The Balancing Act for Education: Access, Equity, Completion and Learning

mark and gerardoAs I’m writing this, I’m packing a suitcase, this time for a road trip to this year’s Innovations Conference. I’m presenting there with my good friend and fellow education instigator, Dr. Gerardo de los Santos. Gerardo has joined Civitas Learning as a senior fellow and has been instrumental in the launch of our Next Generation Leadership Academy. The Academy works with up and coming leaders at select institutions to prepare them to lead in the age of analytics.

Most of you know Gerardo from his tenure at the League of Innovation where he served for many years, 10 of them as president. He is a nationally-recognized champion of equity in higher education and saw first-hand the interesting evolution across higher education as we moved from access imperatives to a completion agenda. As that process unfolded, he was an unyielding champion of the idea that we could not leave behind our commitment to access and equity as we embraced an increased focus on completion.

Gerardo and I open each Next Generation Leadership Academy with a session on Access, Success and Equity, where we explore the history of this movement in higher education. As he and I present at the Innovations Conference together on our newest key-trends survey in higher education (more on that later!), we wanted to share the podcast on this increasingly important topic as well. Listen in as we wrestle with the ever-challenging interplay of access, success, equity and student learning.

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  1. KB says:

    Great conversation; thanks! I have the same concerns as Gerardo regarding the conflict of (and need to balance) success with access. For instance, the Tennessee Promise grant gives high school graduates the ability to attend the community college tuition-free; however, there is a requirement to attend full time. Many of our students, even upon high school graduation, have “life” responsibilities/demands, challenges that are barriers to their attendance as a full-time student. If these students could enroll part-time we stand a better chance of retaining them through to success.

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