Last updated: April 08. 2014 11:58PM - 1022 Views

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YELLOW SPRINGS — With its long history of leading innovations in higher education that serve learners and support its mission, Antioch University has been invited to participate in three major national efforts that will explore, discuss and design ways to re-envision higher education for the benefit of today’s students.

“At Antioch University, we want to be at the forefront of national discussions regarding how higher education can and should adapt to meet the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s adult learners,” said Antioch University Chancellor Felice Nudelman. “We have a history of challenging the norms with the student at the center, and all three of these initiatives will engage us in national debates that could help reshape higher education.”

Through a competitive process, the Competency-based Education Network (C-BEN) accepted Antioch University as one of 18 higher education institutions and two major systems to participate in its first cohort, which will hold its first meeting in mid-April.

The Network will address common challenges in designing and developing competency-based degree programs and related business models. In particular, Antioch University will focus on business processes and systems such as adapting or inventing new back-office practices to support new delivery models, tracking students’ achievement of competencies, and implementing new student information systems. The ongoing R&D efforts of the participating institutions undertaken as part of this network will be coordinated by Public Agenda and funded by the Lumina Foundation.

Antioch University has been accepted into the second cohort of institutions to participate in the Higher Learning Commission’s Academy on Student Persistence and Completion. Through the Academy, Antioch University will build its capacity to improve students’ persistence and completion in their undergraduate degree programs by focusing on effective collection of data, evaluation and improvement of current strategies, and the development of new strategies.

Through Next Generation Learning Challenges, Antioch University is joining eight other colleges and universities to form incubator teams that will re-think education and business models as they consider competency-based program development. As part of the University’s academic strategic planning process, we will explore the development of a competency-based, undergraduate degree completion program to serve a national market through Antioch University Connected (online). Each institution will receive a $50,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support their participation.

Antioch University will tap expertise from across its five campuses to participate in the three efforts and will be looking for models that can better serve the adult learner population, which is the university’s core audience. These learners come to Antioch mainly with prior working experience and a strong interest to advance personally and professionally in a socially conscious fashion. The university serves them at the undergraduate completion level, as well as through certificates, master’s and doctoral programs at campuses in Keene, N.H.; Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, Calif.; Seattle, Wash., and Yellow Springs, Ohio, as well as through distance learning programs.

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