Feds to test financial aid for unorthodox college programs

New times, new thinking, new models  – responding to the needs of society. Great pilot!

In an experiment backed by the federal government, Northeastern University and General Electric are offering a new manufacturing degree program to be taught primarily at the company’s work sites. Students will take online courses through the university, undergo training at a GE plant and earn a bachelor’s degree within three years.

The biggest twist: For the first time, students who enroll in that kind of partnership will be eligible for federal financial aid.

Read details here.

Measuring University-Business Cooperation

Screenshot 2014-07-08 17.28.17The OECD has released this interesting report (which can be downloaded for free) “presents two, linked, approaches that can be used to assess university-business cooperation in the field of education: a scorecard and an assessment framework that can be used for project planning and the assessment of investment proposals. Both can be used for assessing the progress of projects, from different perspectives, and both can be used for assessing the success of cooperation projects.”

I am happy to say that I helped develop Figure 1.2 on page 10 while I was at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez with Wayne Johnson, who at the time was director of university relations at Microsoft. We later refined it while working at HP Labs and it appears to have viraled around HP!

Understanding 7 Things about ASEAN

Founded in 1967, ASEAN today encompasses Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam—economies at vastly different stages of development but all sharing immense growth potential. This McKinsey Report shares seven insights that provide a snapshot of one of the world’s most diverse, fast-moving, and competitive regions. The region’s growth has been stable since 2000. By 2025, the number of consuming households in ASEAN is expected to almost double.

Quality of College Grads Questionable (again)

Only 11% of business leaders “strongly agree” that today’s graduates have the competencies needed, compared to 96% of colleges/universities chief academic officers stating they are “extremely or somewhat confident” in their institution’s ability to prepare students for the work force, according to this CHE article that reflects on a Gallup/Lumina survey. What will it take for universities to listen and change to better serve society?