The Next Open Decade and Higher Education: Toward Equity of Access for Unemployed Workers

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Issue Date
2013-08-15
Authors
Alan Davis, Edward Warzala
Tina Wagle
Publisher
Keywords
Unemployed Workers , Open SUNY
Abstract
The proposal responds to the following conference themes and objectives: • To assess, based on the best available evidence, ideas, and practices from across the U.S. and around the world, how universities and colleges can exert greater impact on economic growth • To cultivate greater understanding among elected officials, business representatives, policymakers and other concerned parties about the central roles universities and colleges play in national, state, and local economies Why This, Why Now? American public higher education was established to provide access to individuals who for one reason or another could not attend private, elite colleges and universities. The State University of New York (SUNY) was founded in 1948 primarily to serve this end. Despite this fundamental commitment, displaced workers and adult learners are not adequately served by traditional, public institutions. The majority of public colleges and universities still adhere to the traditional term based calendar of scheduling and traditional classroom teaching, which serves traditional age (18-24) residential students, but does not benefit adults who must work, support families, and are often place bound. With official national unemployment rates hovering around 10%, and with pockets of unemployment reaching 25%, the need for flexible, open and online educational alternatives is called for. Open learning reduces barriers and only public higher education is equipped to provide affordable access that adults and displaced workers need to retrain and reenter the workforce.
Description
The proposal responds to the following conference themes and objectives: • To assess, based on the best available evidence, ideas, and practices from across the U.S. and around the world, how universities and colleges can exert greater impact on economic growth • To cultivate greater understanding among elected officials, business representatives, policymakers and other concerned parties about the central roles universities and colleges play in national, state, and local economies
DOI