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Trends in Higher Education - Part 1: Emerging trends


Higher education is changing. Fast. From the increasing competition in the work force, to changes in enrollment types and levels, American colleges and universities are having to adapt to an increasingly diverse and rapidly evolving society. In that vein, we asked four of the prominent universities in the Region how they plan on meeting these challenges in 2018.

What, as you see them, are the trends in education for 2018?

Calumet College of St. Joseph – Linda Gajewski

Students want a quick start toward meaningful careers, yet the accelerating pace of change in the workplace means that they will face new skill and knowledge requirements throughout their careers. Calumet College of St. Joseph is focused on educating students for life and for a life of change. Our graduates will have the fundamentals of writing, speaking, quantitative skills, and knowledge in their major fields so they can both be successful in their first jobs and adapt to changes in the workplace over time.  

The cost of higher education is a concern to families.  Calumet College is the most affordable private university in the state and is committed to making education affordable and accessible for many.  More high school students are seeking to get a head start on their college career by earning college credit through dual credit programs.  Calumet College offers a number of these courses.   These dual needs -- the need for fundamental skills and the need for knowledge of a particular field -- will remain our priority as we review the strategic plan that will guide us into the future and evaluate new programs, partnerships, and possibilities.

 Indiana University Northwest - Vicki Roman-Lagunas

One of the biggest challenges we face is articulating the value of higher education. What I mean by that is education that goes beyond skill-building for immediate positions in the workforce. There remains a great need to train people how to analyze, problem-solve, work in teams, and communicate well, in addition to giving them skills to perform a certain job.

This is the role of higher education, and the aspect of it that sets individuals apart and gives them more success over their lifetimes. But getting this message across to our prospective students remains ever-challenging. Our residents need to understand why a four-year degree is so important, and why it will make a profound difference in their lives and in their communities, all the while giving them concrete job skills.

Purdue University Northwest - Katie Stompor

We find that more often students are looking for a university with a more personalized approach to education. They want to be engaged in hands-on opportunities that address real-world challenges. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 16:1, our students and alumni consistently state that they benefit from smaller class sizes and one-to-one relationships with instructors as well as applied learning experiences while attending PNW.

PNW offers more than 70 areas of study from undergraduate through master’s degrees and a doctoral practicum on two vibrant campuses, conveniently located in Northwest Indiana. Our tuition is an excellent value compared with other Midwest universities. More than 85 percent of graduates are working or accepted to graduate school upon graduation. We have a network of more than 61,000 living alumni around the country and the globe. All these factors and more make PNW an excellent choice for students seeking a well-rounded higher education experience.

Valparaiso University - Kristen Knoerzer

Health care is a growing industry, particularly in Northwest Indiana, and data is a large focus across multiple industries. As such, many colleges and universities are investing in these areas to better prepare students for growing and emerging job markets. At Valpo, we recently added programs in physician assistant studies, public health, and data science. But even more important that major is equipping students with the skills they need. So, we focus on teaching all students, regardless of major, the skills that employers say they want — communication, collaboration, leadership, and strategic and creative thinking.

Calumet College of St. Joseph
2400 New York Ave
Whiting, IN 46394
(219)-473-7770
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