The CIO Minute: Institutions as Credential Aggregators

I think the students in our future, whether it's five years out or 10 years out, are going to be coming to us with a very different set of expectations. We're already seeing the generation of digital natives coming to our campuses, and they have expectations about how we'll be able to support them through a whole variety of mechanisms, whether it's mobile technology or personalized, individualized technology. I think that trend, that expectation of students will continue to evolve enormously over the next five to 10 years. We'll see students coming to us with a whole variety of prior learning experiences that they expect to be recognized and incorporated into their course of study that they undertake with us, whatever that may be.

I think we're going to see students that are coming to us with expectations about our ability to provide them with alternative kinds of certifications, particularly around competencies, as opposed to simply a general purpose degree. I think that students are going to be engaging in a variety of academic experiences with a whole number of institutions, and they're going to want to be able to consolidate that and aggregate that under a home institution where they can fulfill their credential requirement or their degree requirement and move on to whatever it is their goal is in life.

I think that's going to require us to have a level of flexibility and agility that we're getting good at, but we've still got a long way to go in order to meet those expectations. Even though five or 10 years in the future may seem a ways down the road, in terms of the effort it's going to take for us to be ready for that, it's not a lot of time.