The video gets cut off at the end – sorry about that! To finish my thought, what I was going to share is that our OSU Open Campus team will be presenting at the Engagement Scholarship Consortium on Wednesday afternoon as they compete for the national C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Award.

For your reflection …

At last week’s OSU Extension annual conference the keynote speaker asked us to reflect on the organization’s core values, which are listed below and can also be found on the Extension website.

  1. Community-based
  2. Accountability
  3. Credibility
  4. Diversity
  5. Partnerships
  6. Responsiveness

Are there some that are missing? Should these be revisited? For those of you who aren’t Extension employees, I’d welcome your thoughts about your own organization’s values and the role that they play in your work.

Related links

Win a prize!

The first three people to find and share the following from division’s 2013-14 Academic Report will win a to-be-determined prize.

  • Topic of the University’s first MOOC
  • Amount of external dollars targeted to outreach and engagement work
  • Percent of Oregonians that reported that they had learned something from Extension in the past year

 

Dave King
Dave King, Associate Provost Outreach and Engagement

Some of you may have taken the time to participate in the recent Faculty and Staff Forum on Oregon State’s potential involvement in the Unizin consortium. It was lively discussion about the impact and merits of participating in this major university collaboration to build a “learning ecosystem.” If you missed it, the hour or so conversation is archived at:  https://media.oregonstate.edu/media/t/0_d73ieyl2 

In addition, you may or may not have seen the article in the OSU Barometer that reported on the learning management system change from Blackboard to Canvas. You can see that at: http://www.dailybarometer.com/news/canvas-to-replace-blackboard/article_565dd982-1c02-11e4-bb9c-0017a43b2370.html

It is fairly easy from these discussions to see the possible benefit to the campus as whole for these kinds of visionary changes we are suggesting, but what will this do for Extension and other non-credit programming from OSU?

I think there are (at least) two aspects of this evolution that will have a significant impact on both what Extension at OSU looks like in five years and, beyond that, our opportunities for success.  They are access and analytics.

Access
Up until now, the learning management system (LMS) of the University has been a sole domain of credit courses. The specialized tools for grading and managing curriculum for students were not available to Extension faculty and the learners we were trying to reach. If we used an LMS it was a one-off instance of some other tool—such as Moodle. Now, not only will the new Canvas LMS be open and available to Extension faculty and content developers, it will be available at no significantly increased cost. Access to a robust and constantly improving LMS will, over time, change the look, feel, and interactive nature of Extension faculty members’ relationship with our learners. In addition, it opens the door for much more interchangeability among credit and non-credit courses. We have talked for years about whether and how we can create a stronger synergy among the learning opportunities created in Extension and courses that are offered for credit in similar content areas. Access to the Canvas LMS and ultimately the foundation created by the Unizin learning ecosystem will provide common development approach that will allow much more cross-use of Extension learning objects, modules, and even fully developed programs in the credit environment, and vice versa.

Analytics
The world of learning and education will be driven into the future by our greater ability to understand not just how people learn in general, but how individuals participating in our programs learn. Extension has been built over the last 100 years on the concept of personalized learning. Having people resident in our communities around the state has always offered the opportunity for local learners to find individualized solutions to the issues they face. As populations have grown more urbanized and concentrated, we have struggled to maintain that personalized approach. Our Ask-an-Expert initiative is directly related to the goal of personalized response. As embedded analytics become more of a reality in our programs—a direct outcome of working in the Unizin learning ecosystem—we will all be able to “see” more of what works with more granular groups of people when it comes to learning tactics. Not only that, but you will be able to see what others in the consortium are doing to address similar needs. The more we know about how individual people learn, the more we will be able to develop methods of reaching each of them in that individual fashion. Check out the Unizin web site for more background and information:  www.Unizin.org.   As we continue to step through the process of joining the Unizin consortium, we’ll look to you all for early adopters willing to test the waters of this new learning ecosystem.

Now is the time for us all to frame the future of Extension on an educational foundation that is developed and shared by all our colleagues at OSU and around the country.  Watch for your chance to step up and help ensure the long-term success of all our programs.

Marking a prospective student’s learning demands on this spectrum of access helps institutions identify what type of learning solution is needed for the individual, from just-in-time training to a full degree program.
Marking a prospective student’s learning demands on this spectrum of access helps institutions identify what type of learning solution is needed for the individual, from just-in-time training to a full degree program.

Article originally posted on The EvoLLLution

Click here to download interview audio (MP3)

The following interview is with Dave King, associate provost of outreach and engagement at Oregon State University. During recessions, most businesses change gears and focus on maintaining a status quo through the downturn. Some businesses, however, look to continue growing through these periods. In this interview, King shares his thoughts on ramping up in the postsecondary space, and discusses how it can be possible for an institution to maintaining a focus on institutional growth during periods of declining demand.

1. What are the most significant challenges of competing in the postsecondary space during times of declining demand?

The big issue is how to focus on what the real expectations of the learners are. If demand is off a bit, you have to intensify your focus on what the real demand is and see what you can do about meeting that. That requires more attention to the market analysis you do and the understanding of the marketplace.

2. Is the expectation for institutional growth during downturns realistic?

The market is much larger than many of us think. If you take a look at the numbers from the Lumina Foundation, there are 39 million people within the United States with some college and no bachelor’s degree. Many of those are well into their professional lives and, just in Oregon, there are 940,000 people with some college and no bachelor’s degree. Providing access to those folks is an extremely large market. Just because the demand has softened a little bit, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t reach out to have a very customized and nimble product for that group of people.

3. What are a few strategies institutions can put in place to continue growing enrollments during periods of declining demand?

One of the things we’ve done (and we had been watching market demand for a while) is try to identify those areas where many people or most people have desires. Lots of people need to be doing better at their job tomorrow. Moving them toward actually working toward a degree is an evolutionary process.

One of the things we’ve done is create a post-baccalaureate degree in computer science. Computer science was an area people told us they were really looking for additional educational opportunities. Secondarily, if you already had a bachelor’s degree or were approaching a bachelor’s degree, you could spend one more year with us online and you would have a dual degree. The cost of that, although it’s a fairly premium expense, is less than getting a master’s degree, either face to face or online because you only spend a year doing it. Those folks coming out of that program are finding that their starting jobs are at the same level that the master’s students are starting.

We’re disrupting the marketplace a little bit by moving in and finding a niche where people actually get what they need in a more direct fashion.

4. What role does the extended campus play in helping to drive this growth, and what role does the institution itself play?

What’s important to realize is that there’s a full spectrum of access where [a prospective student’s level of] demand would find a place to land. We could have cooperative extension programming, we can have learning modules, we can have full continuing ed professional programs, we can have credit courses, etc.

The important thing is to have a full spectrum of these access points to meet the demand that’s out there. What we’re finding is that in the non-credit area and in the continuing ed area, we can be a little bit more nimble, a little more reactive; we can actually start some things that people can try and test at a lower price point. That means we have to try to figure out how to connect the credit side from extended campus and the professional and continuing ed group and that kind of thing. There’s a certain amount of culture that has to be bridged in those areas. If we can be nimble in some kind of the spectrum and really try new things, that gives us a leg up in how we meet the demand.

Marking a prospective student’s learning demands on this spectrum of access helps institutions identify what type of learning solution is needed for the individual, from just-in-time training to a full degree program.

5. Is there anything you’d like to add about the growth imperative during periods of declining demand and how institutions can reinvent themselves to make sure they can still compete and grow when traditional marketplaces are starting to fail?

The real issue is, how do we evolve from what has been 300 years of supply-side approach where we said, “We’re the experts, we know what you need” to the demand side, to understanding what the demand is and being able to provide something along that spectrum of access that allows people to find what they want when they want it?

When the Internet surfaced as the next big thing in the ’90s, there were a whole lot of people out there that had no idea, technologically, how it worked, but they began to realize that what this embodies: it’s that “I get what I want when I want it.”

In education, if we can’t figure that out, then we’re at peril.

Key Takeaways

  • Through there is diminished demand in the traditional postsecondary market, there are a large number of new market streams that higher education institutions could focus on to continue growth.
  • It’s important to ensure the institution offers programming that appeals to prospective students at every level of the spectrum of access.
  • If institutions don’t serve students as customers who expect a high quality of service, they will struggle in the new postsecondary marketplace.

Related content

Check out the first digital badge, released last week by our Professional and Continuing Education unit. This one is for people who complete the Master Gardener Online course. More to come from the PACE team in this area!

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And a question …

If you had a day in a car with Provost Randhawa, what questions would you have for him? Please share your comments below.

By: Emily Henry, OSU Open Campus Coordinator in Tillamook

We had a great week at Oregon’s first Tech Trek camp here in Tillamook at Tillamook Bay Community College! Tech Trek is a nationwide science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) camp for 8th grade girls that we brought to Tillamook through a start-up grant from the American Association of University Women (AAUW).

Tech Trek at TBCC is the only Tech Trek camp in Oregon and the only such camp in the country that is at a community college rather than on a university campus. We had 34 girls from rural, coastal Oregon communities who spent a week immersed in STEM activities—from using the Pythagorean Theorem to build kites to investigating the effects of ocean acidification on the shellfish industry to learning about women pilots and astronauts at Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum.

The girls left with new experiences, new knowledge about STEM subjects and STEM careers, and new friends and mentors. Eventually, we hope that we will see these girls go on to take more math and science courses in high school, be more likely than their peers to major in science and math subjects in college, and eventually increase the number of women in the STEM workforce here in Oregon. After just a week, I had a camper tell me ‘I want to learn to fly a plane now’ and another say ‘I think I want to be a computer scientist when I get older’ and I think, we are well on our way to this goal.

This camp would not have been possible without the support of the community; grants from AAUW, Ford Family Foundation, Tillamook Estuaries Partnership, OSU Precollege Programs, and Tillamook School District #9; individual donations; and the work of our camp planning committee, staff, and volunteers—thanks to everyone for this amazing week!

By: Keely Moxley, OSU Open Campus Coordinator in Klamath Falls

Rebecca Brooksher, a 28 year old mom of two, was the first graduate of a new agricultural sciences degree completion program, offered in Klamath Falls through Oregon State University and Klamath Community College (KCC). This is the story of her busy graduation weekend.

 

 

Thank you so much, Rebecca, for sticking with the program and encouraging others to do the same!

To learn more about Rebecca’s story, check out the Herald and News article

For this month’s First Monday update I’m trying something a bit different. Let me know what you think about this format, and please take the time to respond to the question I pose at the end.

In the video I reference materials from this year’s Natural Resources Leadership Academy. You can download those here:

Have a great July!
Scott

Oregon State University recently hosted “OSU Extension Reconsidered,” a day-long event as part of a national conversation about how the arts, humanities and design could be a part of how Extension meets community needs.

View photos from the day.

More than 50 people were invited, including OSU Extension faculty, members of OSU outside of Extension, and community members, many of whom had little or no experience with Extension.

After a long day of exploring possibilities together, this group identified many dimensions of how such work could be considered.

Many agreed that including arts into outreach programming augments the identity and pride that comes with places.  When asked about possibilities, respondents identified things including leadership through art, math art, film, urban design, photography, music, and oral histories–among others.

Of course, we are familiar with limitations of resources-and Extension’s current workforce doesn’t have many members who are deeply trained in this area. But in true form, our stakeholders are ready to step up, contribute where possible, and help to design and fund a beginning in this area.

Participants shared reflective observations following the event.

  • “Extension is seeking to broaden its scope, reach, and purpose.”
  • “…awareness of and appreciation for creative/innovative efforts within OSU Extension to connect and engage across disciplines (and R vs L  sides of our brains).”
  • “The deep history of extension services.  The connection between agriculture and arts.”
  • “OSU Extension’s depth of impact in a wide range of communities was greater than I thought.”
  • “It’s all about communication.  Getting people talking is the key and the beginning point.  The exercises modeled at OSU could be replicated elsewhere.”

The images below are visual representations of the day developed by College of Liberal Arts students.

What opportunities do you see in this area? If you attended this event, what did you take away?

Innovation-is-the-Responsibility-of-the-Whole-Institution-300x215Click here to download The EvoLLLution’s interview

The following interview is with Dave King, associate provost of outreach and engagement at Oregon State University. King is an industry leader when it comes to devising innovative approaches to post-graduate education; he and his team spearheaded a post-baccalaureate BS in computer science that’s turning the heads of employers and administrators alike. In this interview, he discusses innovation in the graduate education space and shares his thoughts on the role of outreach and continuing education (CE) in driving this innovation.

1. Why is it important for institutions to be innovative in their approaches to post-baccalaureate, graduate-level programming?

It’s important because of the competitive nature of the marketplace these days. We seem to be at a point where we’re seeing a lot of new programs that are being very creative in the way they attract students. Innovation is going to be critical to be successful. Innovation also really has to drive learner success. [The combination of the two] is why it is so important.

2. What role does outreach and CE typically play when it comes to innovating a university’s graduate programming?

We have a fairly unique integration here among our credit, non-credit and CE and extension programs. We try to create a ‘spectrum of access’ so any learner can find, across this spectrum, any spot they want to fall into that hits what they need.

It could be, from one end of the spectrum, just raw information straight from a research project that somebody with a PhD could manipulate for their own purposes in their business. On the other end would be fully online graduate degree programs. In the middle, you have all of these other areas that we’re talking about — CE, individual credit courses, undergraduate degree programs, extension programs.

The importance of connecting those is that when you start to create learning opportunities anywhere along that spectrum, you should be able to use those at other spots along the spectrum. That way, you’re improving learner success by providing them access to whatever type of learning opportunity they need.

3. Ideally, how should the responsibilities of individual faculties and outreach/CE be divided when it comes to creating and delivering innovative graduate-level programming?

Although the faculty members have responsibilities, it really should be driven more by the learner. There are learners out there who need graduate degrees, without question. Those folks are going to be rewarded for getting their graduate degree in the marketplace by employers and other entities in society. What really should drive it is what the learner needs are.

The graduate faculty who are creating these programs need to find a spot along the spectrum that supplies the learner access in the best way possible to [meet their] needs. Not everybody needs to have a degree. Take a 50-year-old worker; we still would like to see someone of that age come back to learn things, but they probably don’t need a graduate degree. They probably just need to be better at their job tomorrow.

4. When it comes to understanding what learners need, does outreach play a role at all in helping faculties understand what the various learners coming back to the school actually need, or is that more of a responsibility each faculty and department maintains internally?

Outreach, obviously, depending on how your institution comes at it, should have a better understanding of what’s going on in communities, in certain aspects of the target audience, because in many cases the outreach programs are actually in those communities and can bring that information back to the campus in a way that actually helps people understand what the needs are. Individual faculties and departments and disciplines, as a whole, all contribute to our understanding of what the learner needs are.

5. When it comes to developing the innovative approaches to delivering this programming, does outreach play a role there or is that again mostly held within departments themselves?

At our institution, there are quite a few faculty members we work with who have split appointments. They just naturally bring some of that outreach understanding to the table. But overall, no matter where you are within the faculty structure, it’s up to the faculty to understand the value of innovation in meeting the learner needs. Just, for instance, think about how you effectively improve learner success in a flipped classroom or in a blended classroom and apply that not only to the outreach areas, but to graduate programs and to others. We spend a lot of time worrying about economies of scope in graduate programs where we think about economies of scale in undergraduate programs. We need more graduate programs with a finite number of students who are successful. Innovation is about the only way we actually grow in those areas.

6. Is innovation an explicit priority of outreach units, or a byproduct of the demand to drive accessibility and revenue?

I don’t think you can be successful without innovation; however innovation unto itself probably is not going to be attractive enough to faculty members. You have to actually show how innovation improves learner success.

7. Is there anything you’d like to add about the role of innovation in graduate education and how outreach can take the lead in supporting an institution’s focus on graduate programming?

With the competitive nature of the graduate marketplace right now, the graduate students we’re getting are expecting to have as much opportunity of success as possible. A lot of times, we’ll see students come to a program fresh and new, who bring new ideas themselves. In engagement, in outreach, these days, what I say is we have to learn as much as we teach and listen as much as we talk. It’s not just any one of us or the early adopters or even the faculty administration or any individual sector in this discussion bringing innovation to someone else. Everybody involved, together, learning from each other and then moving ahead with the innovative ideas.

This interview has been edited for length.

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Key Takeaways

  • In order for an institution to be successful in the modern higher education marketplace, innovation must come from every level, not just continuing education.
  • Innovation is critical to ensuring an institution can meet the needs of prospective students at every stage of the academic spectrum.