HEat Index, Issue 17 – Enrollment Opportunities and Double AI News

06/06/2024

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This week’s issue is equally split between two pressing concerns for higher education — AI and enrollment. Join us as we dive into what one institution is doing to improve AI literacy on its campus (and just in time too, with the latest version of ChatGPT). From there, we look at some new enrollment opportunities and challenges impacting institutions.  

After reading today’s issue, use the comments section to let us know your thoughts about the AI Literacy Framework! 

 

ChatGPT for Education 

From New ChatGPT zeroes in on higher ed | Inside Higher Ed   

OpenAI has released a version of ChatGPT specifically designed for higher education institutions, which addresses concerns about privacy and user data.   

Our Thoughts 

The pace of AI innovation and product development is moving at a faster pace than most higher education institutions usually operate. Honestly, I was a little surprised at this announcement from OpenAI as I had not seen indications of an upcoming education-specific product.   

It is promising that OpenAI is attempting to address institutional privacy and data concerns with this release. However, this latest version will require more evaluation from institutions to determine if it truly meets their needs. Also, it is important to remember that this is just the beginning of an AI arms race as OpenAI, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, etc. compete for higher education clients.   

Due to the significant impacts AI has had and will continue to have on teaching methodologies, student engagement, and administrative efficiency, it is crucial to understand the rapidly evolving landscape of AI. Doing so will help ensure institutions can best leverage the appropriate tools to meet their educational goals.  

 

AI Literacy Framework  

From A Framework for AI Literacy | EDUCAUSE Review  

Academic and technologies teams at Barnard College developed an AI literacy framework to provide a conceptual foundation for AI education and programming efforts in higher education institutional contexts.  

Our Thoughts  

After reading a few issues of The HEat Index, you can tell that I’m a huge proponent of institutional sharing. Given the speed at which AI is advancing, this AI Literacy Framework from Barnard College is timely as it details how they are actively integrating AI literacy into their community through structured educational programming.   

Their initiative not only enhances understanding and application of AI among faculty and students, but also critically engages with ethical, privacy, and technological implications of AI in academic settings. The approach taken by Barnard could serve as a model for other institutions aiming to foster a well-rounded, responsible use of AI technologies in educational environments. This is particularly relevant as AI gains broader adoption in various aspects of higher education, from administration to classroom learning. 

 

An Enrollment Boosting Opportunity 

From Reaching those who start college applications but don’t enroll | Inside Higher Ed   

The results of a new Art & Science Group survey suggest that institutions should attempt to recruit recent high school graduates who indicated an interest in pursuing higher education but did not enroll.   

Our Thoughts 

This new research from the Art & Science Group is promising news for enrollment managers. It identifies a significant opportunity to engage high school graduates who initially considered but did not enroll in a degree program. The study shows that this group still expresses interest in pursuing higher education, indicating that recent overall industry enrollment declines can be mitigated.   

Understanding their reasons for deferral, which include financial concerns and the need for a break, can help institutions tailor outreach and support strategies to convert these potential students into enrolled ones. This can be crucial for colleges facing enrollment challenges. Institutions who choose to pursue this population should be prepared to provide additional assistance as these students no longer have access to the support structures available while in high school.  

 

College vs Work Pathways 

From Iowa Businesses Are Making Their Pitch to High-School Graduates. Colleges Struggle to Compete. | The Chronicle of Higher Education   

In Iowa, both industry and higher education institutions attempt to recruit recent high school graduates with a proposed vision for their future.   

Our Thoughts 

While this article is about the choices of high school graduates in Iowa, I imagine similar conversations are playing out in other states around the country. Institutions are increasingly facing significant challenges in convincing local graduates to pursue higher education, particularly in regions where skepticism about the value of a college degree is growing.  

It is crucial for institutions, especially those who rely heavily on local student populations, to engage with their communities and build pathways from degrees to employment opportunities. Furthermore, this article highlights the ongoing need to address the perceived value and opportunity cost of higher education to meet the changing demographics and expectations of prospective students.

Allen Taylor
Allen Taylor
Senior Solutions Ambassador at Evisions

Allen Taylor is a self-proclaimed higher education and data science nerd. He currently serves as a Senior Solutions Ambassador at Evisions and is based out of Pennsylvania. With over 20 years of higher education experience at numerous public, private, small, and large institutions, Allen has successfully lead institution-wide initiatives in areas such as student success, enrollment management, advising, and technology and has presented at national and regional conferences on his experiences. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Anthropology from Western Carolina University, a Master of Science degree in College Student Personnel from The University of Tennessee, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Teaching, Learning, and Technology from Lehigh University. When he’s trying to avoid working on his dissertation, you can find him exploring the outdoors, traveling at home and abroad, or in the kitchen trying to coax an even better loaf of bread from the oven.

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