Shaping the Conversation About Higher Education

I spend much of my time in this space discussing the trends in higher education and how I see the space evolving. From new types of degrees to how to most effectively deliver online programming to where the money is in higher education, I am fascinated by this dynamic time in our industry.

Now, we are bringing some of the best minds in the industry together to discuss these trends at the Connect 2016 Higher Education Summit. This will be the seventh time Learning House has hosted the conference, and I have to say, I think we are really going to be able to move the needle on the conversation about where and how higher education is transforming. We’ll be exploring what the future of higher education holds, and how institutions can plan for success in a dramatically changing industry. In a world where we are redefining education, how can traditional institutions adapt? Connect 2016 should help answer these questions and more.

Here are just some of the highlights from our agenda:

Revolution in Higher Education will feature Richard DeMillo, Executive Director of the Center for 21st Century Universities. He will discuss how technology is revolutionizing the university of the 21st century and reshaping how we view education. I believe this is a critically important conversation for us to be having; with costs skyrocketing and public discourse questioning the value of a college education, it is up to us to redefine what higher education can do and the worth it brings.

Cultivating the STEM Mindset will share how STEM is more than a discipline – it’s a state of mind. Big data expert and professor Dr. Talithia Williams will discuss how to incorporate the mindset of STEM, with its emphasis on data, research and quality decision making, into every facet of higher education. As anyone who regularly reads this blog knows, I am a big fan of data, so this topic really resonates with me. By cultivating the practice of STEM principles into our thinking, we can make better decisions, faster.

Looking Ahead: The Future of Higher Education brings together some of the great minds in higher education today, including Richard Garrett, Chief Research Officer at Eduventures; Pamela Tate, President and CEO at the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning; and Trace Urdan, Managing Director and Senior Analyst at Credit Suisse. They will discuss some of the major trends shaping higher education today, and tomorrow. Covering everything from the for-profit space to alternative credentials to international trends and more, they will help us reshape the conversation about higher education.

Online College Students 2016 will present the findings from the fifth annual research report, produced by Learning House and Aslanian Market Research. In this report, one of the nation’s only studies of fully online students, we survey 1,500 past, present and prospective online students to unearth what they really want from online education. From what fields of study are most popular to what marketing messages resonate the most to why they want to study online, learn what online college students truly needs from their educational experience. I am proud every year when we release this report, because it provides important data that can be turned into effective action.

Building Bridges to Grow Community College Partnerships will feature a panel from Stark State College, King University and Concordia University, St. Paul as they discuss the benefits, and best practices, for developing partnerships with area community colleges. Community colleges are an underutilized resource, one that I am always encouraging our partners to tap into. But building these relationships can be difficult, especially when you’re competing with state institutions that have long-standing relationships with area community colleges. Now, you can learn some innovative techniques from the people who implemented them, and understand how and why these partnerships work.

Strategies for Prioritizing Online Program Development will help you understand what programs to offer, and why. Lesley University’s Director of Market Research and Intelligence for Enrollment Management, as well as the Manager for Market Research at Learning House, will discuss the kind of information that is needed to make smart decisions about program offerings. I talk all the time about providing programs that bring ROI not only to institutions, but also to students. By offering programs that develop skills in in-demand fields, you can improve outcomes and build your brand’s reputation. But with the plethora of data available, it can be tough to hear the answer through the noise.

Preparing for Adaptive Learning and Competency-Based Education is a session that is close to my heart. As I’ve discussed before, I firmly believe that competency-based education will play a significant role in how we deliver education in the 21st century. As the amount of knowledge in the world expands and the number of skills adults need to know to become productive workers changes, so too do their educational needs. By providing competency-based education, we can help make education more efficient and effective. Adaptive learning will help institutions deliver a better educational experience by meeting students where they are and providing a flexible learning environment that is designed with the student’s needs in mind.

These are just some of the sessions we are featuring at Connect 2016; visit the agenda page to see a complete list. Then, I would like to invite you to join us July 20-21 here in Louisville, Kentucky to be a part of the conversation. Register today to reserve your spot! Enter in code TLHFriend to save $150 on your registration.

About Todd Zipper

Todd Zipper serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer at Learning House. He joined Learning House as Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer during the Weld North Holdings LLC acquisition in 2011. In his role, Todd oversees all operations and provides strategic management. Before joining Learning House, Todd co-founded and served as Chief Operating Officer for Education Connection. Todd can be reached at: