Top 10 issues & trends impacting higher education in 2016

President John Ebersole penned an article for the Huffington Post Education blog listing his ‘Top 10 Issues & Trends’ that will impact higher education in 2016.

In 2014, I wrote that the “currents of change have propelled the sector toward, or onto, one rock after another.” Two years later, higher education continues to evolve. The following includes the top issues and trends impacting higher education in 2016.

1. Presidential politics will keep higher education in the national spotlight this year. This won’t necessarily be a good thing for the sector as the focus will be on cost and affordability.

2. Higher Education Act (HEA) reauthorization has become the topic that refuses to go away. Now three years since its last “reauthorization,” the Act, with its great impact on higher education broadly appears more likely to pass thanks to Republican control of both houses of Congress.

3. Quality assurance will become an overarching concern of both state and federal regulators as the role of accreditors is forced more in the direction of regulatory compliance. What constitutes “quality” will be the subject of much debate.

4. Online education will resume its growth as back-at-work learners see continued need for credentials. While not returning to the double-digit levels fueled by proprietary school marketing, a solid 6 to 8 percent can be expected as the stigma of online study recedes.

5. Competency-Based Education (CBE) is no flash-in-the-pan and will regain momentum after the cold water delivered by the Department of Ed’s IG last fall (in its criticism of the Higher Learning Commission’s oversight of such programs). Clouds will remain, however, as institutions continue to wrestle with lack of a common vocabulary and standards.

To read the full article, please visit the Huffington Post Education blog.