Higher Education Organizational Models Thesis

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Higher Education Models

Higher education has seen significant revolutions over the course of the decades since the popularization of communication media such as the Internet. This has resulted in the demand for a much more flexible learning institution in terms of self-directed and adult education. Furthermore, these changes have also incorporated changes in how education and its institutions are now interacting with bureaucratic and collegial institutions. Indeed, a wider integration of these institutions have taken place with the improvement in speed of electronic communications. In addition to the traditional higher education model, the electronic media have made new models of education possible. Many of these integrate the traditional with the non-traditional, while others completely depart from the traditional model. Nevertheless, it is now more than ever so that these institutions have found themselves increasingly integrated to provide the education client with the necessary tools to make the most of his or her professional potential.

Understanding this new educational paradigm, Hanna (1998) emphasizes that these institutions not only integrate with each other, but also compete in the current higher education marketplace. In this, he identifies seven models that educational institutions might use to appeal to their potential student markets. These include a) Extended traditional universities, b) for-profit adult-centered universities, c) Distance education/technology-based universities, d) Corporate universities, e) University/industry strategic alliances, f) Degree/certification competency-based universities, g) Global multinational universities.

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In the current learning environment, learners have increasingly demanded not only lower costs, but also improved accessibility and convenience. It is in this environment and in response to these demands that an increased number of models have arisen for higher education. Technical advances have played a major role in this trend, as well as in the competition as well as integration of the new institutions arising as a result.

Thesis on Higher Education Organizational Models Assignment

In order to highlight the differentiation between traditional institutions, corporate universities, and non-traditional institutions, Hanna (1998, p. 68) has compared his seven models of higher learning in terms of a number of paradigms, including input, funding, philosophy, governance, etc. Traditional colleges and universities are for example defined as including a residential student body, a geographic service area, full-time faculty members, a central, physical library, and the evaluation of organizational effectiveness.

Non-traditional institutions tend to differentiate from this primarily by means of an online instructional presence. This has been created, as mentioned above, in response to the demand for easier accessibility and generally lower costs incurred by travel and physical learning materials, for example. There is also a marked difference in the way materials are presented, via lectures, or online discussion sessions. In the online environment, students receive individual attention, and have the convenience of taking part in the discussion as suits their convenience.

Otte & Benke (2005) emphasize that new models of leadership are also required to work concomitantly with new models of education and learning. Most importantly, the authors note that universities are required to adapt not only to the demands of their students, but also to the demands of the market. In this, the authors suggest an integration of the online environment with the traditional learning institution, rather than differentiating them. In this way, a wider market is served and the university in question is advantaged.

In order to emphasize the integrity and quality of online learning programs, leadership and advocacy is necessary in order to oversee the integration. The online environment has been much maligned for the lack of quality in its content. The online content created by universities needs to differentiate from this for the sake of its own reputation as well as that of the university it is affiliated with.

A further challenge facing governance is the differentiation between online and classroom instruction within the same institution. The authors not that these are not, and should not be seen as two sides of the same coin. Online instruction is new and brings new paradigms and learning ideals to the table. At the same time, however, the ultimate goals towards learning outcomes should be the same for all types of instruction, although they use different methods to achieve this. Along with this dilemma, leaders are also faced with the challenge of potential hostility between those managing the online and the classroom environments. According to the authors, the traditional environment may feel threatened by the online environment. This is also something that needs to be managed if the integration of these types of instruction is to be successful.

It is therefore the task of the leader to ensure that the standard of instructional deliver, quality, and support are maintained. Even in this, it should also be recognized that the way in which standards are traditionally ensured in the classroom cannot necessarily apply to the online environment as well. Change management is then an integrative part of this process. Leaders and managers must integrate both the online and classroom environments in such a way that the two compliment each other rather than differentiating and creating potential hostilities between the two.

As mentioned above, integration has become not only a phenomenon of the changing world of education, but also an integral and vital part of it. Managers who do not recognize this face the danger of setting themselves apart as unwilling to learn from the changing environment that they are supposedly serving.

To return to the seven educational models mentioned above, few institutions of education today can claim to exclusively adopt a single model of education. Instead, education models tend to be integrated. A university could for example cater to both the international and local market by integrating online and classroom education. Another university could integrate the technical and corporate aspects of the industry, and so on. In this way, the face of competition and leadership have both changed. In terms of competition, learning institutions are required to function in a much more diverse, integrated market. This is a challenge for leadership, as a concomitant diversity of faculty needs to be managed in such a way as to optimize the quality of the outcomes in terms of the competition.

My institution of learning is typical of the new education and learning environment. Having been founded as a traditional institution of learning, it has found itself significantly altered by market and competitive demands. As such, it has begun to integrate online learning and curricula with its classroom program. This takes a number of forms. On the one hand, there is an integration of classroom and online instruction. Local students receive classroom instruction that is supplemented by a University Web page by means of which the material is discussed, revisited, and integrated. Almost all faculties make use of this method with their local students.

Distance students are taught by means of an elaborate online program. Physical materials are no longer couriered to the student, as the case was in the past. Instead, the student accesses the University's Web site, and is instructed online by a variety of means. These include email, online discussion forums, and materials that the instructor has posted online. The students are also free to contact the instructor either by phone or email if any issues arise. The advantage of the latter is that students are not bound to certain convenient times for such contact.

Leadership at my university has found itself obliged to not only manage a highly integrated environment, but also a potentially volatile climate in terms of anxiety generated by the significant changes involved in this environment. The potential feelings of threat have been mentioned above.

While I believe that both management and employees have made an admirable effort to maintain the excellence and reputation of the university, I also feel that they could do more specifically towards the quality of their online material. The University has existed for more than a century before the integration of the online… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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