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Regis ahead of the curve on President Obama's affordability push for higher edAugust 23, 2013
WESTON, MA. Regis College is already there when it comes to President Obama’s insistence on making higher education more affordable. The President’s initiatives announced Thursday call for shortening the path to a degree, rewarding retention and performance, and finding other initiatives to control costs. These validate what Regis is already doing.
“To meet the needs of contemporary students we are shifting from a traditional higher education model to one that is mobile, flexible, technology empowered, and student centered. We are applying cognitive science research to inform our teaching, advising and academic support. We use data to drive our strategic planning, identifying ways to simultaneously reduce cost and enhance quality. Our primary commitment is to students and their success. Our students, and our institution, are thriving,” said Vice President, Institutional Effectiveness, Susan Tammaro, PhD.
“Innovation and affordability are more than buzz words,” said economist and Dean Malcolm Asadoorian, PhD, of the Regis College School of Liberal Arts, Education and Social Sciences. “They are directly linked and have everything to do with the ability of institutions to be imaginative in the delivery of what students need today, which is focus. Both technology and local partnerships are making strategic innovation possible, and that’s saving students money.”
“Access includes concepts of delivery as well as opportunity for different student populations,” noted Dean Penelope Glynn, PhD, RN, of the Regis College School of Nursing, Science and Health Professions. “On this campus we’ve been implementing a different, multiple-access delivery system of programs for graduate students in Nursing for over ten years, and it helps control expenses by allowing students to accelerate the schedule for completing their degree. So, for example, professionals already in the workforce can earn graduate degrees in the evening, on weekends, and in on-line and classroom intensive hybrids and complete their degrees more quickly --or , if they wish, at a slower pace because they are already working.”
“And now we’re doing that with undergraduate education as well,” added Associate Dean, Undergraduate Affairs, David Gilmore. “ Regis has partnered with Western NE Law School on a ‘three plus three’ agreement. Radiology Technologists and RNs without their college degrees can do an evening and weekend program to gain their bachelor’s degrees. Another partnership is underway with participation in Regis’ nuclear medicine program by Bluefield State College in West Virginia”
“Two of the partnerships we participate in bring some regional small universities or colleges together collaboratively to share our respective strengths to the student’s benefit,” added Associate Dean, Graduate Affairs, Claudia Pouravelis, Ed.D., “Based on their accomplishment of appropriate Stonehill College undergrad course work, for instance, we are working on a way for Stonehill students to waive four required courses as they enroll in Regis’s high-rated Master’s in Health Administration program. Our Heritage Studies master’s graduates are eligible for advanced standing in the Salve Regina PhD program. ”
“Everyone knows that I have turned Regis into an all iPad institution, and we’re building up digital pedagogy in our faculty,” said Regis President Antoinette M. Hays, PhD, RN. Hays. “The direction of the future is toward the classroom without walls. We’re launching three general education courses on line this coming spring that both traditional undergrads and degree-completion adult students can participate in. Next on my agenda is creating pathways for advanced standing for high school students from specific schools, so they can have a head start, too.”
“The shape of academic programming is moving away from the four-year traditional undergraduate pattern to a more focused and intensified delivery that maintains quality and purpose and often includes advanced or professional degrees,” observed President Hays. “Regis has developed a number of ‘4 + 1’ grad programs so that the undergraduate who knows what he or she is aiming at can start working toward it right away and then complete a master’s degree in one year.”
“So, yes, to affordability,” commented Dean Asadoorian, “and let’s bring it on through innovation, partnerships, and technology.