While urban planners are designing better ways to blaze trails, Cameron Sinclair is creating better ways for people to get an education. Sinclair is the co-founder of Architecture for Humanity, a charitable organization that designs schools, clinics, and affordable housing in countries facing humanitarian crises. He is also interested in how people learn and how higher education can be transformed to meet more modern-day needs. Sinclair sat down with KALW’s Nancy Mullane and told her that higher education should be about a free flow of information, with students and teachers as the central focus.
Quintus Jett is a professor at the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development at Rutgers University, with a doctorate from Stanford. He shares his thoughts on improving colleges and universities with KALW’s Nancy Mullane. Jett's first question is about how we create curricula for today's dynamic environment. Education could be about life and career development in 5-10 year increments throughout adulthood. Education must be packaged differently. Think about taking advantage of learning experiences outside the classroom that can be aggregated and delivered incrementally over time.
Ralph Wolff is president and executive director of the senior college commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. He speaks with KALW's Nancy Mullane about how higher education has changed dramatically over the last few decades. 30 years ago, the idea of education being available at any age was a new concept. And 10 years ago, online technologies for education were nascent. Now, adult students and distance learning are integral to the ecology of higher ed. Our task is to accelerate reaching even more people, with even higher quality curricula.
From the UC student protests over fee hikes, to community colleges holding midnight classes due to increased demand, to repeated warnings from business and policy leaders that we are not graduating enough competitive workers, America is facing a crisis in higher education. Why? Because the last great social shift to impact higher education was back in 1944 with the introduction of the GI Bill that transformed access to higher education for many generations following.