Sunday, December 25, 2011

This Week's Reading List

A law school sues the ABA over it's decision to deny accreditation, MIT makes an attempt to disrupt higher education, and a community college on the cutting edge gets some well deserved attention, all on this week's reading list.

Less important is the substance of this one decision by the ABA, but in the larger context of the relationship between schools and accrediting bodies this is one worth watching. Accrediting bodies lack the resources necessary to defend themselves from lawsuits by large or for-profit institutions who use the courts to appeal decisions they don't like. Because of this mismatch in resources, can traditional accrediting bodies really be expected to police higher education effectively?

MIT's plans to offer basic credentials, through a non-profit affiliate, for those who master competencies through free online courses similar to its OpenCourseWare initiative. Many questions abound, particularly whether employers and institutions alike will recognize MITx credentials. The more interesting question for me: will students in traditional degree programs continue to accept that portions of their rising tuition bills are undoubtably subsidizing free initiatives such as these?

Perhaps the community college leader when it comes to using technology to build scalable, inexpensive college courses for both traditional and non-traditional students, Rio Salado College's innovative approach to pedagogy and learning gets some long overdue coverage.

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