A New Playbook for Higher Education

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In her new book, “Impacting the Future of Higher Education,” Becky Takeda-Tinker, PhD, president and CEO of Colorado State University Global, shares an innovative new higher education model designed to prompt colleges and universities to rethink how to better serve students. The book also outlines the significant benefits of this new paradigm to students, graduates, and the U.S. economy.

Greenwood Village, CO (Sept. 13, 2017)—At a time when college tuition increases are outpacing inflation, and 80% of Americans agree that colleges and universities need to change dramatically to meet the needs of modern learners (Gallup), Dr. Becky Takeda-Tinker, president and CEO of Colorado State University Global (CSU Global), has entered the conversation with a new book, offering her university’s roadmap as a new model for higher education.

Impacting the Future of Higher Education: Insight into a New Model that Works for Students, Academic Institutions and America, offers lessons learned, and strategies deployed during Takeda-Tinker’s tenure at CSU Global, the nation’s first and only 100 percent online, nonprofit, independently accredited state institution. Under her leadership, CSU Global has not increased tuition in more than six years, while recording exemplary data on student and alumni academic and workplace success. Remarkably, the institution also operates without state financial support.

In her insightful book – scheduled for release Sept. 18 – Takeda-Tinker throws open the CSU Global playbook. She defines the university’s online model for nontraditional students, most of whom work and support families while attending school. Takeda-Tinker examines nontraditional students’ need to access classes anytime, from anywhere, while receiving a high quality, affordable education that provides a measurable return on investment.

Educating these students is not only critical to the success of CSU Global, but to the success of the nation, argues Takeda-Tinker. The majority of students today are working adults, and many have started down the path of higher education only to drop out due to time and money constraints. Takeda-Tinker notes the urgent need to help these students complete degrees if our nation wants to maintain its competitive advantage in a global marketplace, and revive a healthy middle class.

Takeda-Tinker speaks from direct experience. Under her watch, CSU Global retention and graduation rates are significantly above the national average, and surveys reveal that more than 95 percent of employers are satisfied with CSU Global graduates. Takeda-Tinker lays out road-tested, successful strategies developed at CSU Global and demonstrates how these strategies could transform other institutions. They include:

  • Offering degree programs limited to those with current and future job growth that provide living wages, while eliminating programs when demand for those jobs slows, or wages fall.
  • Keeping students informed as to the demand and salaries of specific degrees, while providing technology to cross-reference job opportunities by geography, required skills and credentials, and salary data to bring students up to speed on the realities of market demands.
  • Acquiring faculty with a combination of appropriate academic credentials and direct industry experience in their field to provide students with practical, real-world insight and advice on workplace requirements.
  • Measuring student success against both academic and real-world outcomes through independent assessments of student learning and academic skill growth, soft skill aptitude, salary outcomes, employer feedback, and evaluation scores, as well as alumni satisfaction.
  • Offering options for competency-based credit programs, as well as transfer credit opportunities, to lower time and cost to degree completion.
  • Locking in tuition rates for the length of students’ programs, so that they can financially plan to complete their academic goals before they begin their first class at the university. The university has also eliminated traditional student fees.
  • Making the education process transparent and intuitive to facilitate student focus on academics rather than technology wrangling.
  • Offering intensive student support: 24/7 live tutoring, technical support, library and career center access, and career coaching at no additional cost.
  • Budgeting based on student needs rather than institutional status quo.
  • Running a lean organization where interdepartmental collaboration and individual accountability are inherent in the organizational culture.

In the book, Takeda-Tinker shows us a way to move higher education forward in hopes of inspiring other institutions to rethink prevailing paradigms. “So much rides on our educational system – the lives of millions of people and their families. For them, and for our country, we need higher education, but we also need institutions that provide alternatives to the traditional Ivy League and research university models to successfully address the diversity of modern learners and their individual goals. CSU Global has demonstrated that its non-traditional model can successfully serve students I hope that it will be seen as a positive contributor towards the next era of higher education.”

About Colorado State University Global

Colorado State University Global (CSU Global) offers career relevant bachelor’s and master’s degree programs for working adults and nontraditional learners. As the first and only 100% online, fully accredited public university in the United States, CSU Global is focused on student success as its number one priority. Embracing the land grant heritage as part of the Colorado State University System, CSU Global sets the standard for quality and innovation in higher education through its expert faculty who are recognized as industry leaders and trained in working with adults in an online learning environment. CSU Global offers a streamlined enrollment process with accelerated eight week courses that start every four weeks. Visit CSUGlobal.edu or call 1-800-920-6723 for more information. 

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