Saturday, August 12, 2023

The Week in Review (August 12, 2023)

Here are some brief thoughts on this last week.

1. Been some crazy weeks. My organization, Campus Edu, has really hit its stride. We built some beautiful courses, and now we are getting them to people who want them. 

The challenge to the start-up I'm part of has never been what we are creating. When we first showed off the online courses we had created with partner schools, students loved them. I remember showing them off in the student center at one college. There was great interest among students. The institution itself effectively kiboshed it.

The challenge has always been institutional friction rather than market demand, for predictable reasons. Roadblocks. "Oh, that's not going to count for what you need." "You can do it but you'll have to transfer it back in from elsewhere." The normal friction of the academy weighs down many an initiative until they collapse and die. I also get the fear of self-cannibalization.

Accordingly, we have been working more intentionally on the high school space. Colleges are bleeding credits to things like dual credit, dual enrollment, and early college. With colleges losing as much as two years of a student to these factors, colleges should be digging into the high school market. Why yield that space to the local community college?

It's happening.

2. I was looking at some pictures of the fires in Hawaii. Very sad. The realities of climate change will become more and more apparent. I'm part of the problem. I would love to get a hybrid or electric vehicle, but it just doesn't fit my budget. So I can't really point the finger at anyone. I am everyman.

I was sad to see one college close its sustainability program. But Christian colleges are all swinging to the right at the moment. The result of practically every Christian college presidential search I know in the last two years has, more than anything else, been a swing to the right.

I'm watching to see whether it helps enrollment. There are two lines of thought. Is the most likely new student for a Christian college more socially conservative or progressive? I suspect that, in general, that age demographic is more progressive now in the US. However, it may very well be that this demographic is more conservative in terms of the most likely Christian college recruitee. We'll see if this approach to college presidencies yields enrollment fruit.

However, my understanding on the question of sustainability is that the age demographic is pretty consistently in favor of sustainability across left and right. I see it as an area that colleges might profitably explore as a recruitment strategy. 

3. For the last few weeks, I've been creating a Udemy course on Romans. My plan is to open it up next weekend, Saturday August 19, 2023. I still have a few more videos to make, but I'm close. It will be about 11 hours of video, and I'll add other features over time.

I hope any readers are having a good day as you read this.


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