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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

SNHU's $10K Bachelor's Degree = Rethinking Higher Education Business Models 05-14

SNHU's $10K Bachelor's Degree = Rethinking Higher Education Business Models

The higher education world is abuzz with the news of the disruptive $10,000 bachelors degree launched by Southern New Hampshire University's College for America. We're proud to say we have a connection to this project — we worked with SNHU on a competency-based learning project that was an early conceptual prototype for the $10,000 degree.

BIF-9: Paul LeBlanc from Business Innovation Factory on Vimeo.
SNHU President Paul LeBlanc told the College for America story at BIF9 (video above), describing a process of questioning every assumption about the higher education experience, including basic concepts such as credit hours. Such an online alternative certainly has the potential to distrupt traditional higher education, but LeBlanc told the Boston Globe's innovation columnist, Scott Kirsner, that he "doesn’t see the demise of the traditional college experience that follows high school. That’s an immersive learning experience and rite of passage for many teens entering adulthood. But adults in the workforce who see the benefit in getting a degree — or earning an advanced degree — represent a huge opportunity."
In order to give adult learners access to higher education, LeBlanc said at BIF9, it's necessary to disaggregate the higher-education experience, creating new business models that deliver the kind of education experience needed by groups who differ from more traditional college students.
It's critical to create a higher education business model that would work for "disadvantaged, marginalized hourly workers," LeBlanc said at BIF9, because beyond just offering the chance to get a better job, education "remains the difference-maker in peoples' lives. Education changes the trajectory of peoples' lives."