Friday, February 13, 2015

Creating Higher College Value By Connecting to the Business Community

A common question arises about how to raise the value of higher education. With any societal institution there are stakeholders who look on at the changes and scratch their head as if to state something helpful. Alas nothing comes out! Connecting the business community and their ideas to higher educational may just help raise the value of a college education while promoting higher forms of experimental knowledge.

The end user is the ultimate feedback loop that evaluates the product as successful or a failure. The same concept applies to higher education, government, or retail outlets. If the end users are not happy with the product then it will have less value in the future. Turning the scratching of heads into  useful dialogue may just shed a little light on methods of improving higher education output for public consumption.

Advanced economies encourage the creation and dissemination of knowledge for growth. Higher education is the formal institution in charge of that process and fosters higher levels of learning. Developing higher education to advance the civic and economic output of society is fundamental to its existence. Universities should be concerned with the quality and cost of their output.

Higher education develops products in the form of knowledge, degrees and intellectual contributions. End users have a vested interested in the the production of that output and their needs should be considered in any meaningful discussion. Drawing in the businesses community helps to develop stronger curriculum and better scientific models.

Curriculum:The business community is an important source for understanding their employment needs. Curriculum that offers the type of knowledge needed to further society and business interests helps expand America's economic influence. Universities should seek out the business communities input in terms of what knowledge is needed in the market. Lower level courses offering more basic knowledge when compared to upper level courses that include experimentation and application of new ideas.

Experimentation: Ideas developed in academia need to be tested somewhere. Typically after initial experimentation a model is defined and published. A few businesses may read these scientific discoveries and apply the same concepts to their business. Connecting the business community with universities to test and try out new theoretical models encourages faster innovation in society. Business becomes the feedback loop and turns the theoretical into the practical.

Business colleges have a great advantage if they develop appropriate mechanisms to harness the power of the business community and draw them into the discussion to help develop programs that are beneficial to compete in today's market. Modern technology offers the ability to poll and synthesize information that was not possible just a decade ago. Higher education can exploit this information to raise its societal and market value.

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