOOTING FOR THE NEW TALENT ECONOMY (Kaplan Publishing; October 18, 2011; $23.00 hardcover, also available as an eBook; ISBN: 978-1607144410), Andrew S. Rosen clearly and entertainingly details how far the American higher education system has strayed from the goals of access, quality, affordability, and accountability that should characterize our system, and offers a prescription to restore American educational pre-eminence.
According to Rosen, "America is not going to lead the world in the 21st century the way it did in the 20th unless it can find a way to efficiently and effectively educate its population. Yet it's clear our current higher education system has strayed far from that goal.”
In Change.edu, Rosen argues that in order to change, our system will have to end its reflexive opposition to anything new and different. He describes how each new wave of innovation and expansion of educational access—starting with the founding of Harvard in 1636, and continuing with the advent of land-grant colleges in the 19th century, community colleges in the 20th century, and private-sector colleges over the last two decades—has been met with misunderstanding and ridicule. When colleges like the University of California, Cornell, and Purdue were founded, they were scorned as “pretenders to the title of university”—language that tracks later criticisms of community colleges and most recently for-profit colleges.
Avoiding that condescension is just one of the reasons colleges have come under the sway of “Harvard Envy,” the focus of an early chapter of Change.edu. Rosen describes “Harvard Envy” as the inexorable tug that compels traditional universities to strive to become ever more prestigious and exclusive. He highlights how competition for the best students has led universities to turn themselves into full-fledged resorts; they’ve built climbing walls, French bistros, and 20-person hot-tubs to entice students to their campuses.
But Rosen goes beyond describing the challenges of higher education today; he shares his vision for where we need to take higher education in the future. Rosen outlines “seven certainties” of education in the coming 25 years, presenting an imperative for how our system must prepare for the coming change. He proposes a new "playbook" for dealing with the change ahead, one that will enable American higher education to regain its global primacy and be a catalyst for economic growth in the 21st century.
In prepublication reviews, School Library Journal calls the book “a well-written and thought-provoking critique of contemporary higher education of interest to all readers concerned about the future strength of American society. [It] should stimulate college presidents to reconsider some of their priorities.” And Kirkus Reviews said it is “an enjoyable look back at the history of higher education in America and the startling new ways it might develop in the future.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andrew S. Rosen is chairman and CEO of Kaplan, Inc., one of the world’s largest and most diverse education organizations. Throughout his career, Rosen has pioneered new approaches to education with a focus on student achievement and success. He is an outspoken advocate for adult learners, and a frequent speaker on the challenges facing higher education in a knowledge economy. Rosen holds an A.B. degree from Duke University and a J.D. from Yale Law School.
For more about the book, please see www.change-edu.com.
ABOUT KAPLAN PUBLISHING
Kaplan Publishing is one of the nation's leading publishers of academic and professional development resources. Kaplan Publishing offers proven test preparation and admissions strategies for students everywhere, as well as practical advice, thought-provoking insights, and inspiring stories for the general reader. Kaplan Publishing is a unit of Kaplan, Inc., a subsidiary of The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO). www.kaplanpublishing.com.