New Report Highlights Momentous Transformations in Higher Education Post-Pandemic

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., April 13, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — SynED, a national non-profit focused on education, today released ReportOUT, a quarterly publication that highlights innovative educational initiatives that promise different perspectives and lasting changes, with its latest edition entitled “Netflix University: Why Not?”

ReportOUT includes insights from across the economic, education, and political world, bringing a diverse array of viewpoints and analysis on how to approach education differently and how corporate training is serving as a catalyst for tectonic changes in higher ed.

“For the past five centuries, few institutions have been more successful at resisting change than higher education,” said Guy Smith, Executive Editor, ReportOUT. Mr. Smith, a former Vice President at Antioch University who also previously served as the Dean of Educational Programs at Santa Barbara City College, continued: “Mega forces are now impacting higher ed with incomprehensible velocity. If colleges are not looking over their shoulder at corporate learning, they should be. There is a revolution going on right in front of us that represents a fundamental shift in the way that society organizes itself around education. This edition of ReportOUT highlights some of those changes.”

This issue is a compendium of 12 articles that provide insight on the rapid changes happening in higher ed.

The first article provocatively asks, “Is This the End of College as We Know It?Douglas Belkin, journalist at the Wall Street Journal, argues that the blue-chip credential of a four year college degree (and the debt that often comes with it) is no longer a sure stepping stone to the American dream. In fact, Belkin writes, “For many millennials and now Gen Z, it has become an albatross around their necks.” New models are already gaining prominence: “Faster, cheaper, specialized credentials closely aligned with the labor market and updated incrementally over a longer period,” with private industry playing a larger role.

Steven Mintz, a professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin, writes in “Why Higher Education Will Change“: “Higher education needs to find more effective, efficient ways to educate students, without sacrificing rigor or the human interactions and feedback that lie at the heart of a quality education. And it needs to do this while somehow covering the escalating costs of financial aid, student services, technology, and compliance with government mandates.  Trends that are unsustainable inevitably come to an end. But that need not mean that brick-and-mortar institutions need to be replaced by universities in the cloud. It means that these schools must adapt.” As we look to the future, Dr. Mintz breaks down the bottom-line reasons why higher ed must change:

  1. Students have changed
  2. Students and parents’ priorities have shifted
  3. Expectations about graduation rates, the quality of teaching and facilities, and the range of student services have risen sharply
  4. Higher education ecosystem has changed
  5. Teaching is too often outmoded
  6. Four-year institution financial models are under severe stress
  7. Employer skills expectations are changing
  8. And, most important of all, because higher education’s promise – to open opportunities in the job market – proves false for too many students

“One of the consequences of the digital revolution is that it has made life-long learning not only accessible, but expected,” concluded Mr. Smith. “Those who learn how to seek out new ideas to integrate, apply and adapt will prosper and excel. The reality in today’s digital-first world is that we need to teach every generation how to learn, unlearn, and relearn — quickly — so they can transform the future of work, rather than be transformed by it.”

About SynED®
SynED is a non-profit organization that acts as a catalyst to help you help others to improve their lives through education and knowledge and skill acquisition, giving them rich career opportunities. Our team will help you explore the many possibilities and potential solutions available to achieve your desired outcomes. SynED also maintains a community for CTE professionals at®. SynED is the proud recipient of the 2021 Association for Career & Technical Education Business-Education Partnership Award.

About ReportOUT
Recognizing that real change is necessary, ReportOUT focuses on the non-traditional, and the notion that effective educational practices can be found in some unlikely places. When searching around the edges, exploring techniques and technologies outside of traditional education, and looking within the ancillary realms of corporate training, for profit schools, and independent learning systems, it helps to have a guidebook.

Media Contact: Guy Smith


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