From Colleges to Community Educational Centers

New focus, pedagogy, and goals for community higher education

The Paradigmatic Problems

At the most obvious level this can be seen in the steady reduction of public support for all education with higher education in the US now based on massive debt born by each student. The increasingly narrow ideological attacks made on public services and higher education are made without thought of any future implications or larger commitment to human advancement. That is an indication of a culture in decline.

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Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash
  • Pending automation of many jobs
  • An arbitrary need for college level credentials to qualify for a living wage
  • Steady decline in the value of traditional degrees in anything other than science and math
  • Shift of cost from state to student for post secondary education
  • Decline in community college enrollments
  • Early conversion of college faculty to the gig economy (50% adjunct, i.e. part time, temporary, no benefits)
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Photo by Patrick Beznoska on Unsplash

The Community Educational Center in 2030

The Community Education Centers have replaced many community colleges, for-profit colleges and the last two years of high school as well as libraries and various community group services. The mission of the Community Education Center consolidates support for all of the older community adult education services with community economic development. The physical facility houses, collaborative learning environments, theaters, and maker spaces both virtual and physical. All physical spaces are fully integrated into mixed reality. Most training, collaboration, and entertainment equipment is virtual with headsets and sensory wearables available for those who do not have their own. This is the primary purpose of the physical center as the great majority of community participants are only occasionally physically present.

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Photo by Eddie Kopp on Unsplash

The Academic Tradition

Based on the steady decrease in full time, traditional faculty positions the nature of those positions has changed to mentoring, tutoring, and social support. Rather than modeled on traditional professor/scholars creating full blown courses or programs, these centers provide a variety of personal and group access to professionally produced informational and training materials.

Educator, CIO, retired entrepreneur, grandfather with occasional fits of humor in the midst of disaster. . .

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