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The State of Hire Education

Spend enough time with me, and you’ll likely be subjected to my regular rants about the state of U.S. Higher Education, which I consider our nation’s most pressing societal issue. Seriously.

Historically, college has leveled the playing field between the privileged and everyone else. But that field has become a steep hill of student loan debt for the next generation of taxpayers and consumers.

In no other industry have costs risen so unabated while outcomes remained stagnant. Yes, healthcare costs have exploded in recent decades too. But guess what? We live longer now. We have cured diseases and developed artificial knees and hips and organs.

Higher education, however, is largely unchanged and scarcely more effective than it was in the 1940s.

The good news? Disruption is everywhere and gathering more steam.

Competency-based learning models and adaptive learning highlight a few promising developments fueled by an army of edutech entrepreneurs and academic innovators. Let’s all cheer the progress and push for more change.

For now, I’m off to the bank to make another deposit into those college funds. Has anyone seen my wheelbarrow?


Hire Education: Online Competency-based Learning 

Pairing workforce needs with specific learning outcomes.

Watch now – 2 min.


The Walking Debt

Student loan debt continues to widen the wealth divide.

Read more – 4 min.


Udacity piloting “Nanodegrees”

Industry credentials for today’s technology jobs.

Read more – 3 min.



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Don Smithmier

A stirred—not shaken—cocktail of cool calculation and wild creativity, Don is the high-beam examination of all things we create, build and release to the world, keeping us on-task, on-budget and all of our work on-point. He’s also a freakishly fine musician, as well as the spark that ignited an online education revolution.

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