The Pulse of Higher Ed

Perspectives on Online and Professional Education
from UPCEA’s Research and Consulting Experts

The Risk of Being Too Good at Something: Bananas and the Degree

March 13, 2024

A friend once told me that the everyday banana in the U.S. has such strong qualities, such as taste, appearance, nutritional value, cost, manageable perishability, growth predictability, disease resistance and relative ease of growing, that few other genetic variations are sold worldwide.  This banana strain, the Cavendish, is so popular that few other variations are…

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A Look in the Mirror – Using Inquirers Perspectives to Understand Enrollment Funnels

February 12, 2024

Eleven months ago, my wife and I were on vacation in Tucson, Arizona. In a past life, I’d briefly worked in Saguaro National Park removing invasive species, so I was eager to get back and bask in the unique qualities of the Sonoran Desert and the Old Pueblo of Tucson. On a Sunday afternoon, we…

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Blurring the Lines for Faculty Development

January 30, 2024

In December 2020, my staff at the Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching sent a survey to about 500 faculty and other instructors who had completed the online course design institute we offered the previous summer. The OCDI, as we called it, was a two-week faculty development program aimed at helping our university’s instructors prepare to…

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Boiling the Ocean of Microcredentials

January 9, 2024

As we start the New Year, I’ve been reflecting on the milestones and trends in 2023 and what stood out for me was the Convergence conference, based on both the high levels of interest (the inaugural event sold-out!), and the incredible buzz among attendees. There were so many conversations happening and great presentations by institutions…

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Our Elusive Common Denominator

December 6, 2023

About fifteen years ago, I hosted a pre-conference dean’s workshop at UPCEA’s Annual Conference. I opened the session by asking participants to compare their units with those of the person next to them.  Not surprisingly, they highlighted their dissimilarities. Were this a meeting of, say, law school deans, they might have commiserated over mutual challenges…

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