Reengineering Education for the 21st Century

Jan 5, 2015 · 2 min read

By Steven Mintz, Executive Director

This post was originally published on LinkedIn.

As its name indicates, the Institute for Transformational Learning is wholeheartedly committed to developing the next-generation curricular and instructional designs, pedagogies, delivery modalities, educational infrastructures, and student support systems that will make a UT-quality education more affordable, accessible, and successful.

With more than 165,000 undergraduates and over 50,000 graduate and professional students, the University of Texas System reflects the extraordinary diversity of public higher education in the 21st century. Forty-five percent of its undergrads are African American or Hispanic. A quarter are part-time students, 40 percent are Pell Grant recipients, 39 percent are transfer students, and 43 percent combine their studies with paid work.

Established by the Board of Regents in 2012 and funded with $50 million, the ITL is uniquely positioned to address the challenges facing postsecondary education in Texas. We are implementing a bold plan to significantly increase the number of bachelor degree holders, reduce time to degree, and close the attainment gap for traditionally underrepresented populations.

Our plan rests on four game-changing ideas:

  1. Competency-based degree pathways that can begin as early as middle school in areas of high employment demand.
  2. Flexible instructional delivery models to better meet students’ demanding schedules.
  3. A state-of-the-art educational infrastructure to provide just in time support and services to students from the moment they apply to the moment they graduate and gain employment in their chosen career.
  4. Advanced learning analytics to flag students at-risk of failure, help faculty personalize instruction, alert students to “toxic” course combinations, and allow administrators to assess the effectiveness of their advising programs and student support services.

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