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The Road Ahead for America's Colleges and Universities$
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Robert B. Archibald and David H. Feldman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190251918

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190251918.001.0001

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The Rhetoric of Higher Education in Crisis

The Rhetoric of Higher Education in Crisis

(p.3) 1 The Rhetoric of Higher Education in Crisis
The Road Ahead for America's Colleges and Universities

Robert B. Archibald

Oxford University Press

Crisis rhetoric dominates the conversation about higher education. This chapter provides a few fictional stories about the future of colleges and universities facing today’s stresses. It introduces the threats that US higher education faces. These include internal threats, classified as those that come from conducting business as usual in the traditional model of producing a college education; environmental threats, broader economic changes in the world outside of higher education that make the current financial model for colleges and universities more challenging; and technological threats, that is, the expansion of online education. The chapter also discusses reasons apocalyptic predictions of disruption and bankruptcy for large segments of the US higher education system are overblown.

Keywords:   disruption, higher education crisis, college cost, tuition discounting, family income, student debt, MOOCs

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