There does not have to be a “one size fits all” approach to education. With busy lifestyles, it is common for some students to pursue a four-year degree from a public institution while others are exploring a for-profit or career college to better fit their daily routine. Research shows that when it comes to retaining and graduating students, career colleges can compete – and even exceed – their traditional counterparts. And it is thought leaders like Dr. Watson Scott Swail, president and CEO at the Educational Policy Institute, who are leading the way in proving just how successful private sector schools can be.
In 2009, Swail led a study entitled Leveling the Playing Field for All Schools, Including Career Colleges where he compared how private and for-profit institutions serve students and the respective educational outcomes. The results were realistically favorable for career colleges. The study emphasized how these institutions find success by gearing educational programming and providing support toward adult learners who have adult responsibilities and additional risks to consider. For example, the study identified that approximately half of students attending career colleges at all levels have at least three of the following risk factors – students are older; they tend to have children; they tend to have less income; and they tend to come from families whose parents, on average, were less likely to go beyond high school than other students.
As I pointed out recently in my Value of Time Shifting post
, sometimes, career college students can really use additional options for opportunities to learn. Classroom lectures used to be the portion of the education experience that were hardest to time shift. That’s really no longer the case (and we’re not just talking about having a friend sneak in a tape recorder)!
Modern, everyday technologies like smartphones, Flip! video cameras
, a Blackboard Building Block (TM)
, make it simple for students or teachers to take their in-class learning experiences with them. In fact, some schools are embracing this as the norm.
I’d bet the most well known example of time shifting is when you record TV shows on your DVR or TiVO and then watch them later. But it’s also what Blackboard
enables you to do for your education. Think “on-demand” lectures and “at-your-leisure” collaboration. Not a bad idea, is it?
This is particularly valuable for people in career colleges
who have jobs, families, and other obligations to balance with their education. Blackboard facilitates the always-on classroom experience that people with these busy lifestyles demand.
- Informal and social learning keeps busy students actively engaged and on their own schedules
- Assessments that reach above and beyond usual test scores to measure other meaningful outcomes
- Stable and reliable platform that instructors and students can access from the web or mobile devices
Now go ahead and set your study time to whenever you want. We’ll have everything ready for you!
Bersin & Associates, a leading HR research and consulting firm, just released a new report titled “Learning Systems 2011: The Definitive Buyers Guide to the Global Market for Learning Management Solutions.” One of the major findings of the report is that the global Learning Management Systems (LMS) market is likely to grow at nearly three times the rate of the U.S. market in 2011.
Today, for-profit professional and career schools are filling a critical need for non-traditional learners who need to start, continue, or complete postsecondary work as they manage their careers and career transitions. At Blackboard ProEd, we’ve been working to highlight some of the success stories our clients are seeing and show the value these schools provide to students across the nation.