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Higher Education

Higher education has never mattered so much and to so many as a means of social mobility, an engine of economic growth, and a defender of democracy. In order for higher education to fulfill its promise as a great equalizer, we need continued innovation that can move us toward increased access, affordability and equity.
Higher Education National Education Technology Plan

The Office of Educational Technology believes that the technologies available today provide us an opportunity to create a system of higher education that provides excellent education and ensures even greater equity for our students tomorrow.

Reimagining the Role of Technology in Higher Education

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Higher Education Supplement to the National Education Technology Plan

Reimagining the Role of Technology in Higher Education is written as a supplement to the National Educational Technology Plan (NETP), building on its principles and examining them in the context of the system of higher education. It sets a vision for use of educational technology to improve instruction, learning, and assessment, and that recognizes the role of technology in accelerating our efforts to address issues of access, affordability, and completion at a systemic level.

The supplement also explores the complex ecosystem of lifelong, lifewide postsecondary learning and the ways that technology can be used to serve the needs of all the students in our system of higher education. The supplement describes specific actions that institutions, instructors, researchers, and policymakers, can collaborate to ensure that the system of higher education continues to innovate and improve to provide all learners with opportunities for personal growth and prosperity.

Higher Education Innovation

Educational Quality through Innovative Partnerships (EQUIP)

ED invited eight selected partnerships between institutions of higher education and non-traditional providers to participate in the EQUIP experiment. Under this experiment, partnerships of postsecondary institutions, one or more non-traditional education providers, and a quality assurance entity will ensure transparency of student outcomes in learning and employment, and provide tools for ongoing quality improvement. Eligible programs will lead to a degree or certificate, build students’ transferable academic credits, and provide students with the ever-changing skills they need for today’s economy.

These partnerships will allow students—particularly low-income students—to access federal student aid for the first time to enroll in programs offered by non-traditional training providers, in partnership with colleges and universities, including coding bootcamps, online courses, and employer organizations. The goals of the experiment are to: (1) test new ways of allowing Americans from all backgrounds to access innovative learning and training opportunities that lead to good jobs, but that fall outside the current financial aid system; and (2) strengthen approaches for outcomes-based quality assurance processes that focus on student learning and other outcomes. The experiment aims to promote and measure college access, affordability, and student outcomes.

For more details about the experiment see the EQUIP program Information Page and the Federal Register Notice, which contains official details of the program.

Reimagining Higher Ed

Paul Freedman, founder and CEO of Entangled Ventures, discusses their work with higher education institutions to develop new models.

Recent Events

Throughout the summer, the U.S. Department of Education participated in a series of Ed Tech Meet-ups to explore innovation in higher education and the role of technology in promoting equality of opportunity for all students. Comments and feedback from each meeting will be taken into consideration for the National Ed Tech Plan for Higher Education.

San Francisco Ed Tech Meet-up

Wednesday, August 31, 2016 | 6:30 PM PST

Galvanize Speakeasy | 44 Tehama St, San Francisco, CA 94105

Boston Ed Tech Meet-up

Tuesday, August 23, 2016 | 6:00 to 8:00 PM EST

LearnLaunch | 281 Summer Street, Boston, MA 02210

New York City Ed Tech Meet-up

Wednesday, August 10, 2016 | 6:30 to 8:30 PM

General Assembly NYC | 10 E 21st St, New York, NY 10010

Reimagining Higher ED

On June 30, 2016, the US Department of Education held a convening on Reimagining Higher Education. Thought leaders and practitioners from across the country were invited to discuss the challenges and opportunities for bold change to increase opportunity and student success–in particular focusing on how this innovation can serve the needs and protect the interests of low-income students. Discussions centered on new models, credentialing, and an overarching focus on research in the higher ed space.

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