Free Expanding Opportunity in Higher Education Essay Sample
Provision of quality education is a fundamental requirement of any form of learning and for personal growth as well as societal integration. There are many opportunities offered by learning institutions for higher education and the list continues to grow. With the advancement of innovative technologies, virtual learning can also be done for students who are positioned far away from school. This implies that students do not necessarily have to be seated in a classroom to be taught, rather, they can do it at the comfort of their homes. Nevertheless, as more learning opportunities are created, there is need to safeguard the interests of the students to ensure that quality of education is not compromised. Therefore, a highly structured system that ensures equity and inclusion is of paramount importance (Barajas, 2003).
Gandara, Orfield and Horn (2006) in their book ‘Expanding Opportunity in Higher Education and Leveraging Promise’, focus on the challenges that are encountered in California and the other states in offering access to higher education (Horn, Orfield, & Gándara, 2006). They suggest that the aim of every education in the United States is to give chances to many students and to bring about change in the society and the entire economy. The book highlights the views not only by academicians but also people in the policy structure whose aim is to sustain the education system during challenging times. The fate of California and the entire nation of America rest on the valour of policymakers (Horn, Orfield, & Gándara, 2006). The book gives the reader every reason to take an action instantly and help to correct the problems in the education system, or do it later and bear the loathsome outcomes. The book helps to shed light on the issues that hinder education opportunities at all stages of the educational system.
Another article, ‘The Diversity Scorecard’ by Estella Bensimon is an important resource that helps learning institutions to find a state of equity in educational results for the underrepresented students (Bensimon, 2004). The use of the scorecard arose from the realization by members of faculties and administrators in universities, of the existence of inequalities for underrepresented students in the school. Bensimon suggests that the diversity scored is a representation of institutional transformation. In order to bring change into an organization, responsible people must be aware of the inequalities and be able to comprehend them so that the necessary action is taken (Bensimon, 2004).
An article written by Golden (2006) suggests that examinations by the regional accreditors are normally bound by financial solvency and other resources within the educational system. The outcome of this approach is that schools and colleges that are well developed always enjoy rubber stamp endorsement. As the level of enrolment increases, institutions of higher learning are being held accountable for the quality of education that they offer to their students (GOLDEN, 2006). However, the accreditors are not in tandem with this pace and have been blamed as an obstruction to reform.
In addition, Shavelson and Huang (2003) give an explanation as to why the current controversy about evaluation of student learning in higher education is apparent (Huang & Shavelson, 2003). They suggest that the debate exists since the responsible parties face it with different ideas about what entails evaluation of learning and how it is supposed to be done. The authors further argue that the cognitive results in higher learning varies from a domain specific way of acquiring knowledge to a general method of rationalizing and solving problems. The article presents samples of evaluation tests that help to illustrate the variation of cognitive outcome in higher learning (Huang & Shavelson, 2003).
At Student Success Academy, a hybrid system is used and has so far proved very effective. The course outline is provided online and the students learn majorly from home. The method incorporates the conventional classroom learning with more innovative techniques such as virtual learning through use of the internet. This system has tremendously helped to increase the number of students who access places in the learning institutions (Ingram, Gallacher, & Field, 2009). At Student Success Academy, the initiative has resulted to a remarkable increase in the level of enrolment of students from all walks of life regardless of their geographical positioning and age. It is a move that has greatly helped tackle the issue that is currently facing the education system in the United States.
However, one of the major challenges of this system is on its effective management to prevent compromising on the quality of education. In order to have accountability within the educational system, main groups and individuals can be held responsible so as to enhance the learning process for students (Ingram, Gallacher, & Field, 2009). Research has established that parental involvement in the learning process of their children is very helpful as far as virtual learning is concerned. To enhance their accountability, the parents have been advised on how to help their children in their process of learning. They are advised on how to give guidance to their children by helping them set their goals as well as assist them in attaining those targets. The management at Student Success Academy has adopted this approach, which has proved very helpful in the hybrid system.
Furthermore, the school administration at Student Success Academy needs to incorporate other innovative ways of ensuring that equity and inclusion is attained in the learning environment. The underrepresented students who majorly belong to the minority groups in the society are most of the time denied the chance to access quality education (Ingram, Gallacher, & Field, 2009). Adoption of this method will allow many students to access higher learning, and be able to pursue their dreams. Therefore, by adopting dual admission program, the management at Student Success Academy will have made a further step in providing opportunities for students to learn.