Be a valuable source of lifelong learning

Key takeaways

  • Build lifelong relationship with students by being a continuous source of learning
  • Use technology to adapt to the ways that students want to learn

Kevin Quinn, President, Aquinas College

For me, the vision of the future of higher ed is a little less dire, I think, than it is than others have said. We're dealing with, in most of the country, declining perspective traditional undergraduate student populations. And that's hitting us all hard. We all know that.

But the other thing I would say is that we have to make sure that we separate out what we have done from what is timeless.

I also think that we need to make sure that we have lifelong relationships with our students.

And I just don't mean as alums and we invite them to football games, and we ask them for money every Christmas, but rather that we are a source of lifelong learning for them in a way that is valuable.

We're in a position now, I think, where we have to monetize that differently than just sort of relying upon donations. So maybe there are some more formal delivery of those credentials or something like that. But I think that it really is about lifelong relationships with folks.

We have to make sure that we understand who our students are and understand that not every 17 or 18-year-old, or not every mid-career person that's looking to make a change, they're not all the same.

And we have to make sure that, not only are we just tailoring the messages about what we do to them, but actually what we do needs to adapt to the way that they want to learn. And this is where technology, I think, is particularly important.

So, we have to find out what it is they want to do. And then, we have to explain, to the right students, how what we do is interesting to them.

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