International Educator - March/April 2013 - 10
INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION NEWS, VIEWS & INSIGHTS
Investing in Innovative Postsecondary Education
universities are not well suited to educate the growing number
of posttraditional students seeking secondary education. These
“posttraditional learners” encompass diverse identities ranging
from immigrants to military veterans to single mothers and
at-risk youth; they represent 80 million students and potential
revenue of close to $500 billion.
The twenty-first century student shifts the market from
well-to-do 18-year-old freshmen to 25- to 64-year-olds in lowpaying jobs who lack the knowledge, resources, and time to be
successful in current U.S. higher education institutions. Soares
argues that there is a new demand to include blended academic
and occupational curriculums and offer more sophisticated and
career-oriented advising that will enable postsecondary learners
to advance in their careers.
Soares acknowledges that educating millions of diverse
students “will prove to be a moving target.” He emphasizes the
universities traditionally cater to now makes up just 15 percent
of current undergraduates. Louis Soares, special adviser to ACE
President Molly Corbett Broad and author of Post-traditional
Learners and the Transformation of Postsecondary Education:
A Manifesto for College Leaders, concludes that the United
States’ traditional system of two- and four-year colleges and
need for college leaders to be “entrepreneurs of a new venture”
not “stewards of existing institutions.” In order for the U.S.
economy to flourish and produce more skilled workers, postsecondary education needs to be tailored towards the twenty-first
century student, concludes the report.
Learn more at www.acenet.edu.
INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR M A R + A P R . 13
THE UNITED STATES , the time-honored model
of a postsecondary student suggests a middle
class or above 18-year-old sent off to a college
or university with competitive acceptance rates,
prominent alumni, and maybe a spirited football or basketball
team. Most instruction takes place in a classroom on campus
during the day. While some students may work part time, the
bulk of their expenses are covered by mom and dad. In this
traditional model, students typically begin with a similar foundation of knowledge and at least a sense of what their career goals
are and how to reach them.
A new report challenges this conventional idea of students
and urges college leaders to embrace the colorful, offbeat
postsecondary students of the twenty-first century. Based on
the report commissioned by the American Council on Education
(ACE), this relatively homogenous body of students that our