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Navigating the Great Upheaval: Home

Navigating the Great Upheaval In Higher Education

You are invited to participate in "Navigating the Great Upheaval in Higher Education: A 4-Week Learning Challenge." This four-part asynchronous program aims to equip you with essential knowledge, strategies, and tools related to the transformative changes in higher education including fostering innovation, adaptability, and student-centric approaches. 

The United States is currently experiencing a monumental upheaval in higher education, as traditional models and practices are being challenged and transformed. Rapid technological advancements, shifting economic realities, and evolving student demands are reshaping the landscape, pushing institutions to adapt and innovate in order to stay relevant and provide accessible, high-quality education in the face of unprecedented change. 

It’s all well and good to know what the pundits and prognosticators have to say about the state of higher education, but for those of us in the classroom, it’s essential to both acknowledge and address the ground-level realities and challenges that instructors face daily. My hope for this faculty development program is to take big picture concepts and explore them through the lens of teaching and learning, specifically in a community college context when possible. 

How Does the Challenge Work?

The challenge is highly flexible and designed to accommodate individual learners and small groups:

  1. Participate as an individual. Set your own pace and use discussion prompts for reflection. You have the option to join the weekly online events and participate in discussions with colleagues from across the campus.
  2. Participate as a team, department, committee, or with your class. Share the resources and discussion prompts as a group and set your own schedule for reading and discussing. Customize content to reflect your group’s interests and goals.

Each Week Has a Theme

The themes align with the chapters of Levine and Van Pelt’s (2021) The Great Upheaval: Higher Education’s Past, Present, and Uncertain Future but expands the conversation beyond the book.

Week 1 — Looking Backward: How did we get here?

Week 2 — Looking Forward: Where are we going?

Week 3 — Looking Sideways: What can we learn from others?

Week 4 — Looking at the Panorama: What will change and when?

You can find a fairly comprehensive summary of The Great Upheaval in the following review:

Weekly Resources and Discussion Prompts

Every week, participants will be prompted to access:

  • 3-5 short readings, videos, or other resources based on the week's theme

  • 3-4 discussion prompts for the week, which can be used for personal reflection and small-group discussion

  • A virtual community space for sharing thoughts, ideas, and resources (see sidebar for more information)

  • A link to the virtual meetings in which participants can discuss the week’s theme and resources

Community Conversations

Community Conversation events are open to all members of the COD community. Registration and Zoom URLs are available in Cornerstone.

Week 1 — Looking Backward

Thursday, October 5 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM
"Looking Backward: How Did We Get Here?" - SRC 3144
Hosted by Jenn Kelley and Pam McGowan

Join the Community Conversation as we look to the past to provide context for the radical transformation that higher education is currently undergoing.

Week 2 — Looking Forward

Tuesday, October 10 | 10:30 - 11:45 AM
"Expanding Student Learning Through Immersive Experiences" - BIC 3465
Hosted by the Immersive Learning Committee

Join the Immersive Learning Committee and see how to expand student learning through virtual field trips without leaving campus! This week’s session is held in conjunction with October In-Service

Week 3 — Looking Sideways

Friday, October 20 | 1:00 - 2:00 PM
New Models of Higher Education” - Zoom
Hosted by Jenn Kelley and Pam McGowan

Are we on the brink of a transformative era in education, where subscription-based models, personalized learning, and cutting-edge technologies will reshape accessibility, quality, and the very essence of learning itself? This Community Conversation will explore the potential consequences, innovations, and opportunities that new models of higher education present for educators and learners.

Week 4 — Looking at the Panorama

Thursday, October 26 | 12:30 - 1:30 PM
"Everything Has to Change. Yesterday." - BIC 3465 (Immersive Visualization Lab)
Hosted by Chris Miller and Jason Snart

In this session Chris Miller and Jason Snart will facilitate discussion on the idea of adaptation as it is presented in Arthur Levine and Scott VanPelt's The Great Upheaval. We will center the discussion around this quote from a 2021 book talk: institutions at which "students are more likely to come simply to take their courses and go home are really ripe for disruption and those include institutions like community colleges." What disruptions could we imagine were we to build a college from the ground up?

Friday, October 27 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM
"What Will Change and When?" - Zoom
Hosted by Dan Kovach and Matt Simoneau

Join our guest hosts, Dan Kovach and Matt Simoneau from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Drs. Kovach and Simoneau will guide this Community Conversation on the future of higher education.

Wrap Up - Looking from the Students' Perspective

Wednesday, November 1 | 4:00 - 5:00 PM
Navigating the Great Upheaval: Student Roundtable - Hyflex: BIC3439 or Zoom
Hosted by Aleisha Balestri

How are students navigating the great upheaval of higher education? Our 4-week learning challenge program wraps up with a focus on the student perspective on the ongoing changes in higher education. In this hyflex roundtable session, participants will have the opportunity to hear students' experiences of college as it transforms, adapts, and is disrupted around them.

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  • Last Updated: Oct 25, 2023 11:35 AM
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