KevinCarey's March 5th NYT article is right on the money. Carey asserts that college as we know it will be seriously challenged when free and affordable learning resources are coupled with excellent and valid assessments of learning that are equally affordable. This adds up to very affordable, well-documented evidence of learning that will trump current transcripts and time spent in college with academic and career-relevant information that can be expanded on throughout life and through multiple careers. (For the complete discussion, see Carey's book, “TheEnd of College: Creating the Future of Learning and the University ofEverywhere," Riverhead Books, 2015.)
As Carey says, the “future of learning and the University of Everywhere” is here to stay, and at Open College at Kaplan University (OC@KU), our team has been working towards just this future. Led by Drew Ross, Susan Huggins, and myself, OC@KU already has the elements of that university in play.
With OC@KU, learners can
- Build a portfolio of all prior formal, informal, and experiential learning at no cost and without the commitment of enrolling until they want the portfolio assessed. This reduces time and expense toward earning a degree, respecting the learning already accomplished.
- Take our free open courses and have access to course assessments for $100, also without enrolling.
- Access the free Career Journey program, which provides excellent career advice with data drawn from the LinkedIn economic database.
- Enroll in the accredited Bachelors of Professional Studies (BSPR) degree program for $195/month, which includes the assessment of their prior learning portfolio, design of an Individualized Learning Plan, ongoing academic mentoring, and access to free and open resources to fulfill the requirements of their competency-based degree program.
As members of the higher education community, we have a responsibility to make sure that everyone who wants access to learning, has it. As I reflect on Carey’s article, I am pleased to see that OC@KU is on the right track with adapting to the changing landscape of higher education. At OC@KU, we acknowledge that the future is now and we are proud to provide learners with the opportunity to take advantage of it today.