5 higher ed issues the presidential hopefuls should be talking about

New learning models and higher ed costs should be among the candidates' top priorities

As election season draws nearer the presidential candidates should keep five key higher education issues at the forefront, Laura Devaney writes for eCampus News

1. Cost of higher education

The presumptive presidential nominees have both discussed the costs of higher education. Democratic presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton has proposed the New College Compact, under which students would not have to borrow money to pay for tuition or books at a public four-year college in their state. Family contributions would also be evaluated. Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump has said in interviews that the federal government should not profit from student loans.

Also see: What really drives college costs?

2. Competency-based education

As students seek more affordable means of attaining higher education, colleges are implementing competency-based education programs as incentive to enroll. While competency-based programs are becoming more popular, federal regulations could hinder their growth.

3. MOOCs

MOOCs are another controversial topic in higher education, with some groups filing lawsuits alleging violation of anti-discrimination laws. University compliance with accessibility requirements will become an important point in the conversation about MOOCs. 

Related: MOOC 2.0 and beyond—expectations vs. reality

4. Accreditation

The Education Department has announced numerous legislative proposals to overhaul accreditation that would make the process more transparent and uniform. The topic of accreditation has been a hot topic, with many arguing that the system is broken. The California Community Colleges Board of Governors recently voted to oust the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.

5. Admissions

Social media is changing many areas of higher education, but has particularly affected admissions. Many colleges are increasingly using social media across the enrollment process, but according to a recent report, they still have a long way to go to understand how teens prefer to communicate with colleges online (Devaney, eCampus News, 6/10). 

Beyond test scores: Predicting retention using application behaviors


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